[EM] General PR question (from Andy Jennings in 2011)

Kathy Dopp kathy.dopp at gmail.com
Tue Oct 7 16:17:57 PDT 2014

On Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM, Toby Pereira <tdp201b at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Perhaps there's a more proportional method than a "truly proportionate
> allocation of seats to voters"! But what I would say is that there are
> several methods that people might deem to be proportional, and so to say
> that yours is *the* method would probably cause some disagreement.

My method of minimizing the formula Sum(v_i *Absolute(v_i/v - s_i/s))
picks the set of winners that is as close as possible to exactly
proportional allocation of seats for the proportion of voters in each
voter group (group voting for the same combination of candidates) out
of the total number of voters.  If the number of voters in each group
or total winning seats is altered, as in your examples, the
proportions for each group changes, and, so, the seat allocation may
also change, as you saw.

In my opinion, a voting method that allocates winners in the exact
proportion to their proportion of the voter population is the best
possible.  I, personally, would not want to eliminate the smallest
voting groups from the calculations of proportions as do some party
list systems that have a lower threshold for inclusion. I.e. I would
include every voter group in the calculation regardless of the number
of voters it has.

I.e. I really like my method of allocating approval vote seats
proportionately, and it has more power than either the Sainte-Laguë or
D'Hondt methods in that it also works well for overlapping candidate
support (ie. for general approval voting of any number of candidates
and seats), not merely for selecting winners for party list type

It's hard to argue with my formula's exactly proportional
representation.  The scenarios you suggest are very unlikely and do
not bother me at all if they would occur because it is hard to argue
with the outcome always being exactly proportionate IMO. I like it,
perhaps better than any other proportional method due to the
simplicity of approval ballots and the fairness of the formula for
selecting the winning candidates.


Kathy Dopp
Town of Colonie, NY 12304
 "A little patience, and we shall see ... the people, recovering their
true sight, restore their government to its true principles." Thomas

Fundamentals of Verifiable Elections

View my working papers on my SSRN:

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