[EM] Parliamentary compromising strategy

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km_elmet at lavabit.com
Thu Mar 21 14:05:37 PDT 2013

On 03/19/2013 03:08 AM, Richard Fobes wrote:
> I continue to fail to understand why citizens think of politics as a
> left-versus-right tug-of-war. That's what it used to be before special
> interests hired election experts to advise them on how to take advantage
> of vote splitting.
> Now, the much bigger gap is up-versus-down. The vast majority of
> voters are "up" and the biggest campaign contributors are "down."
> (The "downers" are also known as special interests.)

Here, it seems that up vs down compresses a lot more, i.e. resolves 
itself. We're not perfect (by any means), but if income inequality is 
any metric, Norway's Gini coefficient is at around 26 while the United 
States exceeds 40 (and is around the same level as China last I checked).

Although I should be careful not to be blinded by my own position, it 
would seem to me that working political systems provide a tighter link 
to the people. Thus, when the people want redistribution, they're more 
likely to get it. If the connection between those doing the governing 
and those governed is weaker, it's no surprise that the actions of the 
"managers" tilt to their own advantage rather than that of the people.

> Getting back to your prefer-left-of-center-coalition or otherwise
> prefer-right-of-center-coalition scenario, it involves coalitions. I
> advocate letting the political parties themselves be coalitions, and let
> there be fewer of them, and allow the voters to shift those coalitions.
> That reduces the effect of parties having lots of negotiation room in
> the backroom deals that choose coalitions.
> To further reduce the relevance of coalition-building backroom deals,
> VoteFair negotiation ranking would be used by the parliament to make
> laws on an issue-by-issue basis, rather than on a backroom-deal (by the
> coalition leaders) -by-backroom-deal basis.

Okay. So just to see if I got it right, you're saying that instead of 
PR, you'd have larger groups, and then these groups would negotiate 
among themselves, in the open, using the VoteFair method?

> Richard Fobes
>> I was thinking that a better option would be to have some kind of DSV
>> that can make that choice on the voters' behalf. However, this DSV can't
>> act until parliamentary negotiations start, because it doesn't "out of
>> nothing" know the relative strengths of the different groups. And thus,
>> it would seem that the election method would have to formalize some
>> concept of coalitions and parties beforehand, which is undesirable.
>> Either that or use liquid democracy, Asset or some other
>> negotiation-based protocol.
> DSV stand for what?

I didn't see this at first because your name was before it, but DSV 
stands for Declared Strategy Voting. Basically, it's a voting method 
that acts strategically for you so that you (usually) don't have to. In 
the setting of the parliamentary compromising strategy, the left-wing 
voter would rank the left-wing party ahead of the center-right party, 
and then the method would give the vote to the correct party so the 
voter didn't have to hedge his bets.

Strictly speaking, it's possible to out-strategize DSV (or it would have 
been a strategy-proof method, and Gibbard-Satterthwaite and 
Duggan-Schwartz prevents that). But the idea is that the algorithm would 
generally be much better at it.

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