(14) APR: Steve's 14th
dialogue with Richard Fobes (Steve)
Richard and others,
thank you for your feedback,
of course, I am most interested in receiving your views on my responses to your
most resent replies.
if you can find the time, I would also like to receive your responses to the
remaining points I made in dialogue 13.
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:26:34 -0800
> From: ElectionMethods <at> VoteFair.org
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> CC: stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com
> Subject: Re: (13) APR: Steve's 13th dialogue with Richard Fobes
the island of Cyprus, from what I learned by reading about it
> in Wikipedia, the dominant conflict is between residents who want the
> island to be administered by Greece and residents who want the island to
> be administered by Turkey.
you report is not really relevant to Cyprus after 1974. This description was
more true of the 1950s. In 1963 to 1974
the Greek Cypriots, aided by Greece, destroyed the 1960 partnership federation between
the 2 communities by trying to ethnically cleans 20% of the Cyprus population, i.e.
the Turkish Cypriots. By 1974 the
Turkish Cypriots had been forced to relocate to about 3% of the island, having
owned about 30% in 1960. In 1974, a fascist
coup among the Greek Cypriots, with the support of the Military Junta in Greece,
violently tried to complete the ethnic cleansing. That is when Turkey finally acted upon its
1960 treaty obligation to protect the TCs within the 1960 partnership
federation. It did this by making the
North territorially safe for the TCs. In
this context, the TCs established their independent Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus in 1983. Unfortunately, ever
since, the rest of the world has largely ignored the injustices inflicted upon
the TCs, as well as the 1960 treaty obligation that the UK, Greece, and Turkey
had, separately or jointly, to guarantee the 1960 partnership Republic, e.g. no
state other than Turkey recognizes the TRNC.
kind of "us versus them" conflict is much simpler than the
> conflicts among the residents of California.
> The situation in California is much more complex. Here are some sample
> issues that dominate the politics of California:
> * Water. Who gets it? Farmers? Ranchers? Cities? Which cities?
> Rural areas? Etc.
> *Money. Who gets it? Business owners? Hard-working employees? Which
> businesses get more? Does the money go to rural areas or cities? Which
> cities benefit more? Etc.
> *Religion. This conflict has multiple sub-conflicts including abortion,
> animal rights, marijuana use, lottery/gambling, gay-and lesbian rights,
> As a specific example, let's suppose that a voter is a lesbian,
> animal-rights activist who lives in the region within California called
> "the State of Jefferson, which is the less-populated region well
> of San Francisco and Sacramento, and by some reckoning even north of
> Redding. Her interests would conflict with a neighbor who is a farmer
> or rancher who sells to agribusiness customers. Yet she would not vote
> for a politician from an animal-rights and gay/lesbian-rights group
> based in Los Angeles – because that conflicts with the issue of
> far-northern Californians paying taxes and yet getting fewer
> state-funded services, and because the group in Los Angeles would favor
> sending water from Northern California to Southern California, and
> because Los Angeles has lots of corruption that she would not want to
> help support. In a similar way she would not be well represented by
> such an organization in another large city (within California).
S: Yes, some lesbians in ”Jefferson” might be as
you imagine, but others might want to join a lesbian friendly association that
is also appreciative of the need to send water to LA, etc. The use of APR would test the extent to which
this is true, e.g. test the extent to which some citizens’ values are not geographically
R: You would probably say that she and
similar voters in her region should
> create an "association," but a political group of
> animal-rights folks in far-northern California would not be able to
> raise even $15,000 …
Perhaps and perhaps not. Perhaps there
are enough such like minded people in the whole of California to establish a
relevant association. APR would discover
whether or not.
R: … to get listed on your APR ballot. Plus such
voters would be harassed locally if they became vocal as a group.
does not require anyone to be locally “vocal”.
R: Are you beginning to understand why your APR
method would not work well in California? There are too many issues dividing
the state into too many combinations of political interests.
> The complexity of political issues throughout the United States is even
> more dramatic.
S: Why are you so sure that APR would not
provide an efficient process by which more of these “issues” could be
proportionately represented and resolved?
What would be lost by trying?
R: You might assume that similar-minded voters
would band together to
> create what you call associations, but similar-minded voters in one part
> of the nation have only some limited overlapping similarities with
> voters in another part of the nation.
S: Yes, but there also may be enough other “overlapping
similarities” countrywide so that some important interests would be proportionately
represented in and APR Congress that are currently ignored.
R: Of course your APR method initially would
increase the voice that each
> person has in terms of feeling represented by their favourite
> association. However, as soon as the biggest campaign contributors
> learn the new political landscape, those contributions would be
> channelled to the associations that get the most votes in U.S. Congress.
point is that your method is vulnerable to corruption.
S: You seem to be offering a counsel of despair. Why do you not accept my earlier suggestions
that the primary and associational element of APR would seem both to make it
less “vulnerable to corruption”, and to provide an extra degree of electoral
independents for citizens from the power of big money, celebrity, and the mass
R: For reasons I've already explained,
the results would be similar to what
> we have now, …
S: Given my
above suggestion and the fact that APR would enable citizens to help elect much
more attractive candidates (from their point of view) than are available to
them under the existing system, I do not see how we could be at all confident
that “the results would be similar to what we have now”. Do you not think that most citizens would
prefer to be able to guarantee that their vote will be added to the weighted
vote of the rep in the whole assembly they most trust? All the other so-called “fair voting methods”
I have studied cannot guarantee this benefit, e.g. approval voting, score
voting. Do you know of one that does?
of my article, in effect, also endorses "liquid democracy". However, it argues that it should have only
an advisory function regarding the finalization of legislation by the APR
elected legislative assembly. This alone
guarantees that each member of the majority that has made a given law will be
known, and thus able to be held to account.
you familiar with the evidence that Sol Erdman sees as supporting the argument
that if each rep is elected by like minded citizens, these reps will be more
easily held to account by them, as well be able to negotiate workable
compromises with their opponents? His
Personal Accountability Representation (PAR) is like APR in this respect.
R: Again I'll say that your APR method
might be suitable for use in some
> situations. It gives voters the ability to bypass knowingly corrupt
> organizations, which is a useful advantage.
> On 2/24/2015 8:21 AM, steve bosworth wrote:
> > Subject: (13) APR: Steve's 13th dialogue with Richard Fobes
> > To Richard and all others,
> >> Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:13:36 -0800
> >> From: ElectionMethods <at> VoteFair.org
> >> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> >> CC: stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com
> >> Subject: Re: (12) APR: Steve's 12th dialogue with Richard Fobes
> > R: Which nation do you live in?
> > S:I was born and raised in Michigan, got my B.A. from the U. of
> > taught Ghanain high school students for 2 years while in the U.S.
> > Corps, received my Ph.D. from the U. of London (L.S.E.), taught
> > political philosophy for many years at the University of Portsmouth (
> > UK), and have taught comparative politics and political ideologies in
> > universities in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for many
> > R: Perhaps the answer to this question will help me understand why
> >> not understand the concept of each nation wanting to follow laws
> >> are different from the laws in neighboring nations.
> > S:Perhaps both of us would define a “nation” as a group of people who
> > want to live together and to have some degree of sovereignty because
> > their shared values. If so, let me assure you that I do understand
> > different nations want to follow somewhat different laws, e.g.
> > Scotland, Wales, England, France, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Turkish
> > Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, etc.
> > However, I do not yet understand why you do not see that APR would
> > these different desires to be most accurately expressed in the laws
> > could be adopted by each nation.
In fact, I have just recently written a
> > suggestion of how APR might assist the 2 ethnic communities in Cyprus
> > establish a better federation than the 1960 partnership one that the
> > Greek Cypriots destroyed in 1963-4, i.e. a new federation in which
> > would enable different laws to be adopted in the north and in the
> > of the island, as well as the set of the joint adoption federal laws
> > that would apply to all the people living on the island.
> > Similarly, I see that APR could make the decisions made both by the
> > (a confederation) and by the US (a federation) more democratic. It
> > maximally help their central authorities and their respective member
> > “states” to make their different laws more proportionately to reflect
> > the actual range of values held by their different populations.
> > R: Rhode Island is small enough to be politically homogeneous (about
> >> same throughout the state). In contrast, people in geographically
> >> different parts of California want to follow laws that are
> >> from the laws in other parts of that state/nation.
> > S: Again, please try to explain why you seem to think APR would not
> > efficiently allow both “homogeneity” and diversity to be reflected
> > exactly in the legislation of any province, “state”, nation, unitary
> > state, confederation, or federal state to the extent either or both
> > happened to exist within its population.
> > R: Please pop the bubble on
your fantasy of thinking that your APR method
> >> might be suitable for use in the European Union or the United
> >> which are both federations in which there is only a limited
> >> cooperation among their separate nations/states.
> > S: Is this “fantasy” as you see it, only my seeming expectation that
> > might be adopted by any “state” or federation in the near future, or,
> > rather, my thought that APR would be rationally the most democratic
> > electoral system if it were ever put into practice? I see the first
> > suggestion for me as being probably correct because it certainly is
> > possible that human inertia might be so powerful, apathy so great,
> > traditionalism so strong, or the selfishness and skill of the current
> > power elite so great that APR will never be accepted. However, I do not
> > yet see why the 2nd suggestion should be dismissed as mere
> > fantasy. Please explain.
> > S: Of course, if you can find
the time after responding to the above, I
> > would also very much look forward to receiving your thoughts about
> > remaining questions I posed in the course of our 12th dialogue.
> >> Richard Fobes