[EM] Democracy Chronicles, introductions

Richard Fobes ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org
Sun Apr 22 08:07:45 PDT 2012

Adrian Tawfik at Democracy Chronicles requested that I supply him with 
an introduction to myself for the article that contains my answers to 
his interview questions.  I'm thinking that everyone else who also 
answered his interview questions will need to supply an introduction, 
and I figure that all of us will want to elaborate on the brief comment 
that appears next to our name on the Declaration.  As long as we are 
writing introductions that will be published, we might as well also use 
the opportunity to learn more about each other, and share ideas about 
what to write.  Plus, if any of us includes a statement that defies the 
principles of mathematics, such an error can be pointed out prior to 

With that in mind, here is my suggestion for an introductory paragraph 
about me:

-------- begin intro --------

Richard Fobes, who has a degree in physics (and whose last name rhymes 
with robes), became involved with election-method reform when he 
realized, while writing his book titled "The Creative Problem Solver's 
Toolbox" [link], that most of the world's problems can be solved, but 
the current voting methods used throughout the world are so primitive 
that citizens are unable to elect the problem-solving leaders they want. 
That insight motivated him to spend time over the last two decades 
developing -- including writing open-source software for -- a system of 
voting methods that he calls "VoteFair ranking." The core of the system 
is VoteFair popularity ranking, which is mathematically equivalent to 
the Condorcet-Kemeny method, which is one of the methods supported by 
the "Declaration of Election-Method Reform Advocates."

At his VoteFair.org [link] website, Fobes offers a free service of 
calculating VoteFair ranking results, and a number of organizations have 
used the service to elect their officers. The only people who have 
objected to the results have been incumbents who failed to get reelected.

At that site Fobes also hosts an American Idol poll that allows fans of 
the TV show to rank the show's singers according to who is their 
favorite, who is their second favorite, and so on down to who they like 
the least, and the calculations reveal the overall ranking. Based on the 
results, Fobes writes commentaries that anticipate and explain so-called 
"surprise" results in terms of important voting concepts, especially 
vote splitting, vote concentration, and strategic voting.

-------- end intro --------

Richard Fobes

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