[EM] voting reform effort in DENVER - PLEASE HELP

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sun Jun 11 10:36:14 PDT 2006

Once again, this message is sent to a series of lists, including the 
Approval Voting list, where I'm banned. I've deleted that from the 
series, Mr. Kok can forward it if he thinks it relevant.

At 12:09 PM 6/11/2006, Chris Benham wrote:
>Elections should be decided directly by the votes of voters, and as far
>as practicably possible all voters
>should have equal/power weight  in this process.  So I reject Asset

All voters have equal/power weight under Asset Voting. Indeed, I 
could easily argue that nearly other method fails this to some 
degree. This is because of wasted votes, votes which did not choose a 
winner. Asset allows these votes to be recast deliberately and in 
consideration of the electoral context, by someone much more likely 
to be familiar with the consequences, and able to use the voter's 
power in negotiations, so much less voter power is wasted, if any.

>  Candidates should not be

What if voters want to assign this power to candidates? 
Fundamentally, the position expressed here is that voters are not to 
be allowed this freedom.

Were it not prohibited, it would be a common-law right. It is quite 
clear that the prohibition of voluntary amalgamation of votes by 
voters is the major restraint preventing true democracy from existing 
outside of small groups.

Mr. Benham has not stated why vote delegation should not be 
permitted. Note that, ultimately, power *is* delegated, with any 
election method. To the winner or winners of the election. So why not 
during the election process itself?

If voters are to have equal power, literally, with no exceptions, 
then the only system that meets this requirement is Direct Democracy. 
As soon as you have representative democracy, you have effectively 
concentrated voting power into elected representatives. This is 
disguised when the system elects a peer assembly, since it seems that 
in that assembly all members have equal voting power. But this is 
only just when members have equal constituencies. If members have 
unequal constituencies, it would be more just if they had unequal voting power.

And if we are going to be concerned about the inequity of unequal 
constituencies, we should be concerned about the even more 
inequitable situation of comparing one representative, elected by 
unanimity, with another, elected by a mere majority or even a mere 
plurality. It is this inequity which allows under some conditions a 
minority party to control the assembly. It is this inequity which so 
famously can result in a President elected while getting a minority 
of the popular vote.

All this would disappear with proxy voting; Asset Voting is really 
proxy voting designed to create a peer assembly, when used multiwinner.

The alternatives that I've seen, the ones that Mr. Benham apparently 
supports, result in wasted votes and effectively disenfranchised voters.

>Approval Voting doesn't  meet Majority for Solid Coalitions and is
>vulnerable to disinformation.

As if any election method is not vulnerable to disinformation! Asset 
Voting, in fact, is the least vulnerable, since votes end up being 
ultimately distributed according to the decisions of trusted 
candidates who have better access to information than the general 
voter. With Asset Voting, a voter need make no strategic decisions; 
it is enough to find a single candidate that one trusts; but Asset 
also allows voters to distribute the trust among a set of candidates.

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