[EM] Kevin V. and Rich F.
David L Wetzell
wetzelld at gmail.com
Tue Feb 21 12:36:37 PST 2012
> From: Kevin Venzke <stepjak at yahoo.fr>
> To: election-methods <election-methods at electorama.com>
> Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2012 03:01:06 +0000 (GMT)
> Subject: Re: [EM] Kevin V.
> Hi David,
> >>KV:The similarity is that with SODA, you (and like-minded candidates)
> get a benefit even if you don't
> >>win. Under normal methods you have the inherent pressure against running
> clones (that I think we both
> >>agree exists) with little possible benefit in nominating them.
> >dlw: What is the benefit? You might get lucky? There'd be pressure in
> real life against clones running
> >regardless and so the strength of the effect is still an empirical
> The benefits are
> 1. to the candidate: still gets to influence the result even if he loses
> isn't this true as well for IRV?
> 2. to the voter: greater chance of having somebody palatable to vote for
> without wasting the vote
Most election rule alternatives to FPTP make it easier for there to be more
> 3. to the candidate's party: the candidate can attract voters that might
> not have bothered voting if there
> had only been one nominee.
> dlw: If it's really a clone then 2 seem like a stretch. For 1 and 3, why
> not just hire more campaign staff to GOTV?
> They're clones in the sense that they come from the same party and are
> expected to transfer votes to each other
> once they lose.
Okay, so they're clonish.
> I don't understand how you're responding to 1. That point is saying that
> even if I only get 5% of the vote I still
> have some influence in who will win.
1. Who cares about more options for voters if they're fundamentally not
3. And there're lots of ways to increase voter turnout.
> Regarding 3: This is related to 2. If the voter likes Cain and hates
> Gingrich you can't simply hire more staff to make
> him like Gingrich instead.
dlw:You can get photo ops of the two together. If they're close to clones
then that's not that likely...
> The main factor working against nominating clones in most methods is that
> it risks dividing up the voters
> such that they refuse to vote for all the like-minded candidates. If
> voters actually delegate power to a candidate
> (which is a little uncertain) the risk of this is reduced.
> dlw: It also imposes higher costs on voters in terms of getting to know
> the candidates and figuring out that so-and-so are clones...
> Yes, under most methods it does, because the voters would have to list all
> the clones for it to count.
> >>By "difficult to tabulate" I was talking about IRV itself. But no matter:
> >dlw: Maybe that's why I'm pushing IRV+???
> Ok, maybe I should take that literally, that you want to use an approval
> filter because it makes IRV easier
> to tabulate. I don't know what else the lack of example scenarios could
> My motivation is pragmatic, or problem-solving driven, rather than based
> on stylized hypotheticals..
> Ok. In reference to the approval component I can believe that.
> >>KV:Ok, so you are married to IRV or variants because of its "first
> mover" status. Then my question switches
> >>to how the approval rule helps it. Do you have a scenario on-hand that
> shows your method doing something
> >>preferable to what IRV normally would do? I can't think of what the
> expected difference would be, except
> >>when somehow the second-place (on first preferences) candidate isn't
> among the top three approved. Are
> >>you thinking of a Chirac/Jospin/Le Pen scenario (2002 French
> presidential election)? Though that would
> >>not even have happened under IRV.
> >dlw: Speeding up the election and simplifying the use of IRV are enuf to
> justify the use of IRV+ over IRV,
> >especially for bigger elections. It doesn't matter how often it'd get a
> different outcome. There'd be no recursion
> >in the explanation of how it'd work and that'd be one less arg that
> opponents of electoral reform could use
> >against it.
> >Plus, almost all of the args used by advocates of Approval Voting against
> IRV would get watered down...,
> >cuz the simple fact of the matter is that IRV works best with only 3
> I don't buy that second paragraph at all. Contrived IRV bad examples
> usually don't need more than three.
> Do you know one that requires four?
> dlw: Well, it's the least important for me personally of the args, hence
> why it's listed last.
> It's easiest to give bad egs with 3 candidates. That doesn't mean they
> don't also exist for more than 3.
> If you know of examples where order of elimination matters in a cascading
> fashion then that'd make a great example for IRV+.
> As for IRV working best with only 3 candidates, the pathological examples
> emerge only in the relatively rare case of competitive 3 way elections
> and those are relatively rare and not stable so the use of less ranking
> info by IRV relative to Condorcet methods would be less important w. only 3
> candidates and so on...
> I'm not too sure what else can be said, if you're mainly trying to
> simplify a method that you see yourself as forced to pick.
dlw: Well, I think a melding of the attributes of Approval Voting and IRV
can't help but lower the likelihood of the pathologies that opponents of
IRV like to trumpet and so it's worth mentioning in some contexts.
> I don't think that any parties so at odds with the Democrats or
> that they can't run under those labels, are the parties we are looking for.
> I think that if, under whatever rules were in place, there were room for
> contenders in an election, you would find not-too-unfamiliar-looking
> taking the third spot and trying to beat the Ds and Rs. With this
> situation, it
> is at least possible that a general viewpoint (about as coherent as those
> the Ds and Rs) would come together and allow a third "party" including a
> for it.
> dlw: But most voter perceptions are endogenous or manipulated via the
> mis-information that is rampant in politics and those who benefit
> from the current 2-party system own the MSM that is the greatest purveyor
> of mis-information.
> I don't think I have any ideas for addressing this.
Use of 3-seat LR Hare for more "more local" elections wd handicap the
rivalry and enable LTPs to do well with a small fraction of the vote in an
area. They wouldn't need the MSM and could succeed despite its barrage of
misinfo. Then if the LTPs vote together strategically in "less local"
elections then they'd be the swing voters more often than the sheep easily
led astray by misinformation and so the major party candidates would have
to deal with real issues.
> It isn't obvious that a three-way race will still fight over the center
> I am interested to study this, but it seems very hard to study voter
> and nomination strategy at the same time.
> dlw: This is why I'm diffident over results derived from stylized examples
> or simulations, like Bayesian Regret. It's not just a matter of tweaking
> the parameters, the fundamental design of the election is hard to capture
> deterministically w.o. lots of ad hoc assumptions.
> It's good to be skeptical of simulations. But they're useful for showing
> how the world might work given a set of assumptions.
> A lot of assumptions aren't quite right but can be accepted to some extent
> anyway. For instance I typically run elections where 3 candidates
> and the voters are dropped randomly on a 1D spectrum. That's not reality,
> but if a method does badly in that setting, I would still think it's
> worth looking into why.
> If party discipline were strengthened (though I can't imagine how that
> happen) I expect it would force some current Ds and Rs to leave and form
> minor parties. But I don't think this in itself would benefit voters much.
> think it would mean for many that there is even less of a real choice.
> If there's no brand-protection via intra-party discipline then many of our
> perceived choices are not real choices as it is...
> There is some "brand-protection" because you can't get the nomination of a
> party if it doesn't seem that you'll be of any help once elected.
Yeah but that's pretty weak.
> But I prefer not to vote by party label.
I gotta think about the joe-voter who ain't into politics that much and
doesn't have the tools or time to think about all of the candidates and the
hard facts on them and the issues.
A system that mixes multi-winner and single-winner elections so that
there's a contested duopoly wd work well, even if a significant portion of
the voters are low-info.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Richard Fobes <ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org>
> To: Raph Frank <raphfrk at gmail.com>, election-methods at electorama.com
> Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 10:45:26 -0800
> Subject: [EM] Campaign contribution reform
> [pulled out of message below]
> On 2/20/2012 5:18 AM, Raph Frank wrote:
> > I assume you mean campaign contribution reform? That isn't actually
> > an election method.
> As I see it, using better ballots and better counting methods will cut the
> puppet strings that connect politicians to their biggest campaign
> The main reason money matters so much (in politics) is that money can be
> used to win elections through vote splitting (in primary elections),
> gerrymandering (which affects general elections), and media influence. Vote
> splitting and gerrymandering will disappear when well-designed voting
> methods are used. Then money won't matter as much. (Media influence will
> continue, but voters can ignore it.)
> BTW, lobbyists only have influence because they can (when needed) remind
> politicians about the necessity of having lots of campaign funds. As money
> becomes less significant, lobbyists loose power.
> To the extent that money can no longer take advantage of vote splitting
> (mainly in primary elections) and gerrymandering, there isn't so much need
> for reforming campaign financing.
> BTW, this is why I oppose public financing of campaigns. Why should
> taxpayers waste money opposing the money from special interests?
> Using better ballots and better counting methods will eliminate the need
> for reforming campaign contributions, PACs, Super-PACs, etc.
> Keeping in mind that I'm the author of a how-to book on creative problem
> solving, I'll repeat an important point from that book: the best place to
> solve a problem is at the source/root of the problem.
> Richard Fobes
> On 2/20/2012 5:18 AM, Raph Frank wrote:
>> On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM, Richard Fobes
>> <ElectionMethods at votefair.org> wrote:
>>> Another way to understand the second problem is to consider what would
>>> happen if 55% of the voters in a state favor the Republican Party, and
>>> remaining 45% favor the Democratic Party, and there is an even
>>> of these preferences throughout the state. If STV uses 3 seats per
>>> district, the likely result would be that two thirds of the elected
>>> representatives would be Republicans, and only one third would be
>> If they were single seaters, then it would be 100% Republican.
>> Small districts inherently don't give good PR, but a 1/3 to 2/3 split
>> is better than 100% to one, if the votes are 55% to 45%.
>> If STV is used with 4 seats per district, in a (different) state that
>>> strongly favors a third party, the fourth seat would yield unpredictable
>>> results. Here I'm assuming that the first three seats would be filled by
>>> one Republican, one Democrat, and one third-party politician.
>> There would be a little randomness, but it should balance out somewhat
>> when averaged over many districts. Tiny parties would still have a
>> very hard time.
>> 4 seats means a quota of 20%. If both Republicans and Democrats are>
>> 40%, then they both get 2 seat each.
>> An odd number of seats has the feature that if a party gets a majority
>> of the vote, it gets a majority of the seats.
>> In contrast, my view is that first we -- the voters -- need to reclaim
>>> control of the Republican and Democratic parties, and then we can decide
>>> whether we need one or more third parties. (I expect that we will need
>>> small third parties, but that they will primarily serve as a way for
>>> to steer the two main parties in wiser directions.)
>> The issue is that if the 2 parties work together, then they can ignore
>> the voters, since they effectively hold a duopoly.
>> Everyone must choose one or other, so there is relatively little control.
>> With third parties, it is possible for voters to move to one of the
>> third parties. Even if only a small number do it, it still acts on as
>> a check, since each voter who leaves represents loss of power for the
>> Currently, the only way to leave is to switch vote from one party to
>> the other, which is a big step for many people.
>> Remember that state legislatures and Congress use a voting method (for
>>> choosing which proposed laws to pass) that works reasonably well with
>>> two main parties, but that voting method would break down into chaos if a
>>> legislature or Congress had to form coalitions (in order to get a
>>> of support for each proposed law).
>> Certainly, there would need to be changes in the customs/rules of
>> order in the House.
>> The Senate would likely not be PR based anyway, due to the 2 Senator
>> per State rule.
>> Also remember that in Congress (and
>>> presumably in state legislatures) the chairmanship of each committee
>>> switches to a committee member who is from the majority party; there is
>>> graceful way to choose which committees switch their chairmanships to
>>> of three (or more) parties.
>> That could be handled either by having a formal coalition (the
>> coalition agreement would include how to split the chairmanships) or
>> maybe doing it via PR, or some other compromise.
>> You seem to be focused on accommodating a transition to a three-party
>>> system, without also accommodating a later transition back to a two-party
>> PR is unlikely to switch back to a 2 party system. There is little
>> benefit in reducing voter choice. However, if the voters mostly vote
>> for the 2 biggest parties, PR allows it to move back to 2 party.
>> Election-method reform must (first and foremost) cut the puppet strings
>>> currently connect politicians -- of both parties -- to the biggest
>>> contributors ("special interests").
>> That is one of the main points about PR. By giving the voters more
>> choice, they can move their support away from parties that don't
>> represent them well.
>> A 2 party system inherently, only has 2 choice. If a voter hates one
>> party and dislikes the other, then he isn't likely to move his vote to
>> the party he hates.
>> The more voters who are in that situation, the less voter control
>> their is over the party.
>> That alone will change the political
>>> landscape dramatically, and that change might result in a stable
>>> system that all the voters like.
>> I assume you mean campaign contribution reform? That isn't actually
>> an election method.
>> Also, because of the FPTP method, politicians can ignore the public,
>> as long as both parties agree.
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