[EM] New election system in Hungary

Magosányi Árpád m4gw4s at gmail.com
Tue Jul 4 23:47:53 PDT 2017

2017-07-04 19:58 GMT+02:00 Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>:

> Before you jump straight into designing mechanisms, it's important to be
> clear about what you're looking for: the values you want the method to
> fulfill. On that matter, you've said the method should be:
>    1. not too shockingly new
>    2. "proportional representation...
>    3. ...and no entry threshold"
>    4. The winning strategy for candidates is collaboration
>    5. The winning strategy for voters is honest voting
>    6. In the long run there is no two-party system
> In the end, you're definitely going to have to compromise to at least some
> degree on points 1, 4, and 5.

#1 is not a requirement in my work. There are two proposals: one is a basis
for discussion for parties, which should be conservative, the second is an
ideal system as the proposal of the movement, which can bring in anything
new, but if possible should build on the previous one. I am talking about
the later now.

> I'd also like to know more about #3 and #6. I understand that recently
> Hungary's effective number of parties has been just under 2, and that from
> that perspective increasing the number sounds like a great idea. But in my
> opinion, the ideal ENP is between 3 and 4. That gives enough room for new
> parties to grow and for once-major ones to die out, but still gives
> incentives for building coalition-based parties able to articulate the
> interests of more than one group of society.

#3 is about the need to give opportunity for new parties. #6 is based on
our experience with Duverger's law: our political system quickly became a
two-party system, and even that collapsed due to the underlying positive
feedback loop. We now have a monoparty authoritarian regime, shockingly
similar to communist dictatorships, but the style of political
communication is even more ill. That communication style fucks up our
everyday life.

This is why we put emphasis on the game theory part: we need collaborative
behaviour from politicians, honesty from voters, and a rich political
As the stakes are high, we want these properties to be mathematically
proven. One way of proving it (and a hint in the search) is to trace it
back to the method, which have these properties proven: Condorcet.
Unfortunately Condorcet is primarily a single seat method, and does not
have a party list version. Though it does have a version for committees,
which can help in the proof.

> I'd urge you to take a look at GOLD voting
> <http://wiki.electorama.com/wiki/Geographic_Open_List/Delegated_(GOLD)_voting>
> (further discussion here
> <http://wiki.electorama.com/wiki/Geographic_Open_List/Delegated_(GOLD)_voting>
> and here
> <https://medium.com/@jameson.quinn/worthwhile-nah-this-canadian-voting-initiative-is-golden-d93717a88221>
> ).
I don't think this is an ideal system for your use case; it was designed as
> a proposal for replacing FPTP, primarily in places like Canada, US, and UK.
> But some of the mechanisms it uses are actually quite powerful building
> blocks for a PR method. In particular, it:
>    - Uses an STV-like mechanism as an underlying process.
>       - This is a familiar, well-understood mechanism, yet it's easy to
>       add flexible vote transfer mechanics on top.
>    - Offers delegation to a candidate's pre-declared list
>       - this gives a great combination of simplicity and voting power.
>    - Makes delegation optional; voters can use an open-list-like voting
>    style if they prefer
>       - This prevents political insiders from getting unearned
>       horse-trading power to effectively set the party list order through
>       back-room deals.
>    - Eliminates candidates with inadequate direct support before they can
>    receive transfers
>       - This helps prevent tiny splinter parties from getting more than
>       one seat, without wasting votes (or incentivizing favorite betrayal) for
>       those inclined to support such splinter parties.
>    - Simplifies ballots by explicitly listing only local candidates,
>    leaving non-local candidates as a write-in option
> By using these mechanisms, GOLD voting does quite well on points 2, 4, 5,
> and 6 above; reasonably on point 1; and is arguably OK even on point 3.
Any proof or at least reasoning for #4,#5 and #6 ?

> I think that by recombining mechanisms like these, you'll be able to build
> something that will have better appeal for the average voter. You don't
> want the instructions on the ballot to end up more complicated than the
> rules for Settlers of Catan (with the Cities and Knights expansion). GOLD's
> instructions ("Choose one candidate or write one in, then if you wish you
> may choose one of the two transfer methods") are about the limit of
> complication you should be going for.
> All in all, I'd be happy to hear more about your group and your plans for
> making a difference in Hungary. I'm certainly rooting for you.

The agenda is something like this:

- parties give their inputs until aug 10.
- agreement on a system until sep 20
- the new system is legislated until oct 23
If the ruling party does not meet with the last milestone (and we now they
won't), we will force the change through nonviolent civil disobedience.
There are a lot of activities around learning and teaching these methods,
and building movements for this purpose. These are very interesting times
in Hungary. And we need all help.
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