[EM] What is the goal of a "better" election method?

Richard Lung voting at ukscientists.com
Tue Jan 10 10:05:22 PST 2017

As someone who claims to have invented a better voting method (Binomial 
STV) I agree with the general drift of these rules.
I note that that there is an implicit support for proportional 
representation (point 5) This rule can be generalised, not merely to the 
fair representation of more than two parties and political independents, 
to the fair representation of all social groups. My main example is the 
UK NHS which formerly elected all white male GPs by FPTP to the GMC. In 
1979, STV proportionally represented women, immigrants and specialists. 
This is also the reason why STV is favored - treasured - in Cambridge, 
because of the PR of gender and ethnic diversity, in the city. So the 
League of Women Voters found on visiting. (This is a more substantial 
reason than that, suggested by an EM member, that "nerdy" STV appealed 
to MIT, however their academic brilliance may have helped STV prevail in 
the city.)

A couple more points. In my estimate, Theorem Arrow deserves more 
incredulity than the credulity it seems to attract. In a previous post, 
I mentioned the widespread practise of trying to demonstrate the theorem 
with examples of different voting systems, giving different results. The 
one I picked-up on (in Beyond Numeracy by von Paulos) was an artefact of 
different levels of information, giving different results. It had 
nothing to do with the claims of the theorem. When I recalculated 
Condorcet pairing by using the standard statistical technique of 
weighting in arithmetic proportion, the extra information conformed with 
the result for Borda method. This example was small enough to see by 
intuitive inspection that the two most informative methods gave the best 
result, in what was a highly contrived election example, to make the 
result as ambiguous as possible.

Perforce admitting some informative value in the weighted Condorcet 
pairing method, this was not the direction I chose to take, for reasons 
I won't go into here.
Already, posts have given a few good and relevant reasons for better 
voting method. The last century, of mainly abortive electoral reform, 
has shown how determined rulers are to control and degrade, if it serves 
their turn, electoral practises. Perhaps worst of all, proportional 
representation, as it is generally known, is nearly always a form of the 
original Andrae (or Hare) PR system degraded to merely  
party-proportional counts.

Human frailty demands that competitions must have impartial referees. 
Politics works so badly, because professional incumbency is an exercise 
in oligarchic ignorance against the public good. The trick is to create 
impartial referees with democratic authority, to be respected by all. In 
science, theory is tested by experience. So, the first chamber of 
political theories competing to serve community law, must be tested by a 
second chamber representing the division of labor of society. This 
scientifically complements, but does not compete with, the political 
chamber, yet has the democratic authority and the authority of its 
comprehensive expertise, to referee it.
Both chambers could and should be elected by STV (a system which can be 
enhanced to Meek method STV or, eventually, even something like my own 
method of Binomial STV. Electoral democracy can evolve, the transferable 
voting way.)

Richard Lung.

On 09/01/2017 09:42, robert bristow-johnson wrote:
> ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
> Subject: [EM] What is the goal of a "better" election method?
> From: "Sennet Williams" <sennetwilliams at yahoo.com>
> Date: Sun, January 8, 2017 9:49 pm
> To: "election-methods at electorama.com" <election-methods at electorama.com>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> for me, the end goal of a "better" election method (like Ranked-Choice 
> Voting decided by a Condorcet-compliant method) is FAIRNESS and INCLUSION.
> Fairness for voters means
> 1. Level playing field for *all* voters ("One person, one vote")
> 2. No burden of tactical voting (therefore no punishment for voting 
> sincerely) in a multi-candidate election.  No voter regret.
> 3. Obtain and use contingency preference information from voter. 
> Sincere voting is facilitated.  Should be obvious to voter how to vote 
> for their second choice.
> 4. Minimum burden to vote.  No delayed runoff that
> Fairness for the candidates means
> 5. Level playing field for *all* candidates and parties.  The two 
> major parties have no systemic advantage over the other parties or 
> independent candidates. (Remove Duverger's law and give 3rd parties a 
> level playing field with the major parties.)
> 6. No advantage realized for "swinging" voting strategy or "gaming" 
> the system.
> 7. No punishing losing candidate (who runs sincerely) by making that 
> candidate a spoiler and hurting their allies.
> Fairness for everyone means
> 8. No pathologies.  (No spoiler, no non-monotonicity)
> 9. Transparency for honest, authoritative elections that nearly 
> everyone can accept and no one can rig. "Precinct summability" is part 
> of this.
> 10. Tabulation method and identifying the winner is simple and 
> comprehendable to everyone and generally accepted as "fair".
> To this end, I support Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) (but *not* the 
> Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) that is promoted by FairVote.org).  The 
> tabulation method should be Condorcet compliant which means simply:
> "If more voters mark their ballots that they prefer Candidate A over 
> Candidate B than the number of voters who mark their ballot to the 
> contrary, then Candidate B is not elected."
> stated less precisely:
> "If a majority of voters prefer Candidate A to Candidate B, then 
> Candidate B is not elected."
> I want this to be true whether there is a Candidate C in the election 
> or not.  I don't want the presence of Candidate C to change the 
> apparent preference of Candidate A over Candidate B.
> Condorcet is not perfect (Arrow's Impossibility Theorem says no system 
> is perfect), but I think does better than any other system.  I believe 
> that the Ranked Ballot requires just the right amount of information 
> from the voters.  Score Voting requires too much information and 
> Approval Voting requires too little information from the voters.  So 
> also, of course, the traditional Vote-For-Only-One ballot requires to 
> little information from voters.
> > I follow this list when I can, but it is not really clear what the 
> benefit would be of a different election system, except possibly 
> "counting more votes" or "representing more voters."  It seems like a 
> waste of energy unless it will accomplish a goal that the most 
> eligiible voters will be motivated by.
> > -Personally, I want "better govt."
> > -China  is working to end "multi-party politics" because it results 
> in bad govt. (I think that the Chinese govt. is referring to 
> parliament rather than the two-party system)
> well, one-party rule in government is the best.  as long as it's *my* 
> party.
> >  -The Berkeley Daily Cal editorialized for IRV because "IRV lets you 
> vote for who you really want"  (something to that effect, that was a 
> long time ago and memory fades)
> and the Burlington 2009 election (where the IRV winner, the Condorcet 
> winner, and the plurality winner were three different candidates) is a 
> counter example.  there were about 1/6 of the voters that found out 
> that simply by marking their first choice as #1, they **caused** the 
> election of their least favorite candidate.  they voted for who they 
> really wanted and they were punished for it in the election result.
> > The point is, comments on this list might be more effective if you 
> declare1-what benefit to the organization that your voting system will 
> accomplish.
> > Keep in mind that lots of people DO NOT want to enfranchise more 
> voters.  They might not see the benefit of it.  More people voting 
> reduces the influence of the previous voters.
> well, then let's take that to extremes and disenfranchise everyone 
> except me.  whoever i cast my vote for, that's the person who wins.
> --
> r b-j rbj at audioimagination.com
> "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
> ----
> Election-Methods mailing list - seehttp://electorama.com/em  for list info

Richard Lung.
Democracy Science series 3 free e-books in pdf:
E-books in epub format:

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20170110/7809141f/attachment.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list