[EM] RE: Election-methods Digest, Vol 15, Issue 37

Abd ulRahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Mon Sep 19 21:20:59 PDT 2005

At 05:05 PM 9/19/2005, Simmons, Forest wrote:
>Kevin responded with:
>I don't share the view that this is closer to satisfying strong FBC. You have
>no confidence that your candidate will be able to (or willing to) help cement
>the best result you could have gotten. There is little reason to believe that
>your favorite candidate can pick a compromise better than you can.
>It's not even guaranteed that at least one candidate shares your 
>preference order.

(It is not guaranteed and it is not necessarily even desirable. My 
preference order is surely based to some degree on misinformation; if 
preferences could be revised by someone I trust who can actually go 
and talk to the candidates in question, surely the preferences would 
be more intelligent....)

>Forest replies:
>Are you saying that under Asset voting it would frequently happen 
>that you would vote for someone other than your favorite?

It is such a relief to see someone else arguing these points....

In my own work with Delegable Proxy I considered it (and still 
consider it) advisable to name a single proxy; systems that don't 
will, I believe, suffer from representation ambiguity. But Asset 
Voting, while it is similar to DP in some ways, would give voters a 
choice. The original Asset Voting allowed fractional votes to be 
assigned with total freedom by the voter. So one could give 0.579 
vote to one candidate and 0.321 vote to another.

However, I think the complexity of this would not produce 
commensurate improvement. It should be enough, I propose, that a 
voter select a most-trusted candidate, or that the voter create a 
virtual committee by voting for more than one. Thus FAAV, Fractional 
Approval Asset Voting.

As a single-winner method, it could be counted as standard basic 
approval, and only be recounted as Fractional Approval if there is a 
majority failure.

>Remember that write-ins are allowed, so that you can always vote for 
>your self and cast your own approval and ordinal rankings in the 
>election completion convention.  In that case, wouldn't you say that 
>you are your favorite candidate?

Once again, I'm glad that someone else has noticed the implications 
of write-in voting.

Now, the shareholders of corporations long ago figured out that it 
was not necessary for them to all personally attend the annual 
meeting to elect the directors. They had the common-law right to 
select an attorney-in-fact to represent their interests. And thus the 
institution of the proxy was actually a right, and would exist for us 
in the political realm if it had not actually been outlawed.

Rich people hire others to do such work for them, and to advise them. 
One of the European independent inventors of Delegable Proxy calls 
the proxy the Advisor, which does, in fact, represent the major 
function of the proxy. But the proxy also may, if authorized, act on 
behalf of the one represented.

If I vote for myself in the election, I might still, after the 
election, select a person to act as my proxy at the convention. (In 
the DP election method on the EM wiki, I call this convention the 
electoral college.) Even if proxy voting is not allowed at the 
meetings of the college (it should be), I could still ask my proxy to 
negotiate on my behalf and to recommend how I vote when it comes time 
to make the deciding votes. And, of course, that proxy could do the 
same for others.

And if I don't like that, if I want to go on my lonesome and try to 
figure out how to cast my single vote, I could do it. Of course, most 
people have enough trouble getting to the polls.... But with a proxy, 
it would not be difficult to be represented.

What Asset Voting does is to separate the election into two 
processes, one with the protections of secret ballot, and the other 
being a public deliberative process. In this it is quite like the use 
of DP as an election method, as described on the wiki.

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