[EM] Heitzig consensus and brinkmanship

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Wed Jul 15 17:02:46 PDT 2020

 Hi Kristofer,
    Le mardi 14 juillet 2020 à 18:40:19 UTC−5, Kristofer Munsterhjelm <km_elmet at t-online.de> a écrit :  
> I was thinking about the possibility of using the mechanism to direct a
> government or organization to act in a minmax manner: one that intend to
> make the worst off best off, rather than improve the condition of the
> median voter.
Just to interject quickly. To my mind these two things are (naively) the same, andif results matched the preference of the median voter you would have a goodthing. What I expect instead, with two factions fighting over who can capture a majority, is that the factions don't propose (or don't enact) the median position.They want the vote of that position, and those voters can come to the victory party,but they won't be in control.
> From what I remember, Jobst and Forest were originally
> trying to find a method to avoid a majority dictatorship, so my idea is
> in a way to consistently take that to its logical conclusion. If the
> state or the organization must pay attention to every voter, or to a
> supermajority of them, then it can't afford to leave some of them badly off.
> But if it's to be used as a part of normal operating procedure, then it
> has to resist strategy to some degree, and it can't take the whole
> organization or state down with it at the first sign of trouble. So if
> the brinkmanship scenario is a problem, then either the mechanism has to
> be augmented to stop it being a problem, or the assembly has to somehow
> be able to keep the peace enough that politics will never become that
> contentious to begin with.

It seems like a tall order...

> Yes, that is a possibility - that a way out is to make the consensus
> option at least as good on expectation as the roll of the dice,
> discounted by whatever risk aversion exists.
> That's an important point, I think. The consensus option doesn't have to
> be extremely good. For it to be chosen, it just has to be preferred to
> rolling the dice by everyone. If it's barely better, that's still good
> enough to make it pass.
I think that may be true (if we rule out, as I say, a value to being perceivedas unwilling to compromise), but I wonder how often such a consensusoption could be expected to exist? I picture the math of it very simply butit seems like it should be nearly a wash.
When you say "to make the consensus option at least as good" do youenvision some kind of mechanism that could actually improve what theconsensus option is? Or maybe, easier to imagine: a rule that imposes some kind of universal penalty if consensus isn't achieved. A forfeiture of office seems like the most obvious.
>> Maybe I've overlooked something though.
>> Going off topic, the idea I like here is to require each voter to 
>> nominate a majority of the voters (as though they would form a
>> government). The most-nominated voter determines the outcome of the
>> question. In this way, defection requires a potentially dangerous
>> form of burial.
> Wouldn't that give a coordinated majority the ability to control the
> outcome? Or am I missing something?
They certainly can ensure that one of them wins it, but not which one ofthem wins it. Imagine a 55:45 complete partisan split. The 55 can purelyvote for themselves (i.e. each casts 51-55 approvals). But the 45 willeach have to vote for 6+ of the 55. If there really is no difference among the 55, then nothing has been gained. You have to hope there is a"moderate wing" within the 55 that the 6+ votes can be given to.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20200716/9b8eb05f/attachment.html>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list