[EM] (2) Steve's Reply re:

steve bosworth stevebosworth at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 26 18:09:08 PST 2017


   (2) Steve's  Reply: [EM] Proportional multi-winner ranked voting methods -


Message: 1
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2017 11:39:18 +0200
From: Juho Laatu <juho.laatu at gmail.com>
To: "election-methods at lists.electorama.com"
        <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>
Subject: Re: [EM] Proportional multi-winner ranked voting methods -
Message-ID: <4F9FB1CA-A15F-4675-BF88-F717C27164BE at gmail.com>
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Steve (S): > entirely removes gerrymandering

J:  Also this one is a useful property of a proportional method.

(S): > by using a special ?primary?

J:  But adding a primary of course makes a method somewhat more complicated.

S:  Perhaps but it also gives each citizen the opportunity to maximize the chances that more candidates of higher quality in her judgment will be available for evaluating during the later general election.  In any case, any EPR citizen can vote for (or evaluate any) candidates in the whole state (or nation) even if they have not voted in the ‘primary’.

(S): > In a relatively small city like Santa Cruz in which all 7 of the Councilmembers could be elected at large, such a ?primary? would probably be unnecessary.

J:  If your districts have seven seats, there might be no need to add means to defend against gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is typically a problem of single seat districts.

S:  Yes, that is why the special ‘primary’ is clearly needed, but perhaps only for an EAPR election for a state or national legislature.

> I mention RCV (i.e. IRV) because FairVote is currently campaigning for Santa Cruz to adopt RCV for electing its Council.

J:  IRV is a single winner method for single seat districts. If you do it that way, you will not have good proportionality. STV would be a much better approach (also ranked and in many ways similar to IRV).

S: Clearly but unlike EPR or EAPR, STV (and Condorcet) still wastes some votes both quantitatively and qualitatively.
> 40 prefer A over B over C
> 40 prefer C over B
> 20 prefer B over C

J:  Condorcet criterion could be a natural requirement for single seat districts. It says that B should be elected since it would pairwise beat all other candidates.

But if we have multi-seat districts, Condorcet criterion could be forgotten. If we have two seats in this district, it would seem natural to elect A and C.

S:  Yes, but EPR also has none of the flaws inherent is Condorcet.

> at least 1/7 of all citizens who have voted

J:  You could use also a somewhat lower threshold (e.g. Droop quota).

S:  Yes, but Droop would offer no extra benefit because EPR’s threshold is not used to minimize the wasting of citizens’ votes for electing members who will have only one vote in the legislature, i.e. not used to transfer ‘surplus’ votes. EPR’s members will have a different ‘weighted vote’ in the legislature exactly equal to the number of citizens’ votes that have been added to each elected candidate’s total by the end of EPR’s count (i.e. except the 20% limit mentioned below).

> 1)     if a voter has given more than one candidate the same relevant evaluation, her evaluation will be added only to the candidate whose total of evaluations would consequently be greater at that stage of the count than any of the other candidates she has given the same ?grade?,

J:  Does "at that stage of the count" mean that the order of the counted votes may have an impact on the outcome of the election? (depending on if X or Y happens to have more votes "at that stage of the count") Such randomness may be acceptable (if it keeps the method simple) but not a very good feature.

S: There is no ‘randomness’ in EPR’s count except if and when there are ties that cannot be decided in a better way (please see the attachments for a more detailed description of the exact process)[ Note: any readers other Juho are welcome to ask

stevebosworth at hotmail.com to email them any of the attachments which have already been sent to Juho.].

> To avoid the possibility of any one Councilmember being in a position to dictate to the Council, any Member who might have received more than 20% of all the ?weighted votes? in the Council, must publicly and non-returnably transfer her ?extra? votes to the ?weighted votes?? of one or more of her trusted fellow Members.

J: Would this candidate tell who will get his extra votes before or after the election?

S: Each candidate would have an interest in publishing a ranked (or preferably an evaluative) list of her fellow candidates to whom she would transfer any of her ‘extra’ votes in this event.  This is because such a list would help to inform her potential voters about her own knowledge and qualities that make her most suitable for the office.

J: If before, then we might have some problems with cyclic transfers.

S:  No, because these transfers start from the elected candidate who has received the highest number of ‘extra’ votes.  Also, no elected candidate who has already received at least 20% of all the ‘weighted votes’ in the Council could receive any such transfers.

J: If after, then we might have a problem with this candidate selling those votes to one of the other candidates. (There could be some smaller vote selling problems also in the case that candidates declare their preferences already before the election, but that is not as serious since voters can see (assuming that this information is public) where the votes will go.)

S: In all cases, any such transferring of votes must be done ‘publicly and non-returnably’.
> Again, each Councilmember would have a ?weighted vote? in the Council exactly equal to the number of evaluations from citizens added to her total.

J:  If we first elect one candidate with 1/7 of the votes rating him Excellent, his weighted will be 1/7 of the total weight.

S: It is also possible that the 1st candidate to be elected received more than 1/7. In such a case, her vote in the Council would have a greater ‘weight’ than 1/7.   It is also possible that the 1st candidate to be elected receive no Excellents.  Perhaps I have not made the reasons for these different possibilities clear enough in my previous post (again, I hope the new attachments will help out in this regard).

J:  All other candidates got zero Excellents [S: Not necessarily]. Next we count the Very Good ratings [S: plus any remaining Es]. One candidate gets them 2/7 of the total votes. Does this mean that the weight (voting power) of the second elected candidate will be higher than the weight of the first elected candidate? [S: Yes in this example] Note that it is possible that the first elected candidate had also lots of Very Good ratings [S: Yes, quite possibly but these would not be counted for this 1st winner]. The question is if the weight of the first already elected candidate should be topped (maybe up to 20%) if he has lots of Very Good ratings [S: No].

S: I hope the new attachments will explain more clearly the reasons for my above [bracketed additions].  My previous post seems not to have been sufficiently clear on these points.

> However, if a citizen?s vote still could not be added in this way to the ?weighted vote? of one of the candidates who has already been elected, EPR?s ballot allows a citizen to require the non-elected candidate to whom she had given her highest evaluation, to transfer her one vote to the ?weighted vote? of the Councilmember he believes is the one most qualified for the office.

J:  Maybe that requirement would be automatic.

S:  Please see the sample ballot at the end of the draft article already sent to you.


>   1. It prompts citizens firstly to consider what qualities that are ideally required of the office being sought.

J: Most election methods do this somehow.

S: Yes but less pointedly and precisely.

> 2. By allowing citizens to express the full range of their evaluations of as many of the candidates as they might wish ...

J: Many election methods allow ballots that are equally rich in expressing the opinions. Some methods may lose this richness because of tactical voting (e.g. in Range many voters might use only min and max values).

S: ‘Grades are more informative and meaningful than numbers, preferences, or ticks.  Also, MJ and EPR provide both less incentive and scope for ‘tactical voting’.

> 3. Also, unlike other multi-winner methods, EPR allows each citizen to guarantee that his or her vote will continue fully to count quantitatively and qualitatively in the deliberations of their city council.

J: It is a nice feature that no votes are lost, and they will all be used in the city council. I think there are however no guarantees that their votes will count also "qualitatively" (in the sense that the voting behavior of the representatives would reflect the opinions of the voters more accurately (in some other sense than "every single vote having a representative") than in some other kind of elections).

S:  I’m not claiming that each elected candidate is guaranteed in fact to behave as she promised during the election.  Instead, it is the claim that because each EPR citizen will have many more available candidates whom he can evaluate, the elected candidate to whom his highest evaluation (vote) is finally added is structurally more likely to deliver on her promises than could be claimed for any alternative structure (i.e. any other voting system).

> 4. In addition to the above advantages, since ?grading? candidates is easier than ?ranking? them, this makes it more like that each voter will see EPR as more user-friendly than the ?ranking? methods.

J: Not necessarily since it is quite easy to use "graded" ballots and derive rankings from them, if the method is ok with having equal rankings. That would make voting equally easy in both approaches.

S: I agree, ‘not necessarily’ because presumably, EPR would not be more user friendly for each citizen who only wishes to express their own views with the less discerning and meaningful languages of ticks, numbers, or preferences.  However, presumably it would definitely be seen as more user friendly by all citizens wishing to use the richest and most discerning language at their disposal.

J: My overall impression is that this method is on a reasonably good track if we start from the assumption that the society accepts the basic idea of having representatives with different weights.

S:  I can see that some existing representatives might not like having both a different number of ‘weighted votes’, as well as their number not being composed proportionately of as many Excellents as given to other representatives.  However, ‘society’ is relevantly composed of individual citizens, each with a vote.  I believe that each citizen would place a higher value on his or her own one vote indirectly having an equal weight in their legislatures’ deliberation than sometime having to lose their own equality just so each elected member of the legislature will be equal to each other member.  One-citizen-one-vote is more fundamental than one-representative-one-vote.

J:  [….] This might fall slightly short of your target of directing each vote to some clearly named single representative, but you might gain simplicity and understandability and you might get rid of the vote selling related questions.

S: What could be simpler and more democratic than each voter knowing exactly to which most valued representative’s ‘weighted vote’ her one vote had been added?

What do you think?  I look very much to your feedback.



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