[EM] APR (10): Steve?s 10th dialogue with Juho (Steve)

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Dec 19 10:23:57 PST 2014

> On 19 Dec 2014, at 18:14, steve bosworth <stevebosworth at hotmail.com> wrote:

> J:   The 10'000 is of course arbitrary since it is not designed for any particular society. Each society should pick a number that suits its needs.
> S:  Please formulate the method by which any society could “pick” this number without being arbitrary.  APR offers one answer to this question.  Can you think of a better answer?

The decision making body (e.g. a parliament) estimates what would be a suitable number that does not let too many groupings in and leaves no such groupings out that may well win a seat. It would be good to allow also a number of such groupings in that may win seats in some future elections, even if they may not get any seats this time. After one or few first elections the number may be adjusted. The result is not arbitrary, but based on the characteristics of the society in question.
> S:  I see this as too vague to allow our discussion to progress.

I can make the definition simpler: "proper party" = "traditional party". This definition works in all countries that I could quickly think.

> J:   Since the outcome of the primary has a meaningful impact on the outcome of the whole election, this does not solve my problem. Vote buyers, coercers etc. may still have an interest to influence the outcome of the primary.
> >
> S:  It would be hard to predict this impact because voters can reverse all expectations by secretly voting differently in the general election.  If so, do you have any reason to believe that APR would be more vulnerable to such corruption than other system?

Systems that do not support secret voting tend to be vulnerable to vote buyers and coercers. In APR the general election does not cancel all the (important and worth influencing) decisions made in the primary (e.g. the decision on which associations are allowed to participate).

> J:  For example, methods that allow only voting of one candidate are easier to understand.
> S:  Does the fact that APR allows citizens to choose this simplicity rather than being forced into it provide a valid argument against APR in your view?

Yes. The system is still complex, although it would have one rather simple branch too.

> J:   I'm not proposing any alternative systems, just discussing the properties of APR, and if those properties could be improved.
> S:  Unfortunately, you have not yet defined the value you have in mind that would determine what would constitute an “improvement”.  Can you do this now?

No, since there are hundreds of possibilities on what kind of improvements could be made to a voting system.

> J:  And a very difficult to understand system to all.
> S:  Please explain or name the parts of APR that you do not understand, or you believe ordinary citizens would find hard to understand.

Someone already wrote on this list that if it takes days to make the experts on this list understand the system, then APR must be quite difficult to understand to the regular voters.

> J:  I see us as experts, discussing the properties of APR. The decisions will be made by the societies (whose members also we might be) that may take different methods into use. Maybe we can help them in their decision making by providing good methods, and good explanations on how they work.
> S:  Of course, I agree with this aim.  However, I do not see how our dialogue can make any further progress until you find yourself able to define what you mean by “good methods”, what constitutes “improvements”, or are able to describe the practical system that would also be your “ideal”.

You can take my comments one by one, and estimate if the arguments that I give are in your opinion on the right path towards a good method.


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