[Election-Methods] Simple two candidate election

rob brown rob at karmatics.com
Thu Dec 20 17:24:43 PST 2007

On Dec 20, 2007 3:41 PM, Ian Fellows <ifellows at ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> "The reason is simple: no majoritarian method can ever be democratic because
>> it allows 51% of the  electorate to consistently keep the other 49% of the
>> electorate from having any power at all"
> Perhaps you have a different definition of democracy than I do.

I have become keenly aware that there are radically different
definitions of democracy floating around.  Ian, you and I seem to
agree on ours, but I thoroughly and completely disagree with the
definition implied by Jobst, as well as by various range voting
advocates that I have had the frustrating experience of trying to
communicate with.

Let me throw this one out there.  Let's say it is a vote for a number,
for instance we have a club, and we want to have vote on how much our
monthly dues will be.  We decide to have everyone write down their
preferred number, and then select the median value.  (you could do the
interpolated median or smoothed median [
http://karmatics.com/voting/median2.gif ] if you wish to reduce the
"aliasing" artifacts of conventional median)

Would that be "democratic"?  To me it is as close to perfectly fair
and democratic as you are going to get, since each person's vote
changes the result by the same amount as everyone else's vote (for all
reasonable intents and purposes).  Again, there is no conflict between
strategy and sincerity, and knowing how others will vote will not give
a voter an advantage.

However, again -- I know that others do not see it this way, but that
is because they seem to define democracy/fairness differently than you
(Ian) and I do.  Jobst, I'm curious how you feel about this one.


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