[EM] Subject: Re: APR Steve's most recent response to Richard Fobes

steve bosworth stevebosworth at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 6 06:04:49 PST 2014


Topic:  APR -- Steve Bosworth’s most recent response to
Richard Fobes.  (Steve’s most recent
responses begin with >>>2S:).

Note:  Steve's article explaining how APR works will be emailed to you upon request.  >
From: election-methods-request at lists.electorama.com

> Subject: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 125, Issue 5

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

> Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2014 18:21:42 -0800


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


> Message: 1

> Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2014 18:21:37 -0800

> From: Richard Fobes <ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org>

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

> Subject: Re: [EM] Steve's response to Richard Fobes in

> Election-Methods Digest, Vol 124, Issue 28

> Message-ID: <5456E6B1.5070405 at VoteFair.org>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1254; format=flowed


> On 11/2/2014 3:58 AM, steve bosworth wrote:

> > ...

*>>S: Perhaps you did not notice that APR's 'primary' election

> > different from the ones currently used in the US. ...


> Yes I did notice that your recommended kind of primary is different.


> We both agree that the better the primary election, the better the final 

> results will be. This applies regardless of what kind of grouping -- 

> political party or association or whatever -- is involved between the 

> primary election and the general/runoff election.

>>>2S:  Yes, both types of primaries help the <the
final results> to be better. However, APR’s primary seems to have the additional
advantage of allowing citizen to encourage more attractive candidates to be
available to be ranked later in the general election.


> > ...

> > Your counting method definitely has the focus-on-the-current-top-choice

> > "blinder" approach that I've already described.


> >>S: I don't remember seeing this earlier description. Please, could

> you explain it again?


> Apparently my first attempt to explain this concept was forgettable, so 

> this time I'll say that it should become clear by comparing 

> instant-runoff voting (IRV) with Condorcet-Kemeny voting (which Markus 

> Schulze in Wikipedia has named the Kemeny-Young method). IRV looks at 

> the ballots one choice at a time (the current "top" choice),

> causes it to fail lots of important fairness criteria. In contrast, the 

> Condorcet-Kemeny method looks fully into every ballot before identifying 

> the winner, and therefore seldom fails those important fairness criteria.


>>>2S:  I understand this criticism of IRV and that
using the <Kemeny-Young method> as a corrective might even be practically
possible in single winner elections. 
However, am I correct in believing the this method would be entire
impractical for the large multi-winner elections for which APR’s combined use
of modifies STV and ‘Asset Voting’ would seems to be the best practical method –
best because it allows each citizen to maximizes the chances that his or her
vote will be added to the ‘weighted vote’ in the legislature of the rep he or
she trusts most.  APR seems to be
practical both because it is technically possible and is relatively easy for
ordinary citizens to understand.  


If my belief
is correct, this is in sharp contrast to the relative difficulty of understanding
Condorcet-Kemeny (even if used in a single-winner election) and the practical
impossibility of using it for a large multi-winner election.



 *>>S: I need more explanation of
why you think APR would make bribing

> > easier. I see APR as being at least as secret and secure as any other

> > system. In fact, it might be argued that it would be even harder for

> > 'briber' to infer whether the citizens who agreed to vote as the

> > wants had actually done so. This is both because each citizen has the

> > secret opportunity to rank any candidates in the whole country (as

> > have also said) and each candidate has the structural possibility of

> > receiving votes from any citizens in the country.*


> This concept is not obvious. It took me awhile to understand it.


> The issue is not that anyone can know how a specific voter has voted. 

> Rather a "consultant" or thug would have to deliver lots of

> votes. The "payment" to the consultants/thugs might be based on

> the candidate wins. Or the payment might be similar to the

> approach used to determine how much income goes to someone in a sales job.


> This isn't a complete answer, but it's as much as I currently have time 

> to write.


>>>2S:  I don’t yet understand the answer you have
given.  Yes, the
<consultants/thugs> might pay a commission only if their candidate wins.  However, when their candidate loses, my point
was that they would find it more difficult, if not impossible, to discover whether
this was because their bribed voters failed to vote as promised or the other
voters who were not bribed but who were assumed to be supporters of their
candidate decided not to vote for that candidate.


*>>S: I can see that people in such neighborhoods might be more likely

> > to agree to take such bribes but I do not yet see how APR makes it

> > easier for a briber to enforce such agreements.*


> The cross-district candidate voting, with resulting published numbers, 

> is what makes it easier to measure the "success" of buying

>>>2S:  Given that APR would allow
voters an opportunity for many more <cross-district> or cross-association
rankings, I do not yet see how any bribed citizen’s vote could be reliably inferred
not to have kept his promise.  If bribes
were offered, a citizen might take the bribe even though he plans not to vote
for the briber’s candidate.  He might do
this believing that he has a chance of gaining any way, i.e. if the briber’s
candidate wins without his vote.



> As a related point, if lots of voters in lots of districts vote for one 

> specific celebrity politician, that indicates that the voting method is 

> allowing lots of unrepresentative legislators to get elected.


>>>2S:  As I see it, this would not at all be clear.  If <lots of voters in lots of districts
(associations) vote for a specific … politician> that might simply mean that
he is trust by many people nationwide, i.e. that he is their most trusted rep.

> > ......................................

 *>>S: Of course, this may be so,
but I?m still looking for any flaws in

> > APR.I have not yet found one from the point of view of a citizen who

> > wants ?**an electoral system that would allow them to guarantee that

> > their vote will proportionately increase the voting power of a

> > representative (and) they most trust in their country?s legislative

> > assembly, [and also a system] that will give them every incentive to

> > vote, to vote for candidates they like, never having to vote

> > or negatively.?**


> Ultimately what voters want is wise and fair laws and effective tax 

> rates (etc.). (A higher-level goal might be the overall economic 

> prosperity of the nation/region, but that is difficult to correlate with 

> legislative decisions.)


>>>2S:  Yes, I hope most citizens do <ultimately
what … wise and fair laws>.  However,
what exactly is <wise and fair> can be rationally determined, if at all, only
through the widest possible and well informed debates.  It seems to me that APR would help provide
the most promising electoral and legislative assembly conditions for such
debates.  If so, APR, itself, might
justly claim to be an essential part of what is <wise and fair>. 

> It's possible that a voting method can focus attention on achieving 

> specific numbers -- such as how many wasted votes there are, or how many 

> "unrepresented" voters there are -- and yet fail to achieve the

> goal of wise and fair laws and tax rates.


>>>2S:  Of course, no electoral system or constitution
by itself can guarantee <wise and fair laws>.  All we can do here is try to discover which
electoral system would maximally facilitate these achievements.


> In other words, the more carefully someone has to word the measure by 

> which their method is best, the less likely it will achieve the real, 

> underlying goals. 


>>>2S:  I would like to understand the point you are
making here.  You seem to be saying that
<careful> wording is always dangerous because it conceals rather than
reveals reality.  In contrast, I see
careful wording as the only way one has a chance of describing reality.



In your
case, your words:


> > ..." their vote will proportionately increase the voting power of

> > representative" …


Which of these words or their combination do you see as concealing reality? 


> are the ones that other, possibly better, methods might fail to achieve.


>>>2S:  I have not explained my advocacy for APR well
if I have given the impression of my mind being closed.  I am very open to receive better argument in
favour of a <possibly> better method. 
I look forward to your suggestions along these lines.


> Again, each time someone carefully crafts a definition, others can 

> ignore that definition, or come up with a competing definition that 

> favors a different method.


>>>2S:  Of course, but I would like to consider your <definition>
or the prime value that currently motivates your favoured system.  Would you not want an electoral system that
would enable you to guarantee that your vote would be added to the rep you
trust most?


> Again I'll say that I understand why the method appeals to you, and it 

> might be a great method in some situations. 


>>>2S:  Do you think it would be <a great
method> for electing the French National Assembly, the British House of
Commons, or the US House of Reps?


But I
suspect it will 

> become corrupt over time.


Sometimes a great sounding decision-making method turns out to have lots 

> of non-obvious flaws that make it unworkable in government situations.

>>>2S:  Of course, even the best is subject to
corruption.  Currently, APR would be <corrupted>
 for me if someone found a practical way
of making it secretly elect reps other than those favoured by the electorate
and counted as described.  


I see
some of my above answers as explaining some of the reasons why I think APR
might be more resistant to corruption than other methods.  Do you still see how it might be more vulnerable?



> Experience is the ultimate judge.


>>>2S:  I would prefer to say, <ultimately>,
<experience> and rational thought can only provide us with provisional


> Richard Fobes



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