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

steve bosworth stevebosworth at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 27 02:39:20 PST 2014

Hi Richard,
Again, thank you for your additional feedback.  I will respond to your 2 questions 1st:
 R:  It occurs to me that your APR method is a valid answer to the following 
> question:
> "If we are stuck with the current selection of elected politicians and 
> their current opponents (and clones), what voting method can maximize 
> the representation of voters as measured by the influence that those 
> elected politicians have on proposed laws?"

R:   In contrast, I approach election-method reform with a different question:
> "How can we change election methods so that voters can elect 
> problem-solving leaders, instead of the current system in which the 
> biggest campaign contributors elect special-interest puppets?"
> The important difference is that I prefer to open up politics to 
> problem-solving leaders who would step forward (typically from lower 
> levels of government) and enter high-level elections.  Currently those 
> wise problem-solving leaders choose not to enter higher-level elections 
> because they cannot win those elections -- because of the way elections 
> currently operate.  In other words, I am not willing to accept that we 
> are stuck with politicians who are preselected according to their 
> willingness to be puppets.

R: Your APR method is well-designed for the case in which the door is 
> closed for more-representative leaders.
> I prefer to open the door to all potential leaders, and then allow 
> voters to fully determine which ones get elected.
> Your approach is satisfying to people who would like to shift their vote 
> to one of the "better" already-elected or typically-elected politicians.

S:  You seem completely to have misunderstood my proposal.  The APR proposal also assumes, as you do, that we are not necessarily "stuck with the current selection of elected politicians".  In addition, it shows how more democratic new ones could be elected.   I hope the following longer explanation will let you see that, in fact, APR is designed to open "the door ... for more-representative leaders" and to "allow voters to fully determine which ones get elected."
It tries to explain more fully how APR's Primary election and its electoral associations would reduce the sometimes anti-democratic power of money, celebrity, the media in determining how people will vote.  It also explains how APR would help provide the conditions for APR's representatives more wisely to shape our "laws".
R:  > I'll continue to think about how I can better answer your question 
> regarding why I believe that APR is susceptible to corrupt influence as 
> a result of publicly revealing how much "weight" each elected politician 
> gets when they vote within the parliament/legislature.
 > Richard Fobes
S:  I look forward to receiving these answers.
Please consider my  following explanation:

How the Electoral Associations Produced
by APR’s Primary Elections Increase Positive Voting

Let me try
to explain more fully why I think that APR without its Primary and the
‘official electoral associations’ it discovers would only be a second best APR
option.  Firstly and most obviously, APR would
seem to help maximize the quality of representation for each citizen during the
general election by making it relatively easy for each elector secretly to rank
as many candidates in the whole country as each might wish.   This enables each to guarantee that their
vote will be added to the ‘weighted vote’ in the legislative assembly of their
most favoured representative (or most favoured by their first choice but
eliminated candidate).  However, this
qualitative advantage would seem also to be enhanced further by the consequences
of APR’s Primary election.  The Primary discovers
both the popular voluntary organizations in civil society that will be
recognized as the official electoral ‘associations’, and the number of representatives
each will be allow to elect to the assembly months later during the general
election.  To the extent that this would
both help to energize these popular associations politically and stimulate more
attractive candidates to seek office in the general election, the quality of
representation in the assembly would be raised.

APR’s Primary differs from the ones
that are sometimes used currently, e.g. in the USA.  It would not decide which one of each party's
candidates will run in the general election. 
Instead, it allows each citizen to choose to become a voting-member of
his or her most favoured electoral ‘association' for general election purposes.  These associations are established by
citizens choosing them from the list of all the voluntary organizations in the
country that want to elect at least one member of the legislative assembly
directly.  This list would have been
compiled previously by the central electoral commission.  These organizations need not be
geographically defined and would probably also include all the political
parties, many of the existing electoral districts, and many interest groups
(e.g. business, labour, professional, social, environmental, recreational,
ethnic, or religious). 

Again, each citizen becomes an elector
for the later general election through one of these associations by ranking as
many of these applicant organizations as they might wish during the
Primary.  A citizen would rank the
organization first that he or she believes will offer the most attractive
candidates during the general election, the organization that accords best with his
own values and interests. 
Any citizen
that does not participate in the Primary is automatically registered as a voter
in the geographically defined association (district) in which he or she

know these organizations through their work, profession, daily lives, and/or
their activities throughout the year. The daily living connections that people have
with these organizations help them to know how to vote and how otherwise to
participate politically in accord with their own valued life experiences.  The Primary’s counting of these rankings
would reveal the ‘approximate’ mathematical importance given by the public to
each of the geographically or non-geographically defined, applicant
organizations with regard to political life. 
Still, the ‘exact’ mathematical importance of each would instead be determined
later by citizens’ secret votes during the general election being added to the
weighted votes of each ‘association’s’ representative(s).  Each organization discovered to be one of the
most popular organizations which together contain all citizens as their
electors for general election purposes is officially recognized as an ‘association’.  The more popular an ‘association’ is
discovered to be, the more representatives it will be allowed to elect (see p.
6 and Endnote 5 of my article).

In this way,
APR’s Primary also enables all citizens and the state itself to discover which
voluntary organizations should be officially recognized to have this
proportionate extra political status and electoral function.  The recognition of these associations would
provide an additional democratic channel for more enthusiastic participation in
the political process both by these associations and their electors. This
recognition also gives each association and its elected rep(s) an opportunity to
plan and to focus their combined resources more efficiently to help shape the
binding decisions taken by the state.  

The time
difference as well as the division of functions between the Primary and the
general election would increase the opportunities for this coordination and
rational political thinking to take place on the part of all concerned.  In fact, such thinking would seem to be
assisted by the important knowledge discovered by the Primary.  It would have more reliably discovered the
degree to which each previously well known, less know, and unknown ideology,
party, interest group, or club is, or is not, relevant to the real concerns of
the people.  This knowledge would enable
all citizens, associations, potential candidates, and representatives more efficiently
to plan how each can help to shape the laws of the land during the coming
general election and after.

As a result
of the above arrangements, APR, more than other systems, would seem to assist
the development of a much closer identity between each elector and his
representative, a more intense personal, ideological and mutual bond.  This would seem to contrast, on average, with
the more defuse and vague relations between the agendas of each elector and the
representatives elected by other systems. 

evolution of these closer relationships between electors, associations, and
representatives would grow partly as a result of the time between the two
elections.  Firstly, the “bottom-up” Primary
might prompt more electors to start to familiarize themselves with the existing
members and other potential candidates of their preferred organizations.   Thus,
each APR representative is more likely to have been known and explicitly
favoured by his electors at least several months before the general
election.  Consequently, the ideological
fit between each set of APR’s associations, electors, and representatives is
likely to be much closer than that between each set of parties, districts,
electors, and representatives in other systems.

As a
consequence of this bond, the focus of each APR representative’s work both
within the assembly and with his electors and association is more likely to be clear.    This
increases the probability that each elector of a given association’s representative(s)
will also be represented more efficiently in the assembly, that the quality of
representation offered by APR is likely to be better than that provided by other

Moreover, a
legislative assembly composed of such different, clashing and well focused reps
would seem more likely to provide an optimal debating and negotiating chamber
for the production of laws based on evidence and rational thought. This is
because it would more accurately reflect the real variety and intensity of
people’s concerns.  If so, this assembly
would also be better able to respond to the imperative to form a working
majority in the assembly in order to produce wise legislative solutions to
problems, solutions also agreeable to a majority of the people.  The fact that each APR representative, on
average, is more likely to be focused and trusted by his or her electors would seem
better to enable them also to arrive at any necessary compromises between the
contending parties and representatives to achieve their common ends.

Finally, in
addition to the above, it is relevant to note that APR’s ‘associations’ would
presumably have some communication and mobilization resources that are entirely
independent of celebrity, the richest sections of society, and the mass media.  Thus, the addition of APR to an existing
political system would probably help reduce the relative power of these sometimes anti-democratic
forces in determining how people vote. 
This is because many citizens could more firmly, securely, and
independently use the following opportunity provided by APR:  to see their favoured association and its
representatives as providing an essential part of the best way to promote and
protect their own abiding interests and values. 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20141127/74cd38f1/attachment-0001.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list