[EM] Voting as duty (was ties & truncation)

Abd ulRahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Thu Sep 15 06:24:30 PDT 2005

At 05:17 PM 9/14/2005, Simmons, Forest wrote:
>(1) Pick 400 registered voters at random.  Give them time off work, 
>and have them study the candidates carefully and decide a tentative 
>winner by some reputable method (like DMC, Shulze, Approval, Asset 
>Voting, etc.)  It will definitely be worth the time for these 
>voters, since there will be an appreciable chance that their votes 
>will be pivotal.
>(2) Analyze the ballots from step 1 statistically.  If the results 
>are so decisive that there is less than a one percent chance that a 
>different winner would emerge from the same method involving the 
>entire electorate, then submit the tentative winner to the 
>electorate for ratification by a Yes/No vote. [and more]

The idea of using a committee, essentially, to select a tentative 
winner is an excellent one, and parallels my own ideas in a way. If 
the committee is statistically unbiased, it should work. Tricky to 
ensure that, however.

It would be a good idea to have *any* election result that is below a 
clear and general consensus (supermajority definition not stated 
here) be submitted to a ratification vote. This effectively forces 
voters to approve or disapprove of the result. Thus, in the end, it 
is Approval which has been used, in a way, with a very significant 
tweak that deals with straight-ticket, truncated votes.

However, it might be advisable to allow more than one candidate on 
the runoff ballot. Top two (by undefined standards; what about 
Condorcet and Approval winners?) might be appropriate. More than 
that, we would start to get strategic voting in the runoff. Another 
option in the runoff might be () Start Over.

If a majority of the voters want to redo the whole election process, 
it should be their privilege. Presumably the existing office-holders 
would remain pending new results, or there could be statutory caretakers.

However, in my own concepts, instead of some abstract (or possibly 
corrupt) agency choosing voters at random, *the voters* choose 
representatives on the committee, through Delegable Proxy. The 
committee functions deliberatively, instead of aggregatively. The 
committee could be quite a bit smaller. And the result would *still* 
be subjected to a full vote by the general electorate. (Committee 
members would have variable voting power according to the votes they 
received. Alternatively, Asset Voting would be used to create a PR 
Committee that is almost fully representative, while being a peer 
committee, though this introduces constraints that produce the "almost."

In a DP committee, one member might represent a very large percentage 
of the electorate. If the committee size is fixed, this allows 
members to be elected to the committee who represent much smaller 
blocks of voters. This is why DP is more fully representative than 
Asset. However, there could be advantages to peer committees, in 
terms of the encouragement of collegiality.

In the end, the voters should choose their own election methods. And, 
again, DP is a way to do it that would be likely to produce an 
intelligent result, enjoying the broadest possible consensus.

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