[EM] Advanced Voting Systems

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Fri Dec 26 06:04:57 PST 2008

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> "Alienated" should be considered a relative term. Compared to what?

The standard for an *alienable* medium is money.  Spend it, and it's
gone forever.  A vote is like that.  Cast a vote, and it's gone.  Not
quite forever, but for a long time.  (Caveat elector.)

The standard for an *inalienable* medium is human thought, or perhaps
free speech.  I can hold an opinion to myself, and I can also express
it.  Either way it still belongs to me.  If new information comes to
light, I can always change my opinion, and even "take back" what I
said.  Compared to that, voting falls short.  I cannot take my vote
back and I cannot change it, not unless the voting is continuous.

(The distinction is important in social theory.  Alienable media are
associated with intrumental/strategic action, and non-alienable with
communicative action.  Not sure if there's anything in that...)

>> But if the votes were open to recasting in real time...
> It's Delegable Proxy. That is the principal difference between Delegable 
> Proxy -- which is continuously reassignable -- and Asset Voting. ...

Can you point me to the original description of DP?  I'm looking for a
source I can cite.

>                                   ... people understanding that if they 
> give their votes to a massively popular politician, they get far less than 
> they do if they give it to someone they can sit down and talk with on 
> occasion. In the latter case, they gain a communications channel, in the 
> former, they simply support an image they have been presented.

Do you have a citeable source for that, too?

>>   [1]. Lewis Carroll.  1884.  The Principles of Parliamentary
>>        Representation.  Harrison and Sons.  London.
> Carroll was the first I know of to propose votes transferable by the first 
> preference candidate...

And if I understand, that entails *recursive* transfer?  I'll need a
source for that, too.  I'd better read Carroll...

> I haven't been able to find the original pamphlet yet, it's expensive to 
> buy the collection it is in. Eventually, I'll get it.

My library has originals.  If I can make a copy, I'll send it to you.

> I don't know that he realized the deeper implications, that this tweak to 
> STV could become the whole show, and lead to quasi-direct democracy. Once 
> there are electors holding votes, and those votes are cast publicly, the 
> problem of scale that afflicts direct democracy and is generally considered 
> insoluble, is solved -- or reduced by an order or by orders of magnitude.

None of this has been explored, I don't think.

Michael Allan

Toronto, 647-436-4521

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