[EM] COWPEA and COWPEA Lottery paper on arXiv

Toby Pereira tdp201b at yahoo.co.uk
Sun May 21 11:57:58 PDT 2023

 On Sunday, 21 May 2023 at 19:34:33 BST, Kristofer Munsterhjelm <km_elmet at t-online.de> wrote:
 >In the paper, when describing clone independence, you say:

>> In a single-winner method, the situation is much simpler: adding a  > clone would mean that the winner must not switch between a candidate
>> outside the clone set and one inside, in either direction.

>Doesn't that definition omit crowding? The winner would change from a 
>candidate outside the clone set to another one.
You're right. I'll make a note of that for any updates to the paper.

>That's interesting. It reminds me of a ranked method I mentioned on here 
>once, where you choose a winner from the top of a ranked ballot, 
>eliminate this winner, and repeat. It tends to party list 
>proportionality given enough candidates per party, but is either not 
>very proportional (when determinized) or has a high variance (when not) 
>with few seats. Unlike COWPEA, it also works by electing candidates 
>rather than excluding them.

>Could anything useful be said about the mode of the COWPEA lottery for a 
>fixed number of candidates? Or does that lose proportionality the way 
>random ballot is (in a sense) proportional yet Plurality definitely is not?

I noticed you'd added the ranked-ballot version of random ballot on the wiki at some point last year. https://electowiki.org/wiki/Random_ballot I think I prefer COWPEA Lottery because although it's still a lottery, it potentially uses more ballots - i.e. not just the same number of ballots as there are candidates to elect - so I see it as a more consensual lottery (unless everyone just bullet votes.) Because of that I think its proportionality might hold up better than the ranked method. Obviously its proportional guarantees aren't as great as the deterministic variable-candidate-weight version though. But if there are several representatives (e.g. 5 or 6) elected per geographical constituency and many of these across a country, then overall it should give better proportionality than a deterministic method. This is because parties/ideologies that have say 10% of the support nationally should still win the right proportion of seats rather than keep missing out. I also think it works well with scores or grades but used as layers of approval rather than as numerical values, and I think this probably reduces the strategic burden on the voters.
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