[EM] IRV / RCv advances

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Mon Jul 16 13:40:06 PDT 2018

Asset is totally out-of-the-box. It was reinvented on the Election 
Methods mailing list in the 1990s, and by Warren Smith, who coined the 
term "Asset Voting." Asset was designed to make STV work far better. It 
works well if the voter only states the favorite, and, in fact, my own 
analysis came to be that adding more candidates simply complicates the 
process with no benefit.

The concept of a voting system that simply allows the voter to name 
their most-trusted candidate, with nothing more needed, is definitely 
not how people think!

You think that ranked choice is "essential" but that comes from an 
assumption of contested elections. Asset with a Hare quota creates fully 
cooperative elections. Nobody loses. Depending on specific rules, the 
election might run a seat short. I actually prefer that to using the 
Droop quota, which then creates wasted votes. With the Hare quota, votes 
might seem "wasted" but only because those holding them don't get it 
together to create a seat. Natural consequences, and it becomes possible 
to allow a seat to be elected later, and it's even possible to use the 
"electoral college" that Asset creates to allow some level of direct 

Asset used for single-winner elections would find a majority or simply 
fail until the electors get it together. They eventually will, that's 

Asset can create a winner or winners that are not even on the ballot. 
And, in fact, Asset doesn't need printed ballots and doesn't need 
restricted candidate lists, but for simplicity I'd require candidate 


Warren's version of Asset was needlessly complicated, and he was still 
thinking in terms of trying to select the "best" candidates using 
amalgamation. Asset can do this much more directly and intelligently.

Basically, if Asset is run properly, all voters are represented by a 
person they freely chose (from among those willing to serve), either 
actually by that person or -- for most elected seats -- by someone 
approved by the person they chose. I call the collection of candidates 
receiving any votes the "electoral college," because this does resemble 
the original U.S. electoral college.

Again, Warren, writing that page, was still thinking in terms of a party 
system. Asset could be truly revolutionary, making the party system 
unnecessary. Most people, hearing about Asset for the first time, simply 
don't get that with no wasted votes, there is no need for strategy, no 
need to campaign, even, so no need for money to run for office. Leaders 
will emerge, for sure, but will be clearly responsible to those who vote 
for them.

I expect that ballots with names on them would disappear. With Asset, 
you can decide to vote only for someone who will actually talk with you, 
whom you know. Those who are actually elected will know which electors 
actually voted for them, so there is, again, responsibility, and a 
communication network would be naturally created. You can talk with your 
elector, the one you voted for, and your elector can talk to the seat, 
generally. Electors who only have a few votes will turn them over to 
other electors, so the chain of communication can become larger, but 
that's normal. It can still be clear and reliable.

On 7/16/2018 3:34 PM, Richard Lung wrote:
> Thankyou for troubling to make so many comments. Have never heard of 
> Asset, even if it goes as far back as 1880. Have heard Charles Dodgson 
> mentioned but forget (am old). Indeed am unfamiliar with the host of 
> variations on methods. But have a few basic guidelines, which I trust. 
> (It surprises me but does not perturb me that many experts don't think 
> so.) A single-order vote, the x-marks the spot vote is not sufficient 
> for effective voting. A many-order vote (ranked choice) is essential. 
> Likewise a single majority count is far less accurate than a 
> many-majority count (like the Droop quota). You will perceive a 
> pattern here: the general system is a many order vote for a many 
> majority count.
>  from

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