[EM] Why I think IRV isn't a serious alternative 2

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Tue Dec 30 20:00:56 PST 2008

At 12:55 PM 12/30/2008, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
>Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
>>However, consider this: the Plurality voting system (FPTP) 
>>encourages compromise already. There would have been more sincere 
>>first preference votes. My guess, though, is that the use of, say, 
>>Bucklin, would have resulted in *at least* half of those 
>>pluralities becoming a majority, possibly more. However, this is 
>>the real effect of the system described:
>>In maybe one election out of 10, were it top two runoff, the result 
>>would shift, which, I contend, is clearly a more democratic result. 
>>There might be a slightly increased improvement if the primary 
>>method weren't top two Plurality, majority win, but a method which 
>>would find a Condorcet winner or at least include that winner in a 
>>runoff. How much is it worth to improve the result -- it could be a 
>>very significant improvement -- in 10% of elections?
>>I'd say it's worth a lot!
>I'd also say that even if you had a magic "best utility" 
>single-winner method, it wouldn't be the right method to use in a 
>parliamentary context. If a majority of the voters agree with some 
>position (and we discard gerrymander-type effects, intentional or 
>not), then the parliament will agree with that position, 
>unanimously. Hence... PR is needed.

I was considering single-winner context. Yes. For representation, 
single-winner is, almost guaranteed, a nondemocratic proposition. If 
I have to contend with you to determine who represents the two of us, 
it can't be said that whoever wins actually represents us both. Only 
if I can choose my representative can I be truly said to be represented fairly.

STV methods approach this, but Asset simply does it. I choose the 
"candidate" I most trust, there isn't any reason to vote for anyone 
else. I can, perhaps, even register as an elector-candidate and vote 
for myself, if I'm willing to go to the trouble of participating in 
further process.

And then this person will either end up representing me in the 
assembly, or will, again, choose the person who does end up in the assembly.

In an Asset system, it may not be necessary that the votes be "passed 
on," as in a delegable proxy system. Rather, the electors would 
negotiate, and when enough of them agree with each other on the 
identity of the seat, they register the required quota of votes and 
it is done. I've been recommending the Hare quota, not the Droop 
quota, because it is theoretically possible that all the votes would 
be used; the Droop quota assumes wasted votes.

Further, because I'm looking to the possibility that electors might 
be able to vote directly in the Assembly, the voting power of the 
seats is equal to the summed voting power of the votes transferred by 
the supporting electors to the seat. Because it's very likely that 
*some* votes will be wasted, i.e., won't create a seat, for some 
reason or other, I'd rather aim for a number of seats but tolerate 
that normally, there would be a vacancy. There might be even more 
than one! If the electors can vote directly, they actually don't lose 
that much if they are unable to elect a seat. If they can vote by 
proxy, it's almost as good! -- but they wouldn't have deliberative 
rights, just voting rights.

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