[EM] How would you fix California's top two primary?

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Tue Jan 10 16:37:34 PST 2017

i would ditch it.  i actually think that political parties serve a purpose.  but i think that it should be easier for an independent candidate or a third-party candidate to run on a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD with whoever the two major parties prop up to run for office.
Primary election is not the "primary" place to fix these (lack of) multiple-choice issues.  it's the General.
we can use RCV (that's Condorcet compliant) in the primaries, too, within each party.  but i **really** don't like the idea that the top two of one party end up
eclipsing the offerings of any of the other parties.  in fact i hate that idea.  i think California screwed up with this top two thing.

r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: Re: [EM] How would you fix California's top two primary?

From: "Kristofer Munsterhjelm" <km_elmet at t-online.de>

Date: Tue, January 10, 2017 6:56 pm

To: "Monkey Puzzle" <araucaria.araucana at gmail.com>

"Erik Moeller" <eloquence at gmail.com>

Cc: "EM" <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>


> On 01/10/2017 09:13 PM, Monkey Puzzle wrote:

>> If Top Two is required, I would prefer Approval voting, then include the

>> Approval winner (AW1), plus the approval winner after all AW1-approving

>> ballots are removed. This would be clone independent and would

>> generally tend to include candidates from two different parties. It is

>> basically a 2-person multiwinner election using Approval reweighted voting.


> That goes a bit too far in the other direction. Consider a profile like

> this:


> 99: A B

> 1: C


> It seems pretty clear that the candidates to go to the second round

> should be A and B, but Approval-and-removal will pick either {A, C} or

> {B, C}. Of course, the real world probably won't have this kind of

> pathological election situation, but the bias is still there to a lesser

> degree: it disproportionately picks "extremists" for the second seat

> (i.e. candidates whose voters wouldn't vote for the first winner).


> If your complexity budget is so that you can't do anything more complex

> than approval-and-remove, go with approval-and-remove because it's

> better than just picking two Approval winners right out. But if you can,

> the following might be better:


> A little bit more complex: First pick the Approval winner. Then randomly

> remove ballots that approved of this winner until you've either removed

> every ballot that approves of the winner, or 1/3 of the total number of

> ballots. Then pick the Approval winner by the remaining ballots (ignore

> the first winner if he's still number one).


> This is closer to Droop-proportional, but has a vote management

> incentive. The following mitigates the vote management incentive, but is

> more complex still:


> First pick the Approval winner W.

> For each other candidate X:

> Until you have removed 1/3 of the total number of ballots or every

> ballot that approves W, first remove ballots that approve W but not X,

> then ballots that approve both W and X. Count X's approval according to

> the remaining ballots after removal, then put the ballots you removed

> back in the pile so you can repeat for the next candidate.


> The candidate with the greatest thus counted approval score gets the

> second seat in the runoff. (This is essentially the constraint method

> with two seats and Approval.)

> ----

> Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info


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