[EM] Steve's comments on Kristofer's Topic 1: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 125, Issue 1

steve bosworth stevebosworth at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 3 03:04:34 PST 2014

Steve’s comments Kristofer’s
Message 1 below:

From: election-methods-request at lists.electorama.com

> Subject: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 125, Issue 1

> To: election-methods at lists.electorama.com

> Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2014 12:01:11 -0700


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> election-methods at lists.electorama.com


Today's Topics:


> 1. Re: Associational Proportional Representation (APR)

> (Kristofer Munsterhjelm) 26 (Kristofer Munsterhjelm)

> 2. Re: Sincere Range and Approval (Kristofer Munsterhjelm)

> 3. Re: Preferential Party-List Proportional Representation

> (PPLPR) (Vidar Wahlberg)



> ----------------------------------------------------------------------


> Message: 1

> Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2014 09:16:03 +0100

> From: Kristofer Munsterhjelm <km_elmet at t-online.de>

> To: Forest Simmons <fsimmons at pcc.edu>, EM

> <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>

> Subject: Re: [EM] Associational Proportional Representation (APR)

> (Kristofer Munsterhjelm) 26

> Message-ID: <545496C3.1010101 at t-online.de>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed


> On 10/31/2014 11:32 PM, Forest Simmons wrote:

> >

> > Kristofer wrote ...

> >

> > (huge skip)

> >

> > This raises the question of where the optimal winners for weighted PR

> > should be placed. In particular, in an 1D spatial model (left-right

> > axis), it seems fair that the respective winners get a weight equal

> > the proportion of voters that are closer to them than to anybody

> > But now we're much more free to place the winners anywhere on the

> > because the relative weight will sort itself out by the definition

> > (unlike ordinary unweighted multiwinner elections). 

> >>Steve (S):  Yes, also with
APR, “the relative weight will sort itself out”.  However, APR’s sorting out would be exactly
proportionate to the ranking of all electors, and reflecting their different
scales of values.  Would such elected
reps be “optimal winners” in your view? 
They might not be at all adequately described simply by reference to
some “left-right axis”.


>>>S:  Again, as EM has not yet had the time to decide whether or not to add the content
of my draft article describing how APR would work (‘Positive Voting
Guaranteed’), I would be happy to send it to any reader who requests it
(stevebosworth at hotmail.com).


> > The reasoning that we prefer moderates (but not too moderate ones) to

> > extremists to minimize tension could be codified like this: minimize

> > sum of distances from voters to their representative.


>>>S:  I need clarification of this preference for “moderates
… to minimize tension”.  Rather than a legislative assembly composed
of members who freely reflect the full range of all citizens’ views and values,
this preference for moderates may lead to the desire to construct an electoral
system that will limit and channel citizens to elect a “moderate” legislative
assembly.  Such a system could inevitably
leave a number of citizens feeling that their votes are wasted, their concerns
not respected.


In contrast,
APR is designed to maximize the electoral freedom of all citizens – to allow each
citizen to vote positively, to allow eachhe member most trusted by that citizen.embly'ote positively -- to elect an
assembly dominated by " to guarantee that his or her vote will
continue to count in the assembly’s deliberations through the ‘weighted vote’
given to the member most trusted by that citizen.


This freely
given trust of each member would seem maximally to enable the assembly to start
and continue its  debates and deliberations
while appreciating the real range of concerns and values of all citizens.  APR would maximize the chances that each
member would both be fully aware of the views of her electors and of the conflicting
views represented by the other members. 
Such awareness would seem to provide an essential condition for the formation
of a productive working majority in the assembly – a majority based on a
sufficient unity of rational syntheses and pragmatic compromises formed by its
members.  This unity would seem to be best
placed to produce the coherent legislation needed to help solve the country’s
problems, as well as conforming as much as possible to the different scales of
values held by all citizens.


Of course, those
desiring “moderates” might see such “a unity of rational syntheses and
pragmatic compromises” as what they also want (I think you might want this
given your much later reference to a “more moderate society.”).  If so, it seems to me that APR would have the
best chance of electing members of the assembly who are sufficiently trusted by
the electorate to construct and sustain this unity in the legislation they

> >

> >

> > It seems to me that methods like APR that rely exclusively on ordinal

> > information (rankings) cannot detect "distances." For that
we need some

> > measure of intensity of preference like that provided by Approval and

> > other Score based methods.


>>>S:  Perhaps I need more explanation of what you
mean by “distance” here.  As I understand
it currently, APR would “minimize the sum of distances from voters to their
representative”.  It would do this
because it allows each citizen to guarantee that their vote will continue to
count in the legislature through the weighted vote given to the rep most
trusted by that citizen.

> I'm not sure, actually. Consider Condorcet on a 1D spatial model. By 

> Black's single-peakedness theorem, the candidate closest to the median 

> is the CW, and the median is the single point that minimizes the sum of 

> distances to every other point along the line. Yet Condorcet has no idea 

> of distance beyond what the ranked votes tell it.


> It might be the case that this can't be generalized to multiwinner 

> methods. But it does at least show that it's not obviously impossible.


Am I correct in understanding that “Black's single-peakedness theorem” would
pose no threat to APR?


> > I recently asked an APR supporter whom he thought should be seated in

> > 100 seat representative chamber if there were 100 candidates X1, X2,

> > ...X100, each of whom was rated at 90 percent by every voter and also

> > 100 candidates Y1, Y2, ... Y100, each of whom was rated 100 percent

> > exactly one percent of the population (and rated zero by the rest).

> >

> > I chose the extreme example to expose what I thought was the major

> > shortcoming of any PR method that did not take into account intensity

> > preference.

> >

> > He replied that he thought that the Y's should be seated, since they

> > would best represent the voters who voted for them.

>>>S:  Perhaps I was the above mentioned APR
supporter.  I see a rating of 100% for
each candidate as being more “intense” support than 90% for all.  The 100% means that every citizen is
perfectly represented by their favourite rep. 
The 90% means that each rep is very comfortably support by all citizens but
not entirely by anyone.  Thus, I see you,
instead, as preferring reps to have as much “breath of support in the
electorate” as possible.

> >

> > I was amazed: should we just throw away the wonderful opportunities

> > consensus as though it had no value?



>>>S:  I fear that the “consensus” that results from
the 90% plan might be too easily achieved by ignoring the many different
concerns that made each citizen determined not to give any rep a100% rating.  By contrast, the “consensus” (or working
majority) achieved by the 100% plan would more likely result from debates and deliberations
that openly addressed all the concerns of the people.  This is in line with my earlier point:  The unity of this “majority” seems more likely “to produce the coherent
legislation needed to help to solve the country’s problems, as well as conforming
as much as possible to the different scales of values held by all citizens.”


 Which would work better in Rwanda

> > (think Hutu a Tutsi) or Iraq (think Shia and Sunni)? It seems naive

> > me to think that fragmented PR can overcome the tyranny of the majority.


>>>S:  To this list others could be added, e.g.
Cyprus.  Once a people has suffered such
a “tyranny”, it seems to me that the only solutions are new constitutions that
make the two conflicting ethnic groups either into two separate states (perhaps
forming a confederation between them), into two provinces in a federal state,
or into two protected populations within a consociational unitary state (e.g. 1960


> If there is a real trade-off between proportionality and majority 

> quality (as by my graphs), and if there is no obvious or objective way 

> of deciding what balance to choose, then the balance becomes a matter 

> for the society in question.

>>>S:  It seems to me that APR gives full
satisfaction both to “proportionality” and “majority rule” in state not plagues
by a tyrannical majority.



> At least on some level, that sounds sensible. Going more proportional 

> means you have greater protection against a political oligopoly[1]. 

> However, it can also increase factionalism. In a deeply divided society 

> like civil-war era Rwanda, Iraq or Yugoslavia, the price you pay for 

> going more proportional might not be worth it, while in a more moderate 

> society, even politicians of wildly varying views can respect each other 

> enough to find a consensus.


Perhap this reference to “a more moderate society” suggest that we equally want:
 “a unity of rational syntheses and pragmatic compromises”
between the competing scales of values in a society.




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