[EM] (4) APR: Steve's 4th dialogue with Richard Fobes

Richard Fobes ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org
Sun Dec 14 21:57:56 PST 2014

On 11/27/2014 2:39 AM, steve bosworth wrote:
> ...
> S: You seem completely to have misunderstood my proposal. ...

If, after reading lots of your writings, I don't correctly understand 
your method, then average voters certainly won't understand it. 
Therefore I suggest that you write a simplified description.

Below is the kind of simple summary that I think would be useful.  The 
summary is, I'm sure, not correct, but it gives you an idea of what kind 
of description I, and presumably others, would find helpful.

Step 1: During each primary election ask voters to rank their preference 
for "associations," where the associations can be formed easily.  If a 
voter prefers not to rank any association beyond their favorite, that 
too is acceptable.

Step 2: After the primary election, count the ballots in a way that 
determines how many legislative seats will be awarded to each 
association.  This counting involves shifting a voter's vote to a 
second-favorite association, or third-favorite association only when 
their favorite association does not receive enough support to get any 
seats [or for other reasons?].  If a voter does not mark even a single 
association, or does not vote in the primary election, then that 
registered voter's support will shift to the association that is 
associated with the district in which the voter lives.

Step 3: At the main election, ask voters to rank their preference for as 
many, or as few, candidates as they prefer.  Each voter can vote for any 
candidate in any association. [...]

Step 4: After the main election, count the ballots to determine which 
candidates win the seats that were awarded to their association.  This 
is done by [...]

Notice that, unlike your descriptions, this sample summary does not 
contain any claims, opinions, judgments, or even intended goals.  You 
already know how to write that kind of promotional material.

After it becomes clearer how your method works, then we can further 
discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your method.

I am keeping this message short (without having copied all of your 
reply) because some forum participants get multiple posts combined into 
a single e-mail message, and those long messages become very difficult 
to read.

In case I forget, your method involves an additional complication that I 
have not yet mentioned.  The fact that seats would be awarded to many 
associations means that a ruling/majority coalition would need to be 
formed, and the process of forming a coalition always involves back-room 
compromises that undermine the most important political priorities of 
many voters.  The long-term solution to this issue is to improve the 
voting methods that are used within the legislature/parliament, and then 
your associations would not need to form a ruling coalition.

My time is limited, hence the long delay to your prior response.

Richard Fobes

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list