[EM] Associational Proportional Representation (APR) (Kristofer Munsterhjelm) 26

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Fri Oct 31 15:32:35 PDT 2014

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 to
> the proportion of voters that are closer to them than to anybody else.
> But now we're much more free to place the winners anywhere on the axis
> because the relative weight will sort itself out by the definition above
> (unlike ordinary unweighted multiwinner elections).
> The reasoning that we prefer moderates (but not too moderate ones) to
> extremists to minimize tension could be codified like this: minimize the
> sum of distances from voters to their representative.

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.

I recently asked an APR supporter whom he thought should be seated in a 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 by 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 of

He replied that he thought that the Y's should be seated, since they would
best represent the voters who voted for them.

I was amazed: should we just throw away the wonderful opportunities for
consensus as though it had no value?  Which would work better in Rwanda
(think Hutu a Tutsi) or Iraq (think Shia and Sunni)?  It seems naive to me
to think that fragmented PR can overcome the tyranny of the majority.

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