[EM] APR (9): Steve's 9th dialogue with Toby (Steve)

steve bosworth stevebosworth at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 10 12:03:41 PST 2014

APR (9):  Steve's 9th dialogue with Toby (Steve) 

Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 19:27:23 +0000

From: tdp201b at yahoo.co.uk

To: stevebosworth at hotmail.com; election-methods at lists.electorama.com

Subject: Re: APR (8a): Steve’s 8th dialogue with Toby(Steve)

 To Toby (and others) from Steve:


T: My best
definition of proportionality is that you have perfect proportional
representation if every voter has exactly the same amount of representation as
each other. Different non-perfect results can be compared in terms of average
squared distance from full proportionality for each voter. Read the method
description from this post on approval voting http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.politics.election-methods/24572
but it can also be adapted to score voting based on voter utilities.


S: Thank you
for this reference.


T:  Of course, you may argue that under APR every
voter does have exactly the same amount of representation, but I'd argue that
this is simplistic because while each voter has their "official"
representative and the same amount of official representation  ,….


S: Yes, and also
from the MP they most trust.  This does not
seem to be able to be guaranteed by any other system.


T: …..they are
also effectively represented by every other representative that has views that
they agree with. Because of this, some voters can by chance end up with better


S:  Yes.  You
say that “by chance”, an APR voter might also be “effectively represented by
every other representative that has views that they agree with. Because of
this, some voters can by chance end up with better representation.”  Yes, but am I correct in saying that every
electoral system would seem to allow such extra representation to occur by chance
for some voters?  Do you see this as a
problem?  If so, why?  


T:  My example where APR is supposed to be
indifferent between [some] different results does depend on a voter being able
to indicate equal preferences, which might not be possible under APR…


S: Correct.


T: …. but my
point was that if I equally like candidates A, B and C, then if according to a
particular system I am represented by just one candidate then it could equally
be A, B or C.


S: Yes.


T:  ……That way, if I like ABC and you like ABD,
then I could be represented by C and you could be represented by A. We are both
fully satisfied with our own representative, but I like yours more than you
like mine so I have a better deal.


S: Yes, but if
every system allows such “deals” sometimes to happen by chance, then it’s not a
reason to favour one system over another. 


T:  But to change it slightly, we might be forced
into a strict preference, so I rank C>B>A, even though they are the same
to me. You rank A>B>D. I get C and you get A. APR doesn't know that I would
be equally happy with A.


S: Correct, APR
doesn’t know this but it has guaranteed happiness for us both.  If a system can guarantee this, why is it so
important to you that you have a system that would know this, even when it could
not guarantee that each citizen will be represented by their favourite or
equally favourite MP?



T: Ranked
systems in general don't know, whereas score systems give details about [equal]
intensity of preference, and approval systems at least give voters the chance
to say that they approve or not of a candidate.


S: Again, why
is this more important to you than being guaranteed representation by your most
trusted MP?


T: Obviously it
would be interesting to know in practice how people would vote using score and
approval systems (how honest their scores would be)…….


S: Yes, perhaps
“interesting” for academic an observer of an election, especially if he had
discovered a method for discovering such honesty.  However, why would any voter prefer this
knowledge about other people if, at the same time, it requires a system that cannot
guarantee that his own vote will be added to the weighted vote of his favourite
MP?  In any case, each citizen already has
this knowledge about themselves.


T:  …… but these are at least potential
disadvantages of APR,


S: In the light
of the above, do you still see any “potential disadvantages of APR”?  It so, please list and describe them.

 S: I look forward to your clarifications.


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