[EM] Pitching Unity08 on "Preferential Voting"

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sat Mar 31 09:09:53 PDT 2007

I looked at this organization and what they are doing is replicating 
the system that is known not to work. It is much more than the 
plurality voting, it is the very idea of single-winner elections for 
representatives or delegates. I don't have time to promote Delegable 
Proxy to these people, but it *would* be exactly the solution to the 
problem. Unfortunately, Not Invented Here is a powerful 
counter-argument. Still, we try.

(Representative Democracy won't really live up to its name until 
representatives are *chosen*, not elected, for elections almost 
inherently leave some people unrepresented except by a rep chosen by 
"others." You'll think that impossible if you don't know about 
delegable proxy -- or don't independently realize that the basic 
solution has been used in business for centuries.)

At 12:41 AM 3/31/2007, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
>Long time no see -- I was active here a couple years ago[1].  I'm
>writing to ask your help encouraging Unity08[2] to implement some
>form of ranked-choice voting (aka "Preferential Voting"):
>rather than the usual first-past-the-post system they're currently
>Because of their use of Internet technology, and the large number of
>candidates expected, this seems an ideal forum for promoting more
>balanced election methods.
>If you are a U.S. citizen, and you agree with me, I'd appreciate your
>help.  If you have any suggestions for how to concisely pitch the
>idea to them, that would also be welcome.

I don't agree. Ranked methods are inherently defective, though some 
are better than others, especially those which can impute preference 
strength and use it. However, if preference strength is used, the 
method must not be Condorcet-compliant! The problems of Unity08 are 
much deeper than the election method. They don't understand the 
problem, so the solutions they propose are merely going to result in 
one of two things: they will fail, having wasted a lot of energy, 
creating more reform burnouts, or they will succeed, in which case 
they will change the faces of the actors but not the script of the 
play, which is written into the system's structure. And which they 
are reproducing in general outlines if not in detail.

It's not surprising. Many others have tried the same thing. Perhaps 
you'd think we would learn. But hope springs eternal. Maybe this time 
Lucy won't pull the football.

No, we need something *else*.

"If we want to change the world, it has to be easy."

And, I will add, simple.

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