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

Toby Pereira tdp201b at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Dec 12 10:58:14 PST 2014

Steve (and everyone)
My new posts have no tags.
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.
Well, even under APR, someone's favourite candidate might not be elected. 
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 representation.  
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?
It would be impossible to equalise it completely. But the system I referred you to is an example of a system that uses the difference in representation as the measure it tries to minimise, so it's likely to minimise it better than APR.  
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.  
Again, some system allow it to a greater extent than others. It's not all or nothing.  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?
Happiness isn't guaranteed by having your favourite representative elected. Someone's representative is just one part of a parliament that votes on legislation. In the example I gave, one person would have better representation than the other, so would likely end up with more of their favoured legislation getting passed. That is why a balance of voters' preferences across all MPs is desirable rather than simply having their favourite elected.    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?
Because it gives voters more equal representation overall. People aren't necessarily just obsessed with their one favourite candidate as you seem to suggest. People are likely to have several candidates that they like similarly, and it makes sense for this to be refelected in the voting process.  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.
Surveys could be done to ask voters' ratings of candidates and how they might have voted under different systems. It doesn't guarantee complete honesty but it could still be used to see what results might be under other systems, including the one I linked to. And we could see which gives more balanced/proportional results. I'm not saying that other voters need to know what other voters think.
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.
I do. As above.
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