# [EM] Ratio vs difference

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 20 08:35:01 PST 2006

```Ratio vs difference is important if one is choosing between Webster and Hill
according to their transfer propertions; or if one is measuring bias by the
s/q disparity of big states and small states; or in the application of

The Constitution and the notion of proportionality don't give us anything by
which to choose between ratio and difference in s/q. They merely say that
s/q should be equal, but don't tell how to measure its inequalities.

Say you're in a small state and I'm in a large state. The states s/q is a
measure of the House voting power representing each individual in the state.
Maybe, then, I have more House voting power than you do, or vice-versa.

Sio do you want to minimize how much more voting power I have than you, or
do you want to minimize the _ratio_ by which I have more voting power than
you?

Actual raw number of votes is the commodity that matters in House votes. I
win the vote if I have at least one more vote than you do. And no one says,
"To win this vote we'll need to increase our support on that issue by a
factor of 27/17". They say, "We still need 9 more votes to win".

Votes is what it's about, and so you'd like to minimize how many more seats
represent me, compared to how many seats represent you (of course those
numbers are much less than 1).

So s/q difference, rather than its ratio, is what matters.

Mike Ossipoff

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