[EM] Trees and single-winner methods
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
abd at lomaxdesign.com
Wed Mar 14 23:44:59 PDT 2007
At 01:23 PM 3/14/2007, Chris Benham wrote:
>I reject this on the same grounds that I reject the "candidate
>withdrawal option" (in say IRV) and
>"Asset Voting": I am only interested in single-winner methods where the
>result is purely determined (as far as possible) by voters voting,
>and not by the machinations of candidates/parties.
To be consistent, Chris should likewise reject deliberative process,
and he should reject proxy voting. Asset Voting is merely proxy voting.
Further, he should reject all pre-election process, including the
processes by which candidates are nominated, as they are likewise
"the machinations of candidates/parties." Only pure voting would be
allowed. No consultation through coalitions of voters.
Public elections without such pre-election process are rather
difficult to imagine as being something desirable.
Further, Chris should reject parliamentary government, where leading
governmental officers are elected by representatives of the people
rather than directly.
Asset Voting allows voters total freedom. As Asset has been
described, any voter can either vote for a proxy or can vote for
himself or herself and thus participate directly in the next stage.
While Asset has typically been described as using candidates as
proxies (which seems reasonable to me, particularly if ballot access
is relatively easy), if write-in votes are allowed, the freedom of
the voter is totally unrestricted.
Given how desirable this would seem (and, as proxy voting, it must be
noted that the precedent is firmly established: it is what people do
when they have choices, as did investors when corporations were
originally formed), the objection would seem to be technical: Asset
is not a complete "election method," it begs the question as to how
the final determination is made. Thus, it might be argued, it is
irrelevant here, we should only talk about "election methods."
Yet, of course, Asset *would* be a procedure whereby a society can
select from a multitude of choices, the one (or more) to be adopted.
What would Chris think about Asset used for multiwinner elections? In
particular, we have proposed using Asset to create full proportional
representation, and have suggested that this could be used to create
an assembly which would have nearly all voters with a known
representative (known to the voter, and chosen by the voter directly
or indirectly), whom the voter's vote elected, and who would usually
represent a geographic district, completely independently of "party
machinations," unless the voter elects to chose candidates who are
party-affiliated. Because Asset wastes no votes, *anyone* can run and
receive votes without harm.
(The only "harm" would be if the candidate only gets one vote, his or
her own vote, and the harm is that the canddidate has wasted his
time: he will have to participate further, or waste the vote.)
Frankly, I find it difficult to imagine an objection to this process
used to create a fully representative assembly beyond one like "It
will never fly, people won't go for something so different from what
And it would seem that Chris' objection to Asset is basically an
objection to representative democracy entirely. Yet the very concept
of a single-winner election, where the winner is to represent or make
decisions on behalf of the voters, is that of representative
democracy, though boiled down to a single winner (and single-winner
district-based assemblies are a series of such elections).
What's the problem? Is it the pedantic one of "Asset isn't an
election method as I define it," or is it more substantial?
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