[EM] Trees by Proxy

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Wed Mar 28 22:14:30 PDT 2007

Abd has started a related thread:  Path to a Proxy Legislature

On Wed, 28 Mar 2007 12:32:53 -0400 Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> At 04:07 AM 3/28/2007, Dave Ketchum wrote:
>> On Tue, 27 Mar 2007 11:32:01 -0400 Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
>>> Sorry. He referred to a specific time before the effectiveness of a 
>>> revocation of proxy. That establishes a minimum term of office.
>> Not quite, assuming that is minimum time for a legislator to BE a 
>> legislator.  Try:
>>      Tomorrow AM proxies get filed for A.
>>      Tomorrow 1 PM same givers file for B in place of A.
>>      Next day same givers file for C in place of B.
>> Since proxies take effect at midnight, ten days after filing, A
>> never gets to be a legislator via these proxies.
> Sorry, *once a legislator has been elected,* and has been sitting for 
> some time (at least ten days), then he has a minimum term of office, 
> which is ten days from the date of revocation. That's what I meant. Yes, 
> it could

If legislator was already sitting, my 10 days means currently elapsed plus 
10 days.  Terms range from A's zilch to rest of life whenever proxies 
support that.

> By the way, the result that Ketchum gave, that A would never take 
> office, was not at all clear from the rules he stated. If the revocation 
> isn't effective until 10 days after filing, A would take office for one 
> day. That *is* what he wrote. 

      Assuming A would take office May 10, then
      B, with proxies filed the same day, would take office May 10, 
leaving A no time to hold office.
      C with proxies filed the next day, would take office May 11.

>> B holds office for ONE day before being replaced by C (assuming B and 
>> C hold no proxies other than these).
>>>>  A proxy giver can change the proxy AT ANY TIME.
>> We are fighting over the meaning of words.  Hopefully the above
>> example will clarify what I am proposing.
> If words aren't important, Mr. Ketchum, don't fight over them.
>>> Here is what Ketchum wrote originally:
>>>> Borrow proxies fresh from corporate stockholder usage.  Their
>>>> effectiveness starts at midnight 10 days after filing; ends 10
>>>> days after a replacement is filed or signer dies.
>> A thought for Abd:  Assume you thought of being a county legislator. 
>> Suppose you then got a call:  "Hey, Abd, proxies have been filed so 
>> you have a job - be down here in TEN MINUTES to take your seat, ready 
>> to vote."
> First of all, this is an insane scenario. Remember, I have my own proxy 
> filed. Is this delegable proxy? If it is, *my proxy* gets whatever votes 
> have just been given to me, until and unless I show up.

Gets tricky with our minds in different worlds - Abd could have filed what 
I call a "Sideways proxy".  I assumed he had not - perhaps because he had 
found no one to trust.

As to his having sat in on the legislature with no strength beyond 
the minuscule direct vote that might exist if he had got that into the 
rules, he more likely would have stuck with whatever he does in real life.

The real topic here is whether new legislator terms start the instant 
someone gets enough proxies filed, or seats change with enough advance 
notice for those involved to make needed adjustments.

> Ketchum has here given an example of a possible problem from immediate 
> effectiveness of proxies. I'm suggesting that it isn't a problem at all, 
> not if the rules are appropriate. And I am far less concerned about 
> delay in a proxy becoming effective than I am about the reverse. If my 
> vote isn't counted, that is a small problem. If my vote is counted 
> against my specific wishes, that is a large problem. And we were talking 
> about revocation of proxies, not of the effectiveness of new ones.

If a change in proxies means different delays between the old proxy ending 
and the new one taking effect, the legislature will have either:
      A period with no support for those voters, or
      A period when those voters will have double representation.

>> Presently we elect most legislators in Nov., they take office a few 
>> weeks later, and we are stuck with them for a year or more.
> Yes. So Ketchum's proxy legislature is apparently an improvement over 
> existing practice. But that doesn't say much, when we are comparing 
> alternate reforms. IRV is an improvement over Plurality. Does this mean 
> that we should all be out there advocating IRV? I don't think so. There 
> are better and simpler reforms.
> And that is what I'm proposing. Ketchum, so far, has not alleged one 
> cogent reason for maintaining proxies beyond the consent of the voter.

I am not doing such - our languages are simply different.

> If it's an insignificant detail, why does he so stubbornly insist upon 
> his revocation period? I think it *is* significant. A proxy should be a 
> proxy!
>> Switching to election by proxy is an enormous change and deserves 
>> giving it a chance without turning upside down things that are not a 
>> necessary part of that.

Direct voting would be a complication that would make the basic proposal 
harder to evaluate.  Such comparatively minor changes could be considered 
by themselves later.

>> There is nothing magic about exactly ten days, and this would deserve 
>> review as part of planning to make the switch.
>> Also, at least in New York, our Constitution specifies that VOTERS 
>> must approve before certain legislative actions can take place.  Our 
>> laws restrict others.
>> Legislatures properly enact their own rules for details, but do have 
>> to live under the above.
>> Abd mentions corporate activity, apparently not noticing that stockholders
>> generally meet to do their activity once per year.
>>>>  I specify a delay between filing the change and it's taking effect 
>>>> because I see the legislature needing to know the effects coming up 
>>>> in time to make adjustments - including such as new legislators 
>>>> preparing to be legislators before the day they start doing.
>>> What adjustments? What "preparation?" Proxy assignments affect the 
>>> *votes* of legislators, not how they prepare to vote. Yes, we have 
>>> proposed that floor rights depend on the number of proxies held, but 
>>> this is an all-or-nothing assignment, and is presumably based on 
>>> status at a certain point in time. Changing the *number* of votes 
>>> held by a legislator with floor rights need not have any immediate 
>>> effect on those rights.

Also, legislators HAD BETTER not vote until they have at least 
an opportunity to understand what topic is being voted on (rather than 
copying the US Congress which is too much in a habit of voting without 
bothering to understand).

>> He did not get ANY rights until he got to hold enough proxies.
> That's a proposed rule. Not a bad one. But it does not follow from this 
> rule that he *loses* rights immediately just because he loses a few 
> votes. My language was precise, and apparently wasted. "need not have 
> any immediate effect on those rights."
>>   I do propose getting voting rights on less proxies than for floor 
>> rights - which usually would mean paying attention to floor activity 
>> in order to vote intelligently before getting floor rights.

  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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