# [EM] Once and for all--Bias vs transfer properties

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 12 11:00:36 PST 2006

```  With the Bias-Free method, because, in every cycle, there is no net dS/q,
that means that, any two states, in any two cycles, even at opposite ends of
the population range, will never have any difference in their
seats-per-quota expectation. Bias-Free is genuinely entirely unbiased.

That means that Webster is very nearly unbiased, because Webster's
round-off points are nearly the same as those of Bias-Free. And it means
that Huntington-Hill gives significantly more seats per person to smaller
states, because Huntington-Hill's round-off points are considerably lower
than those of Bias-Free. Huntington-Hill is significantly biased in favor of
smaller states.

What about Hill's transfer property? Webster and Hill both are as
proportional as possible, according to their respective measures of
proportionality-difference. Bias-Free doesn't, strictly speaking, have a
transfer property. Let me point out two differences between bias and
transfer properties:

1) Because Bias-Free is unbiased, any increased unproportionality, in
comparison to Hill or Webster, must  be random and un-directed. Bias, on the
other hand, is a directed, systematic seats-per-quota difference against a
specific known end of the population spectrum. That's worse than a little
random, undirected unproportionality. Random, undirected unproportionality
isn't unfair. Bias is unfair.
Bias-Free completely eliminates bias.

2) Hill's transfer property is about a _matter of degree_. Hill, by its
proportionality standard, has less unproportionalilty than any other
allocation. Less doesn't mean none. Less doesn't even mean a lot less. Any
method has some unproportionality. It's unavoidable when we have to award
whole numbers of seats. But Bias-Free _entierly_ elilminates bias.

Of course, not only is Webster simpler than BF, and precedented, but it
also compromises, having a transfer property in addition to nearly no bias.
Still, advocacy and adoption of BF would show an
intention to genuinely entirely eliminate bias.

And please don't let anyone tell you that bias is difficult to define.
Bias is a systematic disparity in
seats-per-quota expectation for states of different population. Bias-Free
has no bias.

Mike Ossipoff

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