[EM] List of primary voting projects

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Thu Mar 28 10:39:48 PDT 2013

Thanks for explaining, Richard.

> The algorithm does not attempt to identify when the negotiation
> process is done.  If the participants have a genuine desire to reach
> a mutually satisfactory agreement, then the results will slowly
> converge on an optimum set of approved proposals.  ...

What drives this change (convergence) in the results?  Do some of the
existing participants change their minds and re-rank the proposals?
Or do new participants enter the process and rank the proposals, with
those rankings not subsequently modifiable?

In your case, it might not matter.  Clearly your use cases show an
intention to inform decisions.  And clearly the method tries to do so
through consensus, even if it's not dynamic.  Still I'm curious.


Richard Fobes said:
> On 3/25/2013 10:40 AM, Michael Allan wrote:
> > Sorry if I'm asking a question that was already answered elsewhere.  I
> > haven't followed your postings about VoteFair, because it always
> > seemed to me a static decision tool.
> Not a problem.  All of us are too busy and we have to ignore some messages.
> In VoteFair _negotiation_ ranking, _participants_ rank _proposals_ .
> In the other kinds of VoteFair ranking, which are named using the
> words "popularity", "representation", "party", and
> "partial-proportional", _voters_ rank _candidates_ .
> > Does the VoteFair tool allow vote shifts?  Can you explain how the
> > negotiation aspect works?  I mean just briefly, "People shift their
> > votes, looking at the results, and trying to..."
> Hopefully the following description of VoteFair _negotiation_ ranking
> answers your questions.  If not, feel free to ask more questions.
> You can post the description on your wiki.
> Richard Fobes
> ---- description below ----
> The purpose of VoteFair negotiation ranking is to calculate a 
> negotiation outcome that comes close to what would arise if a consensus 
> process -- with continuous feedback -- were used.  This means that 
> significant-sized minorities get a significant level of influence.  This 
> approach contrasts with methods that allow the majority to have full 
> control.  And it defeats the blocking tactics that work in full 
> consensus negotiations.
> Using the VoteFair negotiation software at www.NegotiationTool.com , 
> each participant ranks all the proposals.  There are three general 
> categories: "liked", "neutral", and "disliked".  Within the liked and 
> disliked categories, each participant ranks the proposals, putting their 
> favorite proposals at the top, and their most-disliked proposals at the 
> bottom.
> When new proposals are added, they appear in the "neutral" category, and 
> the most recent proposal appears at the top of that category.  A 
> participant can then move these new proposals into their "liked" and 
> "disliked" categories, and rank them above the proposals they like less 
> and below the proposals they like more.
> In addition to the need to rank proposals, the software needs to know 
> which of the popular proposals are incompatible with which other popular 
> proposals.  To do so, either an administrator (such as an arbitration 
> expert) can specify incompatibilities, or the participants can vote on 
> incompatibilities (in which case a threshold is involved).
> Based on the rankings and the incompatibilities -- and nothing else -- 
> the algorithm calculates which proposals can be combined into a document 
> or agreement or law, such that the result is likely to be approved by 
> most of the participants, or at least approved by a majority of 
> participants.
> If the early results include proposals that are obviously incompatible 
> with each other, then the incompatibility information needs to be 
> corrected (either by the administrator or by participant voting).  There 
> is no need to exhaustively indicate all possible inconsistencies because 
> lots of proposals will not be popular enough to get into the group of 
> overall-accepted proposals.
> The www.NegotiationTool.com website currently does not support 
> delegation, but the internal software allows for the possibility of 
> specifying more than one vote for participants who are acting on behalf 
> of other, non-voting participants.
> What might be called the "liquid" part of VoteFair negotiation ranking 
> is that participants can add proposals at any time.  If there are lots 
> of participants, the added proposals can be "vetted" (approved for 
> addition) by a neutral administrator, and the administrator can remove 
> proposals that obviously will not be accepted in the calculated results. 
>   The goal here is to keep the number of proposals reasonable.
> The encouraged strategy is to split unpopular proposals into several 
> separate new proposals.  This allows the participants to highly rank the 
> parts they like, and lowly rank the parts they dislike.  The recommended 
> result is designed to produce both gains and concessions for almost all 
> the participants.
> The algorithm does not attempt to identify when the negotiation process 
> is done.  If the participants have a genuine desire to reach a mutually 
> satisfactory agreement, then the results will slowly converge on an 
> optimum set of approved proposals.  An external yes-or-no vote with a 
> majority of yes votes determines when the negotiation is done.
> To see what a participant ranking looks like, and what an overall 
> calculated result looks like, follow these links to an example in which 
> an employer and an employee work out a terms-of-employment contract.
> http://www.negotiationtool.com/cgi-bin/negotiationtool.cgi?accessid=57924-07543-13813&action=showoverallranking
> http://www.negotiationtool.com/cgi-bin/negotiationtool.cgi?accessid=57924-07543-13813&action=showothervoterranking&participantid=3
> The www.NegotiationTool.com website also includes an example in which 
> parliament members choose cabinet members, which is a very challenging 
> negotiation process that the software easily handles.

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list