[EM] it's pleocracy, not democracy

Jobst Heitzig heitzig-j at web.de
Mon Mar 5 03:24:55 PST 2007

Dear Abd-ul Rahman,

you wrote:
> If the system does not allow majority rule, my
> experience as well as theory indicate that the result is not
> democracy, but oligarchy, whenever the status quo favors a minority.

What theory tells you that Random Ballot results in oligarchy? Oligarchy 
means a known small number of people always get their will. That's 
exactly the opposite of Random Ballot in which *no* group however large 
is favoured.

> "Majority rule" does not refer to a specific group of people, the
> "majority" who rule over others who have no power. 

Yes it does. It refers to that specific group who decides to use the 
system to get their will regardless of what the rest wants. That group 
is as "specific" as any other group. For "specificity" it doesn't 
matter whether the group is defined by sex, by age, or by equal 
preference, it only matters that it is a group defined by sharing a 
certain property.

As to D2MAC, you wrote:
> >The method D2MAC aims to improve upon this. It is: Draw two ballots
> > at random; the winner is the most approved option of those approved
> > on both ballots, if such an option exists, or else the top option
> > on the first ballot.
> If you must make a decision, extrapolate this method to the maximum
> condition. Hold an Approval election, and the most approved method on
> all ballots is implemented. Unless no option has majority approval.
> Why would we expect the outcome to be better if we limit it to two
> ballots?

You missed the main point, I guess: 

A true democratic method must let each voter control "her" share of the 
winning probability. Random Ballot and D2MAC do this since voter x's 
share of the probability will definitely go to one of those options 
approved by x. 

Approval Voting does the opposite: Just like any other majoritarian 
method, it lets a majority snatch away all the power from the minority 
and give their favourite 100% of the winning probability.

Yours, Jobst
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