[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Thu Jul 19 09:43:46 PDT 2012

Good Morning, Juho

Juho: "... being able to influence through the chain of electors
        offers a useful communication / influence channel between
        the bottom level voters and their representatives."

Fred: "It also gives the people meaningful participation in the
        political process, way beyond voting for candidates
        controlled by political parties."

Juho: "Yes, voters could be interested in participating this way.
        But I note that quite similar chains of influence could be
        used in more party controlled systems too."

That's incorrect.  As a matter of fact, it's a contradiction.  As 
Michael Allan pointed out, parties do not allow party members to change 
their leaders' dictates.  That's why he's seeking a 'public' party, 
where the leaders cannot control the members.

When raising funds, parties commit to enact laws sought by the 'donors' 
who underwrite the party's operation.  Party leadership cannot let the 
members invalidate those commitments.  Hence, control is mandatory and 
meaningful participation by the party members is impossible.

re: "I'm not sure if I got the full picture, i.e. how the system
      would work."

I'm not sure if I can give you a picture you'll understand, but let's 
try this:  Imagine three candidates with these sets of convictions (and 
effective persuasiveness) on ten issues:

(M m M C c C m M L L)   (C M m c l C M l l C)   (M L c l C c L c L l)
  -------------------     -------------------     -------------------
   C = strongly conservative
   c = moderately conservative

   L = strongly liberal
   l = moderately liberal

   M = strongly moderate
   m = moderately moderate

and where, for estimating the candidate's bias, a value of 1 is assigned 
to the lower case letters and a value of 2 is assigned to the capital 

The first candidate:    MmMCcCmMLL
   a conservative rating of 5 on 3 issues
   a liberal rating      of 4 on 2 issues
   a moderate rating     of 8 on 5 issues
                           17 Intensity rating

The second candidate:   CMmclCMllC
   a conservative rating of 7 on 4 issues
   a liberal rating      of 3 on 3 issues
   a moderate rating     of 5 on 3 issues
                           15 Intensity rating

The third candidate:    MLclCcLcLl
   a conservative rating of 5 on 4 issues
   a liberal rating      of 8 on 5 issues
   a moderate rating     of 2 on 1 issues
                           15 Intensity rating

As a group, the attitude bias is slightly conservative
    Conservative   5 + 7 + 5 = 17
    Liberal        4 + 3 + 8 = 15
    Moderate       8 + 5 + 2 = 15

and the first candidate is slightly more intense (persuasive) than the 
other two, who are approximately equal:  17 to 15 and 15

If these three individuals were to compete with each other to select one 
of the three as a representative of the group, and given an extended 
period of time to familiarize themselves with each other and their 
points of view, each of them will modify (however slightly) their views 
on some issues, depending on the force of the arguments presented by 
their peers (that's called 'learning').

For example (and with absolutely no justification except as an 
illustration), in the course of examining the issues, it is possible the 
soundness of some or all of the third candidate's position on the second 
issue (where the first candidate is moderately moderate, the second 
candidate is strongly moderate and the third candidate is strongly 
liberal), will cause the first candidate's attitude to change from 
modestly moderate to modestly liberal - in spite of the slight 
conservative bias of the group.

In other words, the candidates (whether party candidates, or not) will 
proclaim their ideas and encourage discussion of their concepts.  Some 
of their ideas will be accepted, in whole or in part, as they are shown 
to be in the common interest of the community.

Note that we cannot predict, from the information given, which candidate 
will be chosen by the group.  Although we rated the first person as 
slightly more persuasive than the other two, we don't know what defects 
the others may find in that individual during an extended period of 
face-to-face interaction.


More information about the Election-Methods mailing list