[EM] New election system in Hungary

Richard Lung voting at ukscientists.com
Wed Jul 5 23:36:42 PDT 2017

Hello  again Magosányi Árpád,

This is a postscript to my previous email, because you are on such a 
tight schedule.

Appearances can be deceiving and the important thing for you as an 
adviser is to make people aware of the realities, make what of them as 
they will.

Many electoral reformers think that party list systems, especially a 
hybrid system like the German Mixed Member Proportional system is the 
wave of the future. I think that's still the sort of system in Hungary, 
isn't it?
But there are some academic straws in the wind, coming from Europe 
itself that suggest change. Namely the peer-reviewed research into 
strategic voting in party list systems, as recently studied by Annika 
Eventually, maybe not in my lifetime, because I am old, Europe is going 
to rediscover that the inventor of proportional representation, the 
Danish mathematician Carl Andrae was right in appreciating that 
preference voting is a corollary of proportional counting.
Evidently, there is a good chance that Scotland will go over completely 
to this system, also developed by Thomas Hare, which he called the 
Single Transferable Vote. STV was recommended to replace MMP (called the 
Additional Member System there) by the Richard report for the Welsh 

In my book, Scientific Method of Elections, I explain how STV is, 
essentially speaking, How To Do It. By contrast, it so happens that MMP 
is How Not To Do It.
If elections are not to be sham contests: Political contestants cannot 
be their own referees.

Richard Lung.

Hello Magosányi Árpád,
My father came from your part of the world (annexed by Romania after 
WW1) but my out-look on election method is a world away from yours and 
this election methods group, which usually over-looks my posts! These 
views of mine are essentially in the tradition of John Stuart Mill. 
Nevertheless, I hope wou will look at my book, "Scientific Method of 
Elections, or the simpler "Peace-making Power-sharing" which starts with 
the Canadian Citizens Assemblies. Not to mention the less methodical and 
more theoretical: Science is Ethics as Electics.
They are linked from my "Democracy Science" page.

Richard Lung.

On 04/07/2017 10:53, Magosányi Árpád wrote:
> Hi,
> Please help, it is really important!
> We are in the process of designing the new election system of Hungary. 
> A strong movement is emerging for that purpose, and there is a high 
> chance that even if we fail at first, everything we say will be 
> influental for the future of our election system.
> Our team have came out with a proposal as a basis of discussion 
> between the parties (most of them will be participating). It is 
> designed to be not too shockingly new. My role is to propose an ideal 
> system, for the following tactical communication reasons:
>  - show how the current system is fscked up compared to an ideal one
>  - pressure politicians to agree on something in which they could be 
> successful based on their instinctive behaviour
> Andt he long term communication goal is of course to put good election 
> methods on the political agenda. In case of the ruling party not 
> accepting the compromise proposal of parties (almost certain), most 
> probably sizeable factions of the resistance will nominate the ideal 
> system as the core issue we are fighting for.
> Our proposal as basis of discussion is a purely party list system, 
> with proportional representation and no entry threshold.
> I would like to propose something within this framework as the ideal 
> system, with the same results from the game theory standpoint, as 
> preferential Condorcet for a commitee:
> - The winnig strategy for candidates is collaboration
> - The winning strategy for voters is honest voting
> - In the long run there is no two-party system
> Also, I would like to have easy ballots.
> What I have came up with, and why:
> Each voter can nominate one party for the election. Nomination needs 
> active participation from the voter (phisically walking in to a 
> government office), to make strategic nomination hard. The 20 parties 
> with the highest number of nominations will be in the ballot.
> There is a ballot for parties, and there is a ballot for candidates of 
> each party.
> The party ballot is a cumulative voting ballot, where six votes can be 
> allocated, and at most 3 can be given to one party.
> The candidate ballot is also a kind of cumulative one: the voter can 
> indicate at most 10 approvals, and at most 5 disapprovals (for a 
> 200-member list).
> The results from candidate ballots are computed using shulze method, 
> and ties are broken using the order of names (the preference indicated 
> by the nominating party).
> The result from party list ballot is computed by first creating a 
> pairwise defeat table, where
> - the cell in the row of the party will contain the number of wins 
> over the other candidate
> - in case of tie, both cells receive +0,5
> The sums of each row are computed, and seats are allocated based on them.
> Regarding the candidate list, it is a condorcet method, with a bit 
> more constrained ballot, but based on the size of the constituency 
> (10M) and human behaviour, I think that the constraint should not 
> change anything.
> My understanding is that the party list method is somewhere between 
> range voting and condorcet, with a very simplified ballot. As 
> condorcet comes with the above game theory results, and in range 
> voting majority condorcet is strategically forced, I feel that this 
> method should also have the same game theory results.
> But I don't want to base such a proposal on feelings, but rather on 
> mathematical proof.
> Please advise me on how to work it out: what are the results I can 
> build my proof on?
> If there are flaws in this system, what sould be the alternative?
> ----
> 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:

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