[EM] IRV / RCv advances

Richard Lung voting at ukscientists.com
Sat Jul 14 07:08:37 PDT 2018

Hello all, Robert in particular.
Re point 1.
I forget which, but there is an official (STV) election that counts an 
x-vote as a first preference. Those, who don't want to change, don't 
have to. But those, who do, can rank their choices beyond one order of 
choice. This is not a problem of a learning difficulty,  beyond the 
difficulty of learning consideration for others.
Re. 2.
Agree completely about score voting. I can't help but feel approval 
voting is essentially a rebranding of cumulative voting. In about 1867, 
John Stuart Mill knew it was only a trifling improvement on plurality 
counting but at least opened peoples minds to alternatives.
Re 3.
Weighted Condorcet pairing arguably offers a back-door that partly gets 
round the Laplace criticism of Condorcet pairing, that it does not 
establish the relative importance of higher and lower preferences, in 
the over-all election count.
I see Condorcet pairing primarily as a research tool for 
cross-referencing the results of an at-large election with the results 
from sub-elections of one-to-one contests or less minimal partitions. 
Ideally, we would have an election system that does not have to watch 
its back for a Condorcet paradox.
Even an admittedly crude election like IRV (Alternative Vote), according 
to this group, has only come-up with the Burlington case. That may have 
been politically unfortunate. But, if about 150? elections have not 
suffered the paradox, that incidence is not statistically significant.
The real comparison is how many "Bush beats Gore minus Nader" contests 
are there? And how many simple plurality elections make voters act as 
their own returning officers in an implicit ranked choice election, 
where the voter excludes his first preference for Nader, and counts it 
for second preference Gore?

Re 4.
Thankyou, Robert for the thankless task of reading my book or manual on 
the subject. It took me 14 years to develop FAB STV, on top of a 
lifetimes study of voting method. It is bound to be unfamiliar to readers.
The key to understanding the FAB STV procedure is that one thing leads 
to another, starting with the Meek method keep value. It is a logical 
succession of steps each required for greater consistency. All this 
hugely complex system is to fulfill this guiding purpose of 
representation to higher degrees of statistical accuracy.
I can answer questions. I did think of outlining the FAB STV thread of 
logic. But I found myself leaving out key explanations, to not get 
bogged down in details.

Re 5.
You are way ahead of me, on administration of the new electoral system. 
You are completely right. There is no chance of its political adoption 
in the forseeable future. Brian Meek did not live to see Meek method 
adopted for official elections in New Zealand.
Re 6.
In a multi-member constituency, a voters fifth choice may be more liked 
than his first choice in a single member constituency, such is the 
expansion of choice and comprehensiveness of representation. This was 
why HG Wells specified the three conditions: proportional representation 
with the single transferable vote in large constituencies.
It is not ranked choice that is the problem but the fixation on single 
winner elections, that do not have to be more than minimally democratic.

Richard Lung.

On 13/07/2018 19:27, robert bristow-johnson wrote:
> ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
> Subject: Re: [EM] IRV / RCv advances
> From: "Richard Lung" <voting at ukscientists.com>
> Date: Fri, July 13, 2018 2:53 am
> To: "Sennet Williams" <sennetwilliams at yahoo.com>
> Cc: "Election-Methods at lists.electorama.com" 
> <Election-Methods at lists.electorama.com>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > It is ironic that the world seems to have this electoral reform battle
> > of the big-enders versus the little-enders (from Gullivers Travels).
> > That is to say the collectivist Europeans and their outliers, back a
> > proportional count with party lists - such as sabotages individual
> > choice, without a ranked choice for voters. While the good ole US of A
> > does not forget individual representation with a ranked choice, but
> > forgets equality of representation with a proportional count. The only
> > exception is Cambridge Mass. using STV, and one or two minor cases of
> > STV in Minnesota, I believe.
> > One EM member says STV is BAD. As the ignored inventor of FAB STV, I
> > know the limitations of traditional STV but essentially it is on the
> > right lines, laid down by the original inventors, Carl Andrae and Thomas
> > Hare, namely the quota-preferential method, as the Aussies pithily
> > describe its essence.
> >
> > As for ranked pairing, my understanding is that it is not an independent
> > method at all, but a means of cross-referencing a ranked choice
> > electoral system.
> i was referring to the Tideman Ranked-Pairs method, which is a 
> Condorcet compliant method of RCV.
> > As previously mentioned to this email group, I wrote a
> > supplemetary chapter on this, in my book FAB STV: Four Averages Binomial
> > Single Transferable Vote.
> Richard, I think i found this e-book 
> at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/806030 .
> There are a couple of observations (or criticisms, sorry about that):
> 1. RCV advocates have trouble convincing people that just insist that 
> a ranked-ballot is too complicated.  No matter *how* the ranked-ballot 
> election is tallied, they complain that instructions which are 
> anything more than "Mark your choice with an 'X'." is too 
> complicated.  I really disagree, but that is a reality that we 
> voting-reform advocates have to deal with.
> 2. I **do** think that Score Voting (I like that term for it, rather 
> than "Range Voting") is too complicated and that both Score Voting and 
> Approval Voting are **inherently** presenting voters with a tactical 
> decision, which is: What do they do with their 2nd-choice candidate?  
> I want to remove any pressure for tactical decisions.  And when it 
> comes to a binary decision ("Do we elect A or B?"), I fundamentally 
> want each voter's vote count equally.  This is one basic reason I'm 
> for Condorcet.
> 3. IRV (or STV or, nowadays, "RCV") advocates say to me that 
> "Condorcet" is too complicated.  I disagree emphatically in the case 
> of no cycle in which I think that Condorcet is far **simpler** than 
> IRV.  All Condorcet simply says is "If more voters mark their ballots 
> preferring Candidate A over Candidate B than voters marking their 
> ballots to the contrary, then Candidate B is not elected."  That's 
> **all** it says and, with one-person-one-vote as an electoral dogma, I 
> cannot see how anyone can disagree with that.  The **only** thing that 
> makes Condorcet appear complicated is: "What to do in the case of a 
> cycle?" and Ranked-Pairs is the **simplest** meaningful rule to answer 
> to that.
> 4. Even looking at your online book that I note above, I cannot figure 
> out what FAB-STV is.  With study, maybe I *can* figure it out.  But 
> because of its inherent complexity, *selling* this method to a 
> legislature or a voting public appears to me to be dead-in-the-water.  
> If it's complicated, it will never-ever-ever be adopted for 
> governmental use, and that is because we want elections to be 
> transparent to the public.  The public needs to know **exactly** how 
> and why some particular candidate won the election, and it must not be 
> obfuscated behind an opaque or hard-to-understand algorithm for 
> tallying votes and picking the winner.
> 5. There are several reasons why STV is a problem and I doubt, once I 
> understand what FAB-STV is, that these problems will be surmounted.  
> e.g. Is FAB-STV precinct summable?  Or do all of the ballots (or 
> electronic facsimiles of the ballots) have to be transferred from the 
> precincts to a central location where the tabulation is done and after 
> each round, votes are transferred from one pile to another according 
> to the FAB-STV rules?  If that problem doesn't go away, there will 
> always be election integrity advocates (as well as conspiracy 
> theorists) that will suspect that maybe some monkey business happens 
> when the ballots are transferred from the precincts to the central 
> location, or maybe the code at the central location got hacked, and 
> there is no immediate way to check that out.  Precinct summability is 
> an important safeguard that the resistors to change (those who support 
> keep First-Past-The-Post) will use to beat over our heads.  And with 
> today's STV (and I assume also with FAB-STV) they can still bonk us 
> over the head with that.
> 6. Lastly, I am not (yet) venturing into the multi-winner election 
> problem.  I realize that with multi-winner elections (often multi-seat 
> legislative districts or city councils with large districts or 
> at-large councilors), that STV might be the simplest way to get to 
> proportional representation (PR).  And despite the 
> precinct-summability problem, STV might be preferable to other methods 
> (but it seems to me that the ranking that happens from Ranked-Pairs 
> *might* work for multi-winner).  So when I say "STV --> BAD", I mean 
> that principally for single-winner elections.
> --
> r b-j                         rbj at audioimagination.com
> "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
> ----
> Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info

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