[EM] What is the ideal election method for sincere voters?

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Thu Mar 8 07:40:56 PST 2007

At 04:47 AM 3/8/2007, Scott Ritchie wrote:
>If we could reduce elections down to two candidates efficiently, we
>wouldn't even need to discuss voting systems.

That is correct. Indeed, this is the appeal of Condorcet, it *seems* 
that it reduces elections to a series of such contests. But, 
unfortunately, it does not, and sequence matters, in fact.

However, in practice, we *do* reduce elections down to two 
candidates, under almost all present conditions. We do it rather badly, though.

Now, key word: "efficiently." We *could* reduce elections to two 
candidates, and we could do it well, that is, we could optimize the 
outcome quite strongly, using standard deliberative process. But, on 
a large scale, this process becomes quite inefficient. The "traffic" 
grows exponentially with size.

However, Delegable Proxy and similar solutions could theoretically 
address this problem.

For example, Asset Voting. The secret ballot election is actually 
similar to a primary where delegates are elected. The delegates will 
make the actual decision (with a primary, whom to run as a 
candidate). And with Asset as we generally propose it, any voter can 
effectively nominate a delegate and give this delegate his or her 
vote. (This is why Asset is like DP.)

Assembly formation through requiring a quota of votes to participate, 
but then allowing candidates with unused votes to redistribute them 
at will, is one device for creating an assembly that could then use 
deliberative process to determine a winner.

Note that deliberative process is *not* necessary for representation, 
it is really only necessary for officers or for "representation" 
where a very limited number of representatives are elected.

Delegable Proxy is more flexible than Asset, though Asset becomes DP, 
in fact, when DP is used in the post-election process. We have 
usually used the term Asset to refer to single-winner or to peer 
assembly elections, where every member has the same voting power.

A DP assembly would have variable voting power for members, and thus 
could accomodate deeper representation within a given assembly size.

Which is better depends on how important it is for members to have 
equal voting power. It is certainly the tradition.

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