[EM] (27) APR: Steve's 27th dialogue on NUTS with Richard Fobes

steve bosworth stevebosworth at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 19 11:47:24 PST 2016

 [EM] (27) APR: Steve's 27th dialogue on NUTS with Richard Fobes

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2016 23:48:29 -0800

> From: ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org

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

> CC: stevebosworth at hotmail.com

> Subject: Re: [EM] (26) APR: Steve's 26th dialogue with Richard Fobes


I am perplexed by your “definition” of a “nut” (copied below).  It seems simply to refer to anyone who has
ideas that are currently unpopular. If being in a minority by definition makes
you “nuts”, how are you or I to escape, if at all, from this label?  After all, each of us currently is in a
slightly different minority in the USA by favoring VoteFair and APR


implications of your definition makes me think that we should save our more
detailed comparisons of APR and Votefair for our next or later dialogue.  I need you to clarify your definition.  You seem to believe than any minority views are
“nuts”.  You see an electoral system’s denial
of political influence to these people as an unfairness of little importance:  “failure for a nut to be represented anywhere
within that 49% is not an unfairness worth worrying about”.  This seeming political contempt for many of
your fellow citizens seems to cast into doubt whether you even belief in “democracy”.  If so, why are you promoting VoteFair, a
system that enables all citizens to record all of their preferences with regard
to all of the available candidates?  What
happened to toleration, equality, and the democratic belief that each person (given
the freedoms of speech, press, and association) has the potential to learn and
work together for the common good?


given that you seem also to believe that political parties are more reliable
than their individual candidates, why do you not currently prefer
closed-list-party PR for electingf your legislative assembly?



R:  > In summary, the biggest weakness of the
APR method occurs at the last 

> step in which each voter can give his or her "weighted" support
to any 

> one of the elected representatives, even if that representative is not 

> in the voter's favorite political party.


> A key part of the reason for this weakness is that a voter can easily 

> get lots of information about political parties
("associations"), but 

> voters never(!) get sufficient information about what a candidate will 

> or won't do after getting elected.


> As a result, voters are capable of making reasonably wise decisions 

> about choosing a political party, but voters find it challenging to 

> anticipate what a candidate will do after the election, so most voters 

> are easily influenced by personalities rather than positions (and 

> because the positions are unknown).


> The candidates who do well in elections are the ones who talk in ways 

> that are boastful, act in ways that appear to be decisive, hide their 

> fears, avoid being specific about how they believe a problem can be 

> solved (if they have any even if they have preconceived solutions in 

> mind), etc.


> The result is that crazy-talking megalomaniacs -- such as two of the 

> Republican presidential candidates in the current US election -- attract 

> lots of support in spite of being clueless about how to solve the huge 

> problems they will face if they are elected.


> Because of the multiple reasons explained above, only a small minority 

> of voters would be able to identify a candidate who "fully represents"

> them. The remaining voters would not be "fully represented" by
any of 

> the elected representatives.



In the case of a very mainstream voter who prefers the most popular 

> political party, almost all of his or her tokens would be used toward 

> electing the first representative. The few remaining tokens would be 

> used to influence the choice of the second representative.




R: > You asked me for a definition of a "nut." In my opinion, a
voter who is 

> a nut has to be defined through counting and mathematics. By contrast, 

> a carefully worded definition would not be meaningful.


> If you want a mathematical definition of a nut,


S:  I did not ask for “a mathematical definition
of a nut”, nor do I think such a definition is meaningful.


>… then the best I can do 

> is point to VoteFair ranking. When all the different components of 

> VoteFair ranking are used together, the only voters who are 

> unrepresented are the ones who have preferences that are not shared by 

> hardly any other voters. Many, although not all, the voters in this 

> category are likely to be nuts, at least from the perspective of 

> calculating election results.


> In other words, VoteFair ranking does not attempt to get "nuts"

> represented. Specifically, a voter who is a "nut" would end up

> some of their tokens, after having given only a few of their tokens to 

> help elect their district's first representative, and a few more tokens 

> to help elect their district's second representative, and possibly a 

> couple more tokens to help determine which candidates win one or two 

> statewide seats.


> As a clarification, a voter who is a "nut" might get full

> (except for "round-off errors") in terms of helping to determine

> many seats are won by each political party, provided their favorite 

> party is popular enough to win at least one seat.


> One of the reasons I do not claim that VoteFair ranking "fully 

> represents every voter" is that "nuts" do not need to be
represented in 

> order for election results to be fair.


> Remember that the voting process currently used in nearly every 

> legislature ignores(!) preferences of (up to) 49% of the elected 

> representatives, so a failure for a nut to be represented anywhere 

> within that 49% is not an unfairness worth worrying about.



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