[EM] Trees and single-winner methods

Chris Benham chrisjbenham at optusnet.com.au
Thu Mar 15 09:48:22 PDT 2007

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

>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.

This like me saying "I don't like pepper and salt on my dessert" and you 
replying "To be consistent,
you should not put pepper and salt on your steak".

Asset Voting is not "merely proxy voting". The voters are compelled to 
choose candidates as their
proxys, who then become privileged super-voters. And in any case I don't 
support proxy voting
for public political elections.

>What would Chris think about Asset used for multiwinner elections?
Bad, but less so.

> 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.

A radical scheme that doesn't compromise voter sovereignty in the 
election process would be
to have the voters rank the candidates in large multi-member districts 
and IRV-style eliminate
candidates one at a time and transferring preferences until the desired 
number of candidates
remain. They are all elected, with the weight of their future votes in 
the legislature being
equal to their final vote tally.

>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?

For Abd, that is close enough.

Chris Benham

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