[EM] average over time proportionality election method

Raphael Ryan RaphFrk at netscape.net
Sat Mar 4 13:52:07 PST 2006

"James Green-Armytage" <jarmyta at antioch-college.edu> wrote:

>Hi there (Raph?)
Raphael, I think I have adjusted netscape properly now.

>    I think that it's a fun idea, and well thought-out, but can you think of
>a practical application for it? 

I was thinking mainly of a legislature.  There needs to be something to smooth out the high frequency noise.

It is similar to sigma delta for ADC/DACs in electronics.  They create high frequency noise, but are much more accuracte after the noise is smoothed out than the ADC or DAC would be otherwise.

>Of course you wouldn't want to apply it to
>executive elections, unless the executive authority was purely ceremonial.
>If you did that, the most dangerous and bizarre ideologies would
>eventually get a chance to run the country, which is obviously neither
>desirable nor something that would maintain consensus. 

True.  However, it could maybe be used for an executive that has more than one member.  For example, a Triumvirate where 2 Triumvirs can veto the actions of the third would be relatively safe.

However, even then you could end up with minor swings every so often, even if it doesn't swing to the far extremes.

I think if a small total number of people are being elected, then it would not be that useful.

>If you're using
>this for legislative elections, in a fairly large legislature, then you
>can argue that it's okay for the fringe ideologies to get represented
>every now and again, because they'll be very unlikely to hold a majority
>at any particular time. But if broad representation is your goal, why not
>just use STV or some kind of proxy system? 

This system has some advantages.  It will give (eventually) perfect proportionality even with single seat districts.  

Nobody's vote is ever wasted.  Every vote cast is eventually worth some representation down the line and all votes are worth nearly the same depending on turnout when the vote actually elects someone.

Also, it eliminates most of the "benefits" of Gerrymandering.  Even if you split the votes of an opposing candidate between two districts, a similar candidate can campaign in one of them.  Eventually, they will both get a seat half of the time, so you are back where you started.

It also makes a state wide single district vote easier.  A ranked preference system electing 10-15 candidates from 40-50 candidates would be a nightmare to count.

It doesn't require party lists or official recognition of parties.

It is simplier to explain (maybe?).

>Using your proposal for a
>legislature, the shift of power between different ideologies will
>fluctuate with a fairly high degree of randomness, making it hard for the
>majority to justify their authority. 

It is deterministic, so if this was an issue, stability could be obtained by "creatively" deciding which candidate will run in what district.

If your party has lots of candidates with excess votes built up, run some high excess candidates in districts that they won't win much vote in (though still get elected).

This allows a low excess candidate to run in their district and hopefully win.  The trick would be to not over reach, there is no point burning all the excess in one election.

I am not sure how much the fluctuations would be though and if any of this would be necessary.  I don't think they would be large enough to strip the resulting legislature of its mandate.

Another possible application would be apportionment of seats in the House between the states.  If a state is rounded down, then it is considered to be owed a fractional part of a seat.  Likewise, if a state is rounded up, it is considered to owe a fractional part of a seat.

These would then be used in the next apportionment as part of the formula.  Over the long term, the total amount each state was rounded up would be equal to the total amount the state was rounded down, so no state "Wins".

It could also be used in a party list system.  If a party was rounded down one election, then would likely end up being rounded up in the next one.

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