[EM] Voting by selecting a published ordering (was sidetracked to EC)

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sat Apr 29 15:57:43 PDT 2006

At 03:03 PM 4/29/2006, Steve Eppley wrote:
>My question was more specifically whether there would be sufficiently strong
>incentives for Gore to choose to rank McCain over Bush, even though 
>McCain is not a member
>of Gore's party.  If candidates will behave that way, then this 
>simple voting method is
>quite worthy of promotion.

As the plurality winner, Gore might have some incentive to truncate 
his ballot. However, Published Ordering is likely -- if the rules 
permit, and they should -- to attract many more candidates. For 
example, add another candidate to the mix who ranks Himself, Gore, 
McCain, Bush. If Gore just ranks himself, this additional candidate 
might take away some of his vote.

Published Ordering could radically change the electoral landscape....

>less important elections must come first, to demonstrate to the 
>public the desirability of
>the new method(s). (This is another reason why I consider our recent 
>discussion of the
>Electoral College to have gotten us temporarily off track.)

I agree, about the desirability of implementing reforms in smaller 
elections. Not to mention that it is probably easier to accomplish! 
However, if we are talking about a Presidential election, it is 
entirely possible for a single state to reform its system of choosing 
electors, and far better, and more practical, reforms are available 
than simple proportional assignment, which is essentially suicide if 
implemented in a single state. There are reforms that could come 
state-by-state and result in overall reform. And they are not 
impossible. Note that there is such a reform movement which was 
endorsed in a recent New York Times editorial, and which has 
significant support from major politicians.....

>   I'm wondering now if it would
>have been more helpful if I'd chosen an example without recognizable 
>names, such as the

No. The example given was quite good, and examples with R1, R2 and D 
are far less eloquent.... But, using that:

>     Three candidates R1, R2 and D competing for a seat in
>     some state's Senate or Assembly.
>[D is the Plurality winner apparent, R2 the Condorcet winner 
>apparent, from polls]

>Will D publish the ordering D > R2 > R1?

As I've stated before, I'd prefer Asset Voting, where D doesn't have 
to disclose his vote reassignments in advance, but can negotiate them 
after the election. I'd presume that if D, failing to gain a majority 
as required, refused to reassign votes to the obvious compromise 
winner, the Condorcet winner R2, he'd be committing political 
suicide. But more to the point, I'd expect a fairly large number of 
minor candidates to collectively hold the balance. Wouldn't it be 
interesting if the public could negotiate, from a position of 
strength, with politicians? That what deliberative methods such as 
Asset Voting would make possible, the public being represented by the 
collection of candidates holding reassignable votes.

But before testing these methods in public elections, even in small 
ones, I'm suggesting using reformed political structures in NGOs, and 
especially in reform organizations. I find it quite interesting that 
the norm, almost universal, is that organizations dedicating to 
reforming democracy avoid democracy as if it were the plague.

I think there are a number of reasons for this, one of them being 
that those who found these organizations think of "democracy" in 
terms of flawed structures and systems that are, indeed, quirky and 
inefficient.... so these reformers opt for oligarchical structures 
that leave them in control. My opinion, though, is that democracy, 
properly implemented, is by far superior. But the devil is in the details....

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