[EM] it's pleocracy, not democracy

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sun Mar 4 21:02:18 PST 2007

At 03:29 PM 3/4/2007, Juho wrote:
>Single winner at its
>purest is just electing one of a number of candidates, giving no
>consideration to if it was the same voters that last time got their
>way through. Basic single winner methods maybe have worse utility
>than ones that take distribute the power over a sequence of
>decisions, but I'd still allow use of word "democratic" to describe
>them. Sometimes it makes sense to just forget the history.

If the goal is making the best decisions, altering the method so that 
some specific group "gets its way" would seem less than ideal. It's noise.

There can be some value in noise in control systems. A noisy system 
may be able to find states that would escape one that was running on 
a fixed and accurate program.

However, that is probably unusual as a benefit. What *is* important 
is that in public choice systems there be *some* flexibility.

How, indeed, it occurs to me to ask, are we to know who "got their 
way" in a secret ballot system? The presumption might be that the 
"way" was gotten by a party.

It would be just my luck that by the time I wised up and became a 
Republican, the Democrats would get their turn. (Make no assumptions 
about my personal politics from this.)

The system actually works better than it would work otherwise because 
people shift allegiances. Somehow in this discussion it seems to have 
been presumed that "the majority" is some fixed group of people, such 
that it is unfair to "the minority" for the majority to always win.

Readers may know that I favor Range Voting as an election method, 
which does not automatically choose the preference of the majority, 
for it considers preference strength, if the voters choose to express 
it. I've said it before and I'll probably say it again:

The majority properly has the right of decision, but it wisely 
exercises this carefully, with consideration of possible harm done to 

And everyone is a minority of some kind or at some time.

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