[EM] average over time proportionality election method
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
abd at lomaxdesign.com
Mon Mar 6 14:10:41 PST 2006
At 09:00 PM 3/6/2006, Raphael Ryan wrote:
>Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd at lomaxdesign.com> wrote:
>I see your point about asset voting. A negotiation step can allow
>the interactions to happen between candidates that would require a
>complex voting procedure to model. However, you lose the
>anonymous/secret ballot effect at the negotiation stage.
That is correct. However, when you are willing to accept public
office, you are generally making a decision that your actions will be
public and that you accept the consequences. Electors are public. So
are the assembly members. Indeed, it is essential that vote transfers
subject to the initial poll be public, or else there will be no
accountability. Voters must know what is being done with their votes.
> There are also issues for hold outs and deadlocks and "chicken"
> effects. A deterministic voting system avoids all that.
Sure, and is practically brain-dead as a result. Asset Voting turns
election, normally an aggregative process in the language of
political science, into a deliberative one, the kind that is really
used in small organizations, even when there is some formal process
using some election method or other.
How would a deadlock occur? As an example, suppose that all the votes
have been reassigned, and winners determined, except that there are
two holdouts, and both of them have approximately the same number of
votes, half of that necessary to elect a seat. And they cannot find
some compromise. Note that I'd allow the reassignment of votes
outside the circle of candidates, so this failure to find a
compromise means that there is no common trusted person. I could make
an argument that such people should be shut out of government, but I
would not favor any mechanism which does so except the natural one:
inability to compromise may shut you out of influence.
The voters would decide if they were willing to accept failing to
elect a representative, and they would demonstrate their opinion
about this in the next election.
There are other possibilities for how to handle holdouts, such as a
restricted status for candidates below the quota, the ability to
reassign the votes much later, i.e., no deadline (except the next
election), but I'd prefer to keep it simple. I think it quite
unlikely that more than a very few seats would remain vacant due to
holdouts. The exclusion from participation of minorities unable to
reach a quota is rigid in existing systems.
The time proportional system removes the problem for such minorities,
thus giving them reason to not compromise; instead they continue to
hold out until they get their day. But if they are in such a
minority, what do they gain by the delay? Not much, I would suggest,
that they would not gain anyway immediately by compromising on a
representative in an asset system who was at least willing to
consider their ideas, since that is really all they are going to get
if they are awarded victory by a proprotional system.
(Okay, we will give you our votes if you will agree to present our
views and arguments for them, in a fair way. Asset Voting creates a
negotiator who can accomplish the task. Most election methods attempt
to be deterministic -- it is a standard election criterion -- and
thus there is no room for give and take. In my opinion, this is one
big cause of the unsatisfactory results from present election
systems, the other one being representation failure, which
time-proportional also attempts to address in a deterministic way.)
The delay due to quantization noise, in my opinion, could be fatal,
unless somehow election update frequency could be very short. Much
shorter than present election cycles.
>Also, I was reading Warren Smith's paper. I think that the
>mechanism for elimination he proposes still suffers from the middle
>squeeze effect of IRV. Perhaps a better rule would be to allow a
>candidate to voluntarily exclude himself. However, I guess a
>candidate can do that by just transferring all his votes to another person.
Exactly. I don't think there is any middle squeeze effect in Asset
Voting. Quite simply, the best voting strategy is to vote for the
candidate or candidates you most trust. Given that much of what a
legislator does is to find widely-acceptable compromises, and also a
legislator (or officer) must be able to delegate, to find trustworthy
people, plus, under Asset Voting, votes are transferred directly to
people with whom the transferor will likely have direct
communication, I think that pretty much the same qualifications exist
for legislator and for legislative elector. Someone good at being a
legislator would probably also be good at electing one (or more).
Once again, I think time proportionality is an interesting idea, but
I think its goals, and more, can be accomplished much more simply.
Further, as I mentioned, time proportionality has a significant time
lag; if the electorate is rapidly changing, there will be a
substantial delay. *One election cycle is substantial.* Some might
think of this as a feature, but the conservation of political
momentum is not a happy phenomenon under some circumstances; for
example, it can easily happen that the public comes to recognize that
a candidate, even one who was a favorite, is a loose cannon and
dangerous. All existing election methods allow the dumping of this
official at the next election, plus there is impeachment or recall.
What would you do with recall in time proportionality? Pretty much,
in order not to loose minority representation, you would have to
eliminate it. Yes, in a proportional assembly with sufficient
numbers, the problem is reduced, but it is not necessary to have the
problem at all, beyond the degree to which the problem is caused by
terms of office.
(And delegable proxy can eliminate even that. There are no terms of
office in delegable proxy, beyond the current status analysis delay,
which might be a day. Would this potential rapidity of change cause
instability? I think not. I don't think that proxy assignments would
change rapidly; indeed, once a citizen has found a reliable proxy, I
would not expect that to change until the proxy retires or dies or
becomes incapacitated, mentally or otherwise. There *will* be a
conservatism in a delegable proxy system, it is the conservatism of
opinion itself. Delegable proxy will not be particularly vulnerable
to the "majority instability," where a few votes can radically shift
the outcome of an election. Rather, DP will naturally tend toward the
development of intelligent compromise and consensus, and I would
expect something like that for Asset Voting as well, which is almost
as good, in my opinion, just not as rapid and flexible.)
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