[EM] IRV / RCv advances
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
abd at lomaxdesign.com
Thu Jul 19 09:39:50 PDT 2018
Great question, thanks.
On 7/19/2018 10:17 AM, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
> One thing I don't get about this phrasing of Asset is how the problem
> of scale is handled.
> If the number of people initially voted for is small enough that they
> can all physically meet, then Asset is easy: everybody who gets at
> least one vote meets and then negotiate to distribute vote assets
> until the vote assets have been concentrated on sufficiently few
> candidates to fit the final council. If the council votes are
> unweighted, one might additionally add a constraint that every
> candidate needs more than a quota's worth of votes.
Actually, what I've been proposing is far simpler. A quota is set, and
once a candidate is chosen by that number of electors, the candidate is
elected. It is not essential that the election process be complete by
some deadline. Some seats might remain vacant, and under some conditions
and rules, some seats might not be filled until the next election. An
Assembly can -- and often does -- function with fewer than the full
number of seats. However, two points should be considered: the Assembly,
like traditional assemblies, makes its own rules and it can create
observer seats with limited voting power. I prefer to not make that part
of the voting system. The system creates seats and there might be some
unassigned votes, I call "dregs." Ideally, these are considered, but
they are controlled by the owners of the unassigned votes.
The other consideration is that an elector may delegete votes to a
candidate who is already elected, and in delegating such votes, the
elector is consenting to assignment of those votes by the selected
candidate. Or the elector may hold back the votes until an effective
candidate is found, to be chosen directly. I prefer in this system that
votes be transfered in named blocks (named after the original elector
who received them). Thus every vote becomes traceable to the elector,
and thus the actual secret ballot voter knows whom their vote elected.
This is quite simple to do. Fractional votes might also be part of the
dregs. Again, I'd suggest that those transferring votes maintain the
identify of all voting blocks. Simple to do with computers, and it
creates a traceable and verifiable path from voters to seats. (As to the
original votes, those would be identified by precinct and, again, there
are quite good reasons to suggest that this identification remain.)
While Asset is not "district-based," as I've described it, in practice
people will mostly prefer to select someone local to represent them.
Asset allows them to do that, if they can agree locally with other
electors, while some may prefer to choose some special representative
for their point of view or identity for the entire jurisdiction.
> But now suppose there are a million voters and everybody chooses one
> of their friends as the one they trust.
Which is quite what I'd suggest. I.e., I suggest that initial voting be
for someone who is not only considered qualified, but with whom on may
actually, in real life, communicate.
> The set of everybody who's somebody's friend is unlikely to be small
> enough that they can physically meet.
It is not necessary for everyone to meet. Indeed, meeting may not be
particularly useful until amalgamation is at a very high level.
So, a million voters. Not stated, how many seats? Let's set the quota at
20,000. So this is 50 seats maximum. There may be electors with only one
vote. My sense is that most of "small electors" will simply assign that
vote to their favorite and leave it at that.
> How does Asset proceed from this point? Is it just like delegable
> proxy, where the "initial candidates" name other candidates in turn
> until the set has been narrowed down enough?
I have suggested that electors may use delegable proxy to rapidly
identify efficient transfers. But that would be voluntary, not official.
Officially, an elector logs into a web site and records vote transfers.
These are all public and traceable. The actual election is public, but
only a very simple choice is being exercised by each elector, it is not
necessary to meet in person, because deliberative process is not required.
The exact details may obviously vary. But let's imagine that votes have
assigned and amalgamated to a level where half the seats plus one have
been assigned. If the vote required to pass a substantive measure is
based on a majority of the total possible seats (thus actually
representing a majority of the total body of voters), then the Assembly
may begin functioning, but requiring unanimity for action. As more seats
are elected, that would decline. If all seats are elected, or if
fractional voting is allowed (a tweak), the standard to meet for passage
would be a simple majority. Motions of privilege and the like would be
based on actual elected and present seats.
So we have 25 seats left, and 500,000 voters not yet represented.
Whenever 20,000 voters agree, another seat is elected. How many electors
are involved. If the average number of votes per elector by this time is
200, groups of congenial electors could meet, and it would be about 100
electors, very doable. They do not need to agree with each other, in
toto, only in blocks enjoying, within the block, unanimity of choice.
There might be a big convention, toward the end.
By the way, who pays for the expenses of electors? My suggestion is that
elector be a fully volunteer position, and that electors pay their own
expenses. However, people may donate to a fund for elector expenses,
assigning this to electors. If spent for legitimate expenses, this would
be tax-free. Anything beyond that would be taxable income, and some
electors might make it a full-time job, similar to present lobbyists.
They would serve to communicate between seats and the general public,
and especially those who voted for them.
Asset Assemblies, I predict, will self-organize with much more
efficiency than we might expect.
However, this is one reason why I suggest NGO implementation of Asset
before using it for governmental purposes. That's to develop experience
in how it works -- and how it might not work.
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