[EM] Voting systems theory and proportional representationvssimple representation. (Abd ul-Rahman Lomax)
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sat Mar 20 19:18:50 PDT 2010
At 06:56 PM 3/20/2010, Kathy Dopp wrote:
>I have not had enough time to study this in depth but would personally
>support this method only if it were counted using a Condorcet-like
>method and thus avoids all the flaws such as nonmonotonicity, and
>unequal treatment of voters' that STV exhibits. I don't know what the
>best method would be to count these, but this system sounds good if it
>were monotonic and equitable, therefore STV counting methods would not
>work, but I don't claim to know the best method to use to ensure
>approximate proportional representation that is simple enough to count
>to make it easily audited for accuracy and is fair to all voters and
We are so accustomed to the problems of single-winner elections that
we fail to notice that multiwinner elections, where accurate
representation is the goal, operate under almost completely different
criteria, at least for the bulk of the representatives.
Single Transferable Vote used for proportional representation isn't
an ordinary election. Why does every voter only get one vote? Think
about it, please! In Plurality-at-large, often used for multiwinner
here, every voter gets as many votes as there are seats to be filled.
How does that work?
In a well-run STV election, with enough seats and not way too many
candidates, seats start to be assigned before there are any
eliminations. All these seats are clearly appropriate! Every one is
given to a candidate who was preferred by a quota of voters.
I have not described how candidate proxy would work in an STV
election, and I don't like candidate list, precisely because the
rigidity requires circumstances where there might be monotonicity and
other failures. I just think that candidate list is better than party list.
In candidate proxy, otherwise known as Asset Voting, there would
really not be any eliminations. Rather, there would just be the
creation of seats by the assemblage of a quota of votes. If the quota
is V/N, the Hare quota, what can happen is that there are unassigned
seats, which means there are unused votes. Any time those holding
those votes can assemble a quota, a new seat is created. It's a
deliberative process, negotiation.
STV is, however, much better for PR than it is single-winner. The
problems arise with the last elections, and the very last one is, in
fact, just an IRV election. Candidate list would allow completion
without ballot exhaustion, and good voting strategy by the candidates
would really prevent most problems. Vote for someone who uses bad
strategy? Well, you voted for the person to sit in the Assembly or
whatever, that would be even worse, surely!
Please understand this: for proportional representation, it is a goal
that is not utterly ridiculous that every seat is elected
unanimously. The PR Method assembles the coalitions that do that.
Candidate and party list STV, with as many seats per district as
possible, would be better than any other method currently in use for
public elections. Condorcet methods don't apply to multiwinner, not
on the principle of preferred or chosen representation, which is not
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