[EM] Propose plain Approval first. Option enhancements can be later proposals.

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 28 12:13:55 PST 2012


The enhancement consisting of voting options in an Approval election
should only be mentioned when there’s plenty of time to talk, and when talking
to someone who is patient or interested enough to hear that much. And the
enhancements should only be mentioned as possibilities, when speaking to
someone to whom the whole notion of voting-system reform is new.


Maybe that goes for SODA as well. Don’t propose too much
change, when talking to someone new to the subject.


So the method to propose first is ordinary Approval. 


If, in some particular community, there is a committee of
people interested in working on a voting-system reform proposal, then, though
the enhancements might be mentioned to that committee, the suggestion to
include them in a public proposal should come only from other members of the
committee, people new to voting systems. That’s a measure of their enactment-feasibility in that community.


For AOC, MTAOC, etc., I’ve spoken of two kinds of
conditionality :conditionality by mutuality, and conditionality by top-count.
In an Approval election in which the conditional methods are offered as
optional ways of voting, any particular voter could choose which of those two kinds
of conditionality s/he intends to use for any particular conditional vote for
any particular candidate. There’s no reason why a voter couldn’t specify
different kinds of conditionality for conditional votes for different


In the count, the conditionality by top-count should be done
first, and then, when those conditional votes are established, the calculation
for conditionality by mutuality, as described in the MTAOC pseudocode, should
be done.


Of course, if SODA’s delegation is also an option in the
same election, then after the entire count is completed (including AERLO’s 2nd
count if AERLO is offered), then the work of the delegates would begin, just as
it would if SODA’s delegation were the only option enhancement in the election.


Of course, for SODA to work as needed, mutual approval
agreements among candidate-delegates, whether made before or after the
pre-delegate-work count(s), should be public, officially-recorded, and binding.
Of course, one would expect that there would be no need for delegates to make
agreements before the pre-delegate-work count(s).


Since the current poll’s voting period doesn’t end till zero
hours, one minute, on February 1st (Wednesday), GMT (UT), or, in
other-words, at a minute after midnight, Tuesday night,  GMT (UT), 
which is 4:01 p.m. Tuesday, Pacific Standard Time in the U.S., and 7:01 p.m.
Tuesday, Eastern Standard Time—then I’ll mention that of course the
above-described variety of conditionality options should be available in a mock
election too, including the current one.


Yes, I’ve noticed that no one’s participating in the
poll. I was glad to provide you the
opportunity to try out the methods that you advocate. 


On a related subject: The other thing lacking at EM, in
addition to mock elections, is support for claims that a criterion is
important. We hear, “I consider this criterion to be very important”. But such
assertions need to be supported by explanation of _why_ you consider that
criterion important.  Why should others
consider it important? What practical problems are present in non-complying
methods but not in complying methods? What would it be like to vote in a
non-complying method?


That kind of criterion-discussion would make EM a useful
resource for people comparing the merits of voting systems.


As I said, I’ll be putting some definitions of methods,
voting-options, and criteria on the electowiki, and will continue to check EM
and reply when appropriate during that time. 


Mike Ossipoff













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