Alexander Praetorius | 25 Feb 15:23 2015
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Question about "Voting System"

I follow this list for a long time, but I'm a bloody amateur.
In the past I was thinking a lot about one particular problem i face and how to come up with a method to solve it.

Many people should decide about a special number A which can be positive, negative or zero.
A lot of policies will depend on that number A.

The idea was, to let everyone vote what he thinks his personal favourite A was, but IN REAL TIME - so the voting can be changed all the time...
... and then build the average, but then, if 1 million people would vote on A=5 then still one single person could choose the final result if he just picks the right number to get the calculated average he wants.

So mabybe some restrictions have to be applied and people should also vote on those restrictions?
Who to approach that?
If somebody could help me with formalizing the problem, i'd be very happy - but i really lack a lot about the special terminology present normally used on this list.


--
DISCLAIMER:
Everything I have written above is my personal experience/opinion on things, no matter what kinds of words i did use
(e.g. "always", "never", "impossible", "waste of time", ....).
Such extreme words only do indicate, that my experience/opinion on something is very strong and i currently cannot imagine that there are other possibilities until new arguments/insights/whatever open my eyes that there are alternative perspectives too :-)
Please do not feel discouraged to challenge my opinion if you have a different one.

Best Regards / Mit freundlichen Grüßen
***********************************************
Alexander Praetorius
Bornemannstrasse 17
D - 60599 Frankfurt am Main
Germany
Germany
[skype] alexander.praetorius
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steve bosworth | 24 Feb 17:21 2015
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(13) APR: Steve's 13th dialogue with Richard Fobes

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 Mich., taught Ghanain  high school student for 2 years while in the U.S. Peace 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 2 universities in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for many years.
>
R:  Perhaps the answer to this question will help me understand why you do
> not understand the concept of each nation wanting to follow laws that
> 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 of their shared values.  If so, let me assure you that I do understand that different nations want to follow somewhat different laws, e.g. Ireland, 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 allow these different desires to be most accurately expressed in the laws that 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 to establish a better federation than the 1960 partnership one that the Greek Cypriots destroyed in 1963-4, i.e. a new federation in which APR would enable different laws to be adopted in the north and in the south 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 EU (a confederation) and by the US (a federation) more democratic.  It would maximally helping 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 the
> same throughout the state). In contrast, people in geographically
> different parts of California want to follow laws that are different
> 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 States --
> which are both federations in which there is only a limited degree of
> cooperation among their separate nations/states.

 

S: Is this “fantasy” as you see it, only my seeming expectation that APR 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 the remaining questions I posed in the course of our 12th dialogue.
>
> Richard Fobes
>
>
> On 2/20/2015 8:25 AM, steve bosworth wrote:
> > (12) APR: Steve's 12th dialogue with Richard Fobes
> >> (Steve)
> >
> >> From: election-methods-request <at> lists.electorama.com
> >> Subject: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 128, Issue 12
> >> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> >> Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 12:03:02 -0800
> >>
> >>
> >> 1. Re: (11) APR: Steve's 11th dialogue with Richard Fobes
> >> (Steve) (Richard Fobes)
> >>
> > To Richard and everyone,
> >
> > My most recent responses are tagged with S:
> >
> > Steve
> >> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>
> >> Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:10:35 -0800
> >> From: Richard Fobes <ElectionMethods <at> VoteFair.org>
> >>
> >> On 2/14/2015 2:16 PM, steve bosworth wrote:
> >> > ...
> >> > S: I see the point you are making but the problem stems from these
> >> > inconsistencies, not from APR. As I see it, the most practical means by
> >> > which APR might be adopt by all states (one by one) would be to start
> >> > with the some 20 states that might allow APR to be adopted for the
> >> > election of their own legislative assembly ....
> >>
> > R: Steve, your belief that your APR method might be useful to elect U.S.
> >> Congress members reveals a lack of understanding about the nature of the
> >> United States.
> >> …………………
> > R: Is it really necessary to point out that it would not be tolerable for a
> >> voter to give voting power to a Congressman who is from a different
> >> state/nation, and thereby shift the balance of power between
> > states/nations?
> >
> > S:Perhaps by “intolerable” you mean unconstitutional. I accept that the
> > full adoption of APR for electing the House of Representatives would
> > require a constitutional amendment and this would be very difficult to
> > achieve, however desirable.  Still, if up to 20 states adopted APR for
> > electing their own assemblies, this might help prepare the ground for
> > the adoption of the relevant US amendment.
> >
> > On the other hand, perhaps you mean that it would not be subjectively
> > “tolerable” to you and to many other Americans.  If so, please explain why
> > you or anyone else would not welcome the possibility to guarantee that
> > one’s vote would add to the weighted vote in the House of one’s most
> > trusted rep of the 435?
> >
> >>
> > R:And even if, somehow, every state/nation used the same voting rules, the
> >> balance of power among states/nations must not be dependent upon
> >> differences in weather on election day.
> >
> > S:  Please specify the conflicting “powers” you wish to be
> > “balanced”. Also, to the extent that “weather” might be a problem, surely
> > allowing all citizens to vote also by other means solves this problem as
> > much as it can be solved for any electoral system, e.g. voting by mail,
> > by the internet, designating a proxy, etc.
> >>
> > R: Your APR method might possibly be useful to elect representatives to the
> >> Rhode Island legislature (although there are better choices), …
> >
> > S:Why Rhode Island? What do you see to be the “best choice” and why?
> >
> > R: … would not be suitable for use in a state like California, which is
> >> already under some pressure to split into separate states.
> >
> > S:  Could not APR help California better to address the reasons why some
> > want this separation?  Being entirely democratic, perhaps its assembly
> > would be best placed to help solve the problems which are prompting the
> > pressures for separation.  Alternatively, its complete proportionality
> > might facilitate the achievement of a separation to the satisfaction of
> > the majority concern.  What do you think?
> >
> > Steve
>
>

 

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steve bosworth | 23 Feb 19:11 2015
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APR (17): Steve's 17th dialogue with Toby (Steve)

APR (17): Steve's 17th dialogue with Toby (Steve)

Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 19:47:19 +0000
From: tdp201b <at> yahoo.co.uk
To: stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com; election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
Subject: Re: APR (16): Steve's 16th dialogue with Toby (Steve)

 

To Toby (and everyone)


Here are my latest responses.  They are tagged with S:

 

I have chosen to begin by responding to your last paragraph first.

 

Steve

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

T: The score system, in contrast [to APR], is more realistic and uses the fact that a voter's representation is more accurately seen as the total representation they get from all MPs they support or partially support, and tries to equalise this measure of representation. It is a more sophisticated form of proportionality. …

 

S:  You say it is more sophisticated but its greater mathematical complexity seems to offers less equality and less certainty.

 

T: … I hope this is clearer now.

 

 

S:  It is clear but I think it is flawed because of the following:

1)     No electoral system (including APR and score) in any way removes or should remove the possibility that one citizen may discover that she has more than one MP in the Commons who shares her scale of values.  In fact, this is likely to happen in any system to the extent that, other citizens happen to share her scales of values.  There is nothing wrong with this. 

 

Admittedly, score voting could be used by citizens to encourage such multiple representation to happen but they could not guarantee it because it would not happen without there also being enough other citizens who have the same scale of values and thus will score candidates in a similar way.

 

APR has the advantage that it would guarantee any such multiple representation proportionately.  If 20% of citizen’s happened to share the same ideology, 20% of the weighted votes in the Commons would share this ideology.  This is because APR guarantees that the vote of each citizen in this 20% will be added to the MP she trusts most.  Thus, while each such citizen would have only one official MP who represents them, each such citizen would also see all the MPs who together held this 20% of the weighted votes in the Commons as unofficially representing them.

 

2)     Also, in contrast to APR, scale voting would allow groups of like minded voters to coordinate their individual scores of the candidates they favour so as to make it more probable that all their like minded candidates will be elected, i.e. by all these voters giving a score of 10 to each of these candidates.  Admittedly, score voting does not guarantee such results but to the extent that this strategy is successful, the total voting power of each of these citizens would be greater than that of individual voting citizens who are similarly members of smaller groups, or who are not members of any such like minded group, i.e. score voting would allow such strategic groups to gain more power per person than other individuals would have.  Thus, unlike APR, score voting would allow violations of the principle of one-person-one-vote. It could do this by allowing some voters to produce greater deviations of their voting power from the mean (i.e. each having a voting power greater than the mean, and thus also leave other citizens, per person, to share even less voting power than the mean.  This seems contrary to what you say you want.

 

Please explain if you think I am mistaken about this.

 

S: Still, if I do understand you correctly, you have not yet attempted exactly to define and explain the extra benefit you see as provided by score voting as contrasted with APR, i.e. the benefit you see as making it worth

1) denying equality to each citizen,

2) using much more complicated mathematics that few citizens would understand, and

3) denying to each citizen the capacity to guarantee that her vote will count fully within the weighted vote of the MP she most trusts (or the MP most trusted by her most favoured but eliminated candidate)?

 

You say that score voting uses more information but what extra benefit does this use provide?

 

S:  Perhaps the following paragraph by paragraph dialogue will only help to explain any elements of the above which I might not yet have made clear.

 

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

T: … The score voting system is based on an approval system, so I will describe that first:
> Voters cast approval ballots. If a particular candidate receives n votes, then if this candidate is elected, each voter of that candidate will get a [shared] representation amount of 1/n from that candidate. Each voter who did not vote for that candidate gets 0 representation from [him]. So the total representation received by [all] the voters [collectively] from ?an elected? candidate [they have elected] will always be 1 [i.e. one vote in the Commons].
> A voter's total representation is the sum of the [shared] representation they receive from each elected candidate [who they have approved]. Assuming that each elected candidate has received at least one vote, then for c elected candidates, the sum of the representation of all voters will be c.[c = 650 in the Commons] …

 

XS: No, only the voters whose approvals helped to elect at least one MP have a share in the total amount of representation. At the same time, the total share held by each citizen may be very different from one another, e.g. [some 0], some very below the mean and some much higher than the mean. This means that the voting power of each citizen in the Commons with approval/score voting may be very unequal, i.e. in sharp contrast to APR.


T:  Well, it's true that only voters who have approved an elected MP have a share in the total representation, but I haven't denied that. The total representation is still c as I described. …

 

S: If “representing” means “to speak or to act on behave of another person’s scale of values”, I think it would be better for you simply to say that c is the number of single votes in your Commons, i.e. 650). At the same time, all these single votes probably officially “represent” some of these citizens per capita more than others are officially represented in the Commons, and all the citizens whose score  did not help to elect any MP would not be officially represented at all.

 

S: So you accept that with score voting some citizens’ votes will be entirely wasted (i.e. not help to elect any candidate), and those that do help will usually count somewhat unequally.  If so, is this not a needless violation of the principle of “one-person-one-vote”?

 

T: …The arithmetic mean will always be c/v (for v voters). …

 

S: No, v is not the total number of voters but the number of votes that have helped to elect MPs.

 

T: … Full proportionality is achieved if every voter has representation of c/v. …

 

S: APR guarantees this and you have already admitted above that scale voting does not.

 

T: … The disproportionality measure of a set of candidates is the sum of the squared deviation from c/v of each voter's representation (so lower being better). …

 

S: I am not entirely sure that I have understood every element of your following attempts to show me exactly how the degree of “disproportionality” in any score voting results could be calculated. 

I have marked these somewhat problematic paragraphs an asterisk*.  You will also see that I have sometimes interjected my own interpretations of your words, i.e. to understand elements that were not yet entirely clear to me in your own formulations. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

 

In any case, above you seem already to “accept that with score voting, some citizens’ votes will be entirely wasted (i.e. not help to elect any candidate), and those that do help will usually count somewhat unequally.  If so, in contrast to APR, you accept that score voting violates the principle of “one-person-one-vote”?”

 

Please explain the extra benefits you see in score voting which makes you prefer it to APR, i.e. even when APR:

1)     avoids this violation,

2)     uses voting and counting methods which are much simpler for ordinary people to understand, and

3)     enables each citizen to guarantee that their one vote will be added to the weighted vote of her most favoured MP (or the MP most favoured by the eliminate candidate she most favoured).

 

*T: … But also, because the variance of x is mean (x^2) - (mean x)^2, where in this case x represents voters' representation levels, (mean x)^2 will always be the same - it will be (c/v)^2 - so we can remove it from the equation. …

 

S: I.e. x = the sum of all the levels of shares in the voting power in the Commons held by all the voters.  x/c = the mean share, i.e. the average share held by one voter.


*T: …Minimising the squared deviation from the mean of a variable (say x) is the same as minimising the variance of x. In this case, x is the [sum of all] individual voters' levels of representation [i.e. levels of shares in the total voting power in the Commons]. Maybe I should say something like x1 to xi for i voters. But anyway, a formula for the variance of x is: mean (x^2) - (mean x)^2. In other words - the mean of (x squared) minus (mean of x) squared. In this case, c/v is the mean and will be the same under any result, so (mean x)^2 is always (c/v)^2

 

S: Yes, because x = c, and x/v = c/v = the mean voting power of each voter, the

mean of x  = (mean x)^2 is always (c/v)^2.

 

*T: … and if we take it out of the formula, it will never change the result order. So we just need the total of the squares of the individual voter representation levels, and the result that gives the lowest is the most proportional by this measure.


*XT: … For score voting, the scores would be converted into approvals by "splitting" voters. For example, the maximum score is 10. Voters are split into 10 parts. If a voters gives a candidate a score of 10, then all 10 parts of the voter approve the candidate.

 

S: Not clear.

 

*Xt:  For a score of 9, then 9 parts of the voter approve that candidate, and so on. If we number the voter parts 1 to 10, then each part approves every candidate given a score equal to or higher than their part number.

 

S: Not clear.

 

*T:  On the voter-splitting, say the maximum score is 10. A voter is "split" into 10 parts (numbered 1 to 10). Each "voter part" approves a candidate only if the score given by the voter to the candidate is equal to or higher than the score the voter gave.

 

S: Last sentence not clear.

 

*T:  A voter gives scores of 10, 7, 3 and 1 to four candidates A, B, C and D respectively. "Part 1" [i.e. the 1st count of all scores given by all voters] approves all four candidates (all candidates have a score of 1 or higher [i.e. or 3, 7, or 10 in this example]). No other part [i.e. not later count] approves candidate D, so D only receives a tenth of the available approvals. Candidate C is approved by parts [counts] 1, 2, and 3 - that's 3 of the possible 10 and equivalent to its score of 3 out of 10 [from this voter]. B gets 7 out of 10 approvals and A gets all of them [from this voter]. This converts scores into an equivalent proportion of approvals.


On weighted votes, score voting can be used in a weighted system, so score v rank is a separate debate from weighted v non-weighted. For example, say there are 500 MPs to be elected. We run the election program with 5000 slots available, but each candidate can be elected to more than one. …

 

S:  Not clear, e.g. “slots”.

 

T: For example, candidate A is the most popular (receives the highest total score) so is elected first. We then look at which candidate should be elected second to give the most proportional two-candidate result….

 

S: I.e. the sum of the deviations from the mean of the voters (scorers) of these two candidates is smaller than if the first elected candidate were paired instead with any other candidate.

 

*T: … It might be that simply electing another A would be the most proportional option. ..

 

S: Not clear.

 

*T:  We do this 5000 times. Once the total number of different MPs elected reaches 500, we simply eliminate everyone else and carry on to 5000 [not clear] with the 500 already-elected MPs. If the opposite happens - i.e. not enough different MPs are going to be elected - once we reach the point where there are as many new MPs still needed as slots (out of the 5000) left, we elect only so far unelected candidates to the remaining places. …

 

S:  Not clear.

 

*T: … In other words if 4900 slots are gone and we have only elected 400 different MPs, then each remaining slot must go to somebody new.

 

S:  Not clear.

 


*T: …We would end up with 500 MPs elected with weighted votes.

 

S: Yes.

 

*T: … Each slot out of the 5000 would represent 1/5000 of the total Commons vote or 0.1 of an average MP. So every elected MP would have a weighted vote rounded to 0.1. We could obviously have more "resolution" and have, for example, 50,000 slots so MPs would be elected in multiples of 0.01 of an average MP's vote. …

 

S:  Not clear.


*T: … On weighted votes generally, I think we have largely made our points about that and I don't really want to bring out all my arguments again because I think we'd end up going round in circles, but it's all there in the archives. But if you want to bring up something specific I have said,
feel free to do so.

 

T:  But I will make some points about APR's ranking v score now. When I've mentioned the measure of disproportionality in the score result, a few times you've pointed out that indeed any result would (realistically) have disproportionality, whereas you have argued that APR does not have this disproportionality. But this is not a reasonable comparison because they are not being compared by the same measure. …

 

S:  Let’s again compare them by the same measure then.  As I understand it, you want to measure the results of score voting by calculating the average per capita deviation from the mean of the voting power of all individual voters.  As a result, you discovered that it is likely that some voters would have no voting power, while the rest would have varying degrees of voting power.  You think the best result would be when this average deviation is as small as possible.  By contrast, when we apply the same test to APR, we find both that there would be no such deviations and each citizen could guarantee that her vote will have exactly a power of 1 within the total number of citizens voting.  Therefore, while score voting would probably provide unequal voting power for citizens, APR provides this equality.  How do you justify this inequality?


T: … APR's measure is purely on wasted votes. As long as every voter is able to be assigned a candidate that they have ranked (somewhere on their list), then no votes are wasted and APR has achieved perfect proportionality. All very well and good. Except that in the case where all voters give a full ranking of all candidates, every single result would end up as fully proportional under APR's measure. …

 

S: Not exactly.  I think we already agreed that both systems should allow each voter

1)     to rank or score as many or as few of the candidates in the country as they might wish, and

2)     allow her to require her top ranked (or top scored) but eliminated candidate to pass on her APR vote to the rep most favoured in that candidate’s pre-declared ranked list of other candidates ( or to pass on one score vote worth of this eliminated candidate’s pre-declared scores to other candidates).

This means that without needing to “give a full ranking of all candidates”, an APR voter could guarantee that her whole vote would at least be added to the weighted vote of an indirectly favoured rep.  A score voter’s vote would similarly be passed on to the candidates scored by her top ranked but eliminated candidate but these scores might or might not help any of these other candidates to be elected, i.e. her vote might count for zero or more or less than the mean voting power of each citizen in the Commons.  Unlike an APR citizen, a score citizen cannot guarantee that her vote will count at all, or even equally if it does help to elect at least one MP.

 

*T: … I'm not saying that APR would give a random result but simply that no system, given these ballots, could fail to give a result that would be perfectly proportional by APR's measure. …

 

S:  Now you seem to be meaning something different by “perfectly proportional”. Previously you meant, each voter having a voting power in the commons that does not at all deviate from the mean.  Now  “perfect” seems to require that each citizen be represented by her top ranked candidate?  In this sense, I grant that APR does not guarantee this.  It only allows a citizen to guarantee that her vote will be added to the weighted vote of the MP (not candidate) she most trusts (or the MP most trusted either by her top ranked but eliminated candidate or by the MP she has help to elect but who received more than 10% of the weighted votes in the Commons).


T:  … If, in a score voting election, voter 1's 10/10 candidate is elected and voter 2 just gets their 8/10 candidate elected, then the mechanism would measure some disproportionality. However, if this happened in APR it might be that voter 1 would have their top rank elected and voter 2 their second rank. One might still see some disproportionality in this, but APR ignores this. ..

 

S: Rather than calling this “disproportionality”, I think it would be more apt to say that such a result is not “perfect” in the above new sense, i.e. because “voter 2” is not as pleased with his MP as is “voter 1”.  However, this is not the fault of APR but a correct result of the fact that more fellow citizen ranked voter 1’s top ranked candidate than voter 2’s top ranked candidate.  At the same time, APR guaranteed that each voter’s vote was added to the weighted vote of the MP (not necessarily the candidate) that each most trusts.

 

T: … That's the first point. The second point is that APR ignores the fact that actual representation comes from any MP a voter agrees or partially agrees with rather than just one's single "official" representative. The score voting system does not ignore this. Because APR uses this more simplistic approach, it therefore has a less sophisticated definition of proportionality. Just to make this clear, imagine we have these ballots with two to elect in a score election:


Voter 1: A=10, B=10, C=10
Voter 2: A=10, B=10, C=0


The score system would elect A and B. It would actually be a tie for the first to be elected between A and B, but this doesn't matter - it would either be A followed by B or B followed by A. We can easily see that this is the best result.


However, under APR it isn't so simple. Voters have to rank the candidates and could easily do as follows:


Voter 1: C>A>B
Voter 2: A>B


In this case, A and C are elected. APR would be fine with this and would declare it to be fully proportional, but we know that actually voter 1 is much better represented than voter 2, and it's not proportional in an intuitive sense. It does not pass the sniff test, whereas the score system's measure does. So when I talk about chance representation from candidates that aren't a voter'
s official representative, this is what I am talking about. Voter 1 has extra representation that voter 2 doesn't. The score voting system would not give perfect results in real-life elections but it would use all the relevant information to find the best possible result it can. APR ignores a lot of relevant information. …

 

S:  Yes, score voting uses “all the relevant information to find the best possible result it can”.  However, the trouble is that its “best”, in contrast to APR, is likely to deliver no voting power to some citizens and unequal voting power to each of the remaining voters.


T:  APR and the score system I have described both in some sense equalise the amount of representation that a voter has from parliament. The difference is that APR considers that each voter is only represented by one MP …

 

S: No, APR only guaranteed that each voter will be officially “represented by one MP”, but luckily may also be represented by other MPs who happen to share a similar scale of values.

 

T:  … and [score voters] are each awarded the same fraction of one MP.

 

S: No, each is awarded a different “fraction” depending on how many and which scores other citizens also gave your MP.

 


Toby

 

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steve bosworth | 20 Feb 17:25 2015
Picon

(12) APR: Steve's 12th dialogue with Richard Fobes

(12) APR: Steve's 12th dialogue with Richard Fobes
> (Steve)

 

> From: election-methods-request <at> lists.electorama.com
> Subject: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 128, Issue 12
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 12:03:02 -0800
>
>
> 1. Re: (11) APR: Steve's 11th dialogue with Richard Fobes
> (Steve) (Richard Fobes)
>
To Richard and everyone,

 

My most recent responses are tagged with S:

Steve
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:10:35 -0800
> From: Richard Fobes <ElectionMethods <at> VoteFair.org>
>
> On 2/14/2015 2:16 PM, steve bosworth wrote:
> > ...
> > S: I see the point you are making but the problem stems from these
> > inconsistencies, not from APR. As I see it, the most practical means by
> > which APR might be adopt by all states (one by one) would be to start
> > with the some 20 states that might allow APR to be adopted for the
> > election of their own legislative assembly ....
>
R:  Steve, your belief that your APR method might be useful to elect U.S.
> Congress members reveals a lack of understanding about the nature of the
> United States.
> …………………
R: Is it really necessary to point out that it would not be tolerable for a
> voter to give voting power to a Congressman who is from a different
> state/nation, and thereby shift the balance of power between states/nations?

 

S:  Perhaps by “intolerable” you mean unconstitutional. I accept that the full adoption of APR for electing the House of Representatives would require a constitutional amendment and this would be very difficult to achieve, however desirable.  Still, if up to 20 states adopted APR for electing their own assemblies, this might help prepare the ground for the adoption of the relevant US amendment.

On the other hand, perhaps you mean that it would not be subjectively “tolerable” to you and to many other Americans.   If so, please explain why you or anyone else would not welcome the possibility to guarantee that one’s vote would add to the weighted vote in the House of one’s most trusted rep of the 435?

>
R:  And even if, somehow, every state/nation used the same voting rules, the
> balance of power among states/nations must not be dependent upon
> differences in weather on election day.

 

S:  Please specify the conflicting “powers” you wish to be “balanced”.  Also, to the extent that “weather” might be a problem, surely allowing all citizens to vote also by other means solves this problem as much as it can be solved for any electoral system, e.g. voting by mail, by the internet, designating a proxy, etc.
>
R: Your APR method might possibly be useful to elect representatives to the
> Rhode Island legislature (although there are better choices), …

 

S:  Why Rhode Island?  What do you see to be the “best choice” and why?


R: … would not be suitable for use in a state like California, which is
> already under some pressure to split into separate states.

S:  Could not APR help California better to address the reasons why some want this separation?  Being entirely democratic, perhaps its assembly would be best placed to help solve the problems which are prompting the pressures for separation.  Alternatively, its complete proportionality might facilitate the achievement of a separation to the satisfaction of the majority concern.  What do you think?

 

Steve
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steve bosworth | 14 Feb 23:16 2015
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(11) APR: Steve's 11th dialogue with Richard Fobes (Steve)

Re: [EM] (11) APR: Steve's 11th dialogue with Richard Fobes (Steve)

 

Hi Richard,

 

Again, thank you for your feedback.  I look forward to your next response.

 

Steve

 

 Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2015 11:01:04 -0800
> From: ElectionMethods <at> VoteFair.org
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> CC: stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com
> Subject: Re: [EM] (10) APR: Steve's 10th dialogue with Richard Fobes (Steve)
>
R:  Excellent work Steve! Thank you for finally providing a clear
> description of your APR method (copied below).
>
> Although your APR method has some disadvantages that I have pointed out
> in the past, and a few smaller disadvantages that I will point out
> below, your APR method has a significant advantage over the MMP
> (Multi-Member Proportional) voting, which is that if a political party
> (which in your method is an "association") becomes excessively corrected
> by big campaign contributors, your method allows voters to bypass that
> influence and vote for less-corrupt representatives.
>
> As a suggestion for improving the process by which an organization can
> become an association, I suggest that collecting signatures (or
> otherwise demonstrating an organization's level of influence) should be
> allowed for the purpose of reducing the amount of money required for the
> "deposit."

S: Yes.
>
R: As a suggestion for either improving your description or improving your
> method, I suggest that you indicate that a "deposit" is not required if
> an association was able to elect at least one representative in the
> previous round of voting.

S:  Yes, but such an association could continue to be an “association” after the primary only if it again received at least one 435th of the registered voters in the US as its own voting members.

R: Your limit of a representative having no more than ten percent of the
> total voting power is likely to lead to roughly(!) 20 "celebrity"
> representatives. In addition to disadvantages explained earlier (and
> now that you have explained that weighted voting is used to choose
> committees), this means that the parliamentary committees would each be
> headed, and controlled, by those celebrity representatives. In other words, the other representatives would have little influence in committees, which is where the power resides (at least in U.S. Congress).

 

S:  No, not necessarily.  Since the assembly’s internal rules for conducting its own business is to be determined by a majority of its weighted votes, no celebrity or any other rep would be selected (or de-selected) as head of a committee without the approval of this majority.

 

R:  As I have said before, your method might be useful for some situations,
> but it would not be appropriate for use in electing U.S. Congressional
> representatives. In addition to the reasons I have already explained,
> differences in weather and voting rules would enable some states to get
> more influence than they deserve. As a simple example, in the state of
> Oregon everyone votes by mail and this would give a significant
> advantage to Oregonian voters. Why? Because your method would enable
> every vote to make a difference in Congress, and that would greatly
> increase voter turnout in every state, but the other states that do not
> vote by mail would have the number of ballots limited by the physical
> polling waiting lines. As demonstrated in Florida, already-elected
> government officials can ensure that there are longer waiting lines in
> districts that oppose the currently elected officials. In contrast,
> this problem could be avoided in a smaller nation where voting laws can
> be made consistent from district to district.

 

S:  I see the point you are making but the problem stems from these inconsistencies, not from APR.   As I see it, the most practical means by which APR might be adopt by all states (one by one) would be to start with the some 20 states that might allow APR to be adopted for the election of their own legislative assembly, i.e. as a result of gathering enough signatures for the “initiatives” that would require the relevant referenda to be held.  It seem to me that these necessary signatures would have a good chance of being collected, give the fact that APR would enable each and every citizen to guarantee that their vote would continue to count in the assembly through the weighted vote of their most favour rep (or through the vote of the rep most favoured by their first choice but eliminated candidate).
>
R:  In a previous message you asked for clarification about my statement
> that there is a need to improve voting within a parliament before lots
> of political parties (your "associations") can be accommodated. Take a
> look at the following website where I have created a voting method that
> would accommodate as many political parties as the voters want to split
> into:
>
> www.NegotiationTool.com

S:  I would like to study this Tool more carefully and will get back to you with any comments or questions.  However, my first impression is that it might only offer one procedure that could assist the formation of a coalition between many associations or reps.  I believe it could only assist the many face to face discussion, debates, research, and negations that would mainly be required to form a working coalition.

……………………
R:  Again, thank you for finally supplying a readable clear description of
> your APR method.
>
> Please do continue refining your APR method because that process will
> help you discover important concepts about voting, and then you can help
> to increase awareness among voters/citizens about how voting really
> should be done.
>
> Richard Fobes
>
>
> On 2/9/2015 9:49 AM, steve bosworth wrote:
> > ...
> > Again, thank you for suggestions as to how better simply to describe how
> > APR works. What do you think of the follow?
> >
> > *APR:  How Does it Work?*
> >
> > _Primary Election_
> >
> >
> > 1)APR’s primary determine which applicant organizations will become
> > "associations":
> >
> >
> > 2)For the next countrywide primary, every applicant voluntary
> > organization in the country will be listed by the central electoral
> > commission (EC). These organizations need not be geographically defined.
> >
> >
> > 3)To be on this list, each such organization will have had to supply the
> > EC with a returnable deposit of $100,000, its name, address, mission
> > statement, names of its officials, list of its members, and the rules by
> > which it would select applicant candidates to be listed later on its
> > general election ballot.
> >
> >
> > 4)For the primary, the EC would give each applicant organization a
> > unique number (see item 13 below) and list them in alphabetical order
> > (together with all their above details).All this information must be
> > widely published at least one month before the date of the primary.
> >
> >
> > 5)Ask each citizen during the primary to rank as many or as few of these
> > organizations as they wish, i.e. by putting 1 by their first choice
> > organization, 2 by their second choice, etc. The counting of all these
> > rankings determines both how the one vote from each citizen will both
> > help to make one of these organizations an “association”, and to make
> > each citizen a registered voter in her most favored association during
> > the general election.
> >
> >
> > 6)In an APR primary designed to discover the “associations” through
> > which the 435 members of the US House of Representatives will be elected
> > later, each organization that receives at least 0.23% of all the votes
> > in the country will become an “association” (i.e. one 435^th part of all
> > these votes).
> >
> >
> > 7)Assuming that more than 435 organizations had received some 1^st
> > preference votes, the 1^st organization to be eliminated in the count
> > would be the one that had receive the fewest 1^st preference votes.  If
> > you voted for this eliminated organization, your vote would be
> > automatically transferred to your second choice association.  This
> > sequential bottom-up elimination processes would continue one by one
> > until only the organizations remained who had received at least the
> > 0.23% of registered voters as explained above.
> >> >
> > 8)If none of the organizations you ranked becomes an association, you
> > would automatically become a registered voter in your local voting
> > district, i.e. your local geographically defined “association”.
> >
> >
> > 9)An organization that receives the above 0.23% would be authorized to
> > elect one rep in the later general election.  An organization with twice
> > this amount would elect two reps, etc. (see Endnote below for details).
> >
> >
> > 10)The deposit mentioned in item 3 above will be returned to each
> > association and only to each applicant organization who receives more
> > than half the above mentioned 0.23% before it was eliminated.This
> > threshold is suggested to dissuade organizations from applying who feel
> > too unpopular to have any realistic chance of becoming an association.
> >
> >
> > _Main (“general”) election_
> >
> >
> > 11)Upon finalizing its list of candidates, each association must assign
> > a unique code number to each so as to clearly identify them for general
> > election purposes. This code would be composed of the association’s
> > unique number added to a unique letter or other symbol for each
> > candidate (see item 4 above).Under the supervision of the EC, and at
> > least 2 months before the general election, each association must
> > publish these code numbers and names as a part of the content of the
> > ballot it will give to each of its registered voters during the general
> > election (also see item 13 below).At the same time, it must publish all
> > the other relevant details about each candidate.  The EC must ensure that
> > all this information is systematically organized and published widely.
> >
> >
> > 12)For APR’s general election, the EC ensures that each association’s
> > ballot paper will be given to each of its registered voters at his or
> > her local voting station on election day.
> >
> >
> > 13)Each ballot will allow each citizen to rank as many or as few of the
> > candidates in the country as she might wish, i.e. putting 1 by her first
> > choice candidate, 2 by her send choice, etc.  Section A of the ballot
> > lists the names of the relevant association’s candidates; Section B
> > allows each citizen to write in his or her own ranked list of the
> > published code numbers of as many or as few of any other candidates
> > seeking to represent other associations.
> >
> >
> > 14)The countrywide counting of all these rankings is coordinated by the
> > EC. This count determines both which candidates are elected and exactly
> > how many weighted votes each rep will have in the House of Representatives.
> >
> >
> > 15)All 435 elected candidates would be discovered by counting the
> > rankings from all voting citizens.  They would be found by eliminating the
> > least popular candidate one by one from the race until only the
> > pre-established number of reps for each association remained.  Each of
> > these reps would have a weighted vote in the House exactly equal to the
> > number of rankings (votes) each had received by the time the last
> > candidate had been eliminated.
> >
> >
> > 16)Each citizen’s vote would be a part of one representative’s weighted
> > vote.  Most votes would have been given directly as a result of the above
> > rankings.  However, some votes could have been received indirectly by a rep.
> >
> >
> > 17)There are two ways an APR vote could be given indirectly.Firstly, if
> > none of the candidates ranked by a citizen is elected, the ballot allows
> > the citizen to require her first choice but eliminated candidate to give
> > her vote to the rep most favoured by that eliminated candidate, i.e. to
> > the rep highest on the list pre-declared by that eliminated
> > candidate.  The second way a rep can indirectly receive an additional vote
> > is when a very popular rep has initially received more than 10% of all
> > the weighted votes.  Such a rep must publish exactly how she has given all
> > her over 10% votes to her trusted fellow reps.
> >
> >
> > 18)In an APR legislative assembly, the voting power of each rep is equal
> > to the number of his or her weighted votes, i.e. the number of citizens
> > received. The assembly’s own rules and the passing of any laws or
> > resolutions would be subject to the approval of a majority of the
> > weighted votes. While this majority could authorize one-rep-one-vote
> > methods to be used during any of its preliminary deliberative stages,
> > the assembly’s final approval for any rule, law, or resolution could be
> > given only by a majority of weighted votes.
> >
> >
> > *Endnote *(re: item 9 above): If together these associations had not yet
> > been authorized to elect all the 435 representatives, the additional
> > number needed to complete the 435 would be distributed between these
> > associations as follows: One by one, the right to elect an additional
> > representative would be sequentially given to the association that
> > currently has the ‘highest remainder’.  A ‘remainder’ here is the number
> > of registered voters beyond that minimum required to allow an
> > association to elect one, two, three, or x number of representatives.  The
> > second additional representative would be added to the association with
> > the second largest remainder, and so forth.  This sequential adding
> > process would continue until the exact number of representatives that
> > each association would elect as its contribution to the 435 had been
> > discovered.
> > *END*
 

 

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steve bosworth | 14 Feb 21:09 2015
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APR (16): Steve's 16th dialogue with Toby (Steve)

APR (16): Steve's 16th dialogue with Toby (Steve)

 

> Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:58:38 +0000 (UTC)
> From: Toby Pereira <tdp201b <at> yahoo.co.uk>
> To: steve bosworth <stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com>,
> "election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com"
> Subject: Re: [EM] APR (15): Steve's 15th dialogue with Toby (Steve)
> Message-ID:
> <326368430.3893844.1423756718481.JavaMail.yahoo <at> mail.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
To Toby and (everyone else)

 

Because I believe that our individual dialogues have become too long to assist clarity, perhaps you will agree only to focus on the following in your next response.  Consequently, I have not  added  below a copy of all you included in your response to our 15th dialogue.  We can turn to any remaining questions later, one by one.

 

Steve

++++++++++++++++++++

 

T: Before I reply to the main body of your post, I'll attempt to describe concisely a score voting PR system that I think is largely reasonable. But to be clear, I'm not in any official sense a mathematician, and this might come across in the presentation. …

 

S: I would not claim to be a “mathematician” either.  Please not that I’ve added some words in [square brackets] within your text below for my own clarification.

T: … The score voting system is based on an approval system, so I will describe that first:
> Voters cast approval ballots. If a particular candidate receives n votes, then if this candidate is elected, each voter of that candidate will get a [shared] representation amount of 1/n from that candidate. Each voter who did not vote for that candidate gets 0 representation from [him]. So the total representation received by [all] the voters [collectively] from ?an elected? candidate [they have elected] will always be 1 [i.e. one vote in the Commons].
> A voter's total representation is the sum of the [shared] representation they receive from each elected candidate [who they have approved].  Assuming that each elected candidate has received at least one vote, then for c elected candidates, the sum of the representation of all voters will be c. …

 

S: No, only the voters whose approvals helped to elect at least one MP have a share in the total amount of representation.  At the same time, the total share held by each citizen may be very different from one another, e.g. some very below the mean and some much higher than the mean.  This means that the voting power of each citizen in the Commons with approval/score voting may be very unequal, i.e. in sharp contrast to APR.

 

T: …The arithmetic mean will always be c/v (for v voters).  Full proportionality is achieved if every voter has representation of c/v. The disproportionality measure of a set of candidates is the sum of the squared deviation from c/v of each voter's representation (so lower being better).  

 

S:  I understand the above but not your following sentence:

 

T: … But also, because the variance of x is mean (x^2) - (mean x)^2, where in this case x represents voters' representation levels, (mean x)^2 will always be the same - it will be (c/v)^2 - so we can remove it from the equation.

T:  … This means that the ?most proportional? set of candidates will simply be the set that minimises the sum of the squares of the voters' representation levels.
> However, if there is a large number of candidates, we wouldn't be able to check every possible winning set, which is why we would need to use a sequential method. We would first elect the candidate with the most votes. We would then check all two-candidate sets that included the elected candidate and find the most proportional of these. We would elect the second candidate this way. We would elect candidates one at a time until we have elected the desired number of candidates. …

 

S: Correct me if I am mistaken: I understand that the above method would elect the group of candidates whose voters’ combined shares in electing each of the MPs, on average deviates from the mean share possessed by all voters less than would have been the case if any other group had been elected.

 
T: … For score voting, the scores would be converted into approvals by "splitting" voters. For example, the maximum score is 10. Voters are split into 10 parts. If a voters gives a candidate a score of 10, then all 10 parts of the voter approve the candidate. For a score of 9, then 9 parts of the voter approve that candidate, and so on. If we number the voter parts 1 to 10, then each part approves every candidate given a score equal to or higher than their part number.

 

S:  I believe I understand all the above paragraph except the last sentence.  However, I expect that you will be able easily to clarify the points I have raised because I think I do understand what you are saying offer all.  Still, if I do understand you correctly, you have not yet attempted, e.g. to define and explain the extra benefit you see as provided by score voting as contrasted with APR, i.e. the benefit you see as making it worth denying to each citizen the capacity to guarantee that her vote will count fully for one within the weighted vote of the MP she most trusts (or the MP most trusted by the her most favoured but eliminated candidate).

 

S:  I look forward to receiving your clarifications of the above in your next response.  We can turn to any remaining questions later.


> Toby

 

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steve bosworth | 12 Feb 13:44 2015
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APR (15): Steve's 15th dialogue with Toby (Steve)

APR (15): Steve's 15th dialogue with Toby (Steve)

Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 22:51:00 +0000
From: tdp201b <at> yahoo.co.uk
To: stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com; election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
Subject: Re: APR (14): Steve's 14th dialogue with Toby (Steve)

To Topy and everyone


Here's my latest replies tagges with”S:”

 

Steve

…………………..

 

T: I do overall prefer score voting to approval voting. It's slightly more complex (obviously), but it is still my preference. It wouldn't be quite as you suggest. ……….. ………………………..


T: By measuring the amount of representation each voter gets from each candidate (in the way described), we attempt to select the set that minimises any difference in representation between voters. …

 

S: By what calculations do you make this “attempt”?

 

T: … It doesn't guarantee that they will be exactly equal. …

 

S: What is your formula or mathematical definition of “exactly equal”?

 

T: … APR does so but only by its own measure. For example, if one voter is represented by their favourite candidate and another by their third favourite, then APR doesn't measure this difference. It just considers them both to be fully represented.

 

S:  Yes, as “fully represented” as possible given the preferences expressed by all the other citizens.  Also, in what sense does APR not “measure this difference”?  Each voter knows when his first choice MP was his favourite rather than his third favourite candidate.  This difference is also fully recorded on his ballot and in the whole counts of the ballots.  These records could be available for later researchers to analyse and report.  At the same time, APR allows each citizen to guarantee that her vote will be added to the weighted vote of her favourite MP.  Score voting offers no such guarantee.  Again, please explain the special benefit that you see as guaranteed by score voting but not by APR.

 

26T: …The overall most proportional set of candidates would be the set elected, but I am not claiming that you would be able to find a set of candidates that gives a perfect level of proportionality. Voters' levels of representation for all candidates are added up. Exact proportionality is when every voter has the same amount of representation. …

 

…………………………………..

 

T: Exact proportionality would occur when everyone has the same level of representation in the commons by adding up the representation they get from everyone in the commons, so it refers to the whole result.

 

S: You admit that score voting may not produce this “same level” so why not welcome the fact that APR does guarantee it?

 

……………………………


31T: That's not how it would works. It's not simply the 500 candidates with the most approvals that are elected. It would be the 500 MPs that would minimise the disproportionality as I have described it. For example, if 51 people approve A and B and 49 approve C and D, and two are elected, then it would be one of A/B and one of C/D, even though A and B have the most approvals. We can therefore measure disproportionality by adding up the squared deviations of representation levels of the individual voters from the mean level of representation.

 

32XXS: I understand this, but would not APR’s solution for this example better? Assuming 51 citizens ranked A and B 1st and 2nd, and 49 citizens ranked C and D 1st and 2nd, A and C would be elected and have 51 and 49 weighted votes respectively, each citizen being entirely satisfied and represented with exact mathematical proportionality. Your solutions gives each vote of the 49 a slightly higher and disproportionate weight in the Commons. …


T:  A weighted system, such as APR, would give a more proportional result in that case, yes. We have debated the pros and cons of weighted systems in previous e-mails, …

 

S:  Please list any of the “cons” that you believe have survived those debates.

 

T: … but I would agree that a weighted system allows for better mathematical proportionality (under virtually any definition you might think of for proportionality). A score system can also be used with weighted representation, so it's not a difference between score and APR per se.

 

S: Please give me your formula for determining the weighted vote of each MP using score voting.  Also, later, you refer to “the score measure of proportionality”. Please explain it and how it might be related to determining weighted votes.

 

32XXS: … In any case, it seems to me that to use an example of an election with only 1-3 winners is not very useful when we >are talking about a system that would in practice elect 500 MPs, from thousands of candidates, by millions of >citizens. Therefore, please fully explain the formula and how in practice these 500 MPs would be elected by … score voting by these millions of citizens (i.e. 500 “minimally disproportional” MPs,(or better, the >500 MPs that would have the smallest total of “squared deviations”). …


T:  Well, I think a small case is useful to give an example of how things would work. …

 

S: But you have said above that APR gives “a more proportional result” in that “small case”.  If so, why would you still prefer score voting?  I would ask the same question even if we assumed for the sack of the argument that your following suggestion is valid:  “In any case, the explanation of the system would be the same for any number of candidates/voters, except to say that candidates would have to be elected sequentially if there are a lot of them.” ….

 

T: You can sequentially elect candidates rather than sequentially eliminate them. If you don't have the computing resources to check every possible slate of candidates, you pick the candidate with the highest total score, and then the most proportional two-candidate set that includes that first candidate and so on.

 

S:  I do not recall any earlier discussion of the above “sequential” election process for score voting.  How do you mathematically define “most proportional two-candidate set”?  Given unlimited time, how would you calculate it on paper?

……………………………


T:  As I say, the measurements would be the same for any number of candidates/voters. But for it do be done by computer in a reasonable time-frame, candidates would be elected sequentially, as I said above. The highest scoring candidate would be elected, and then we'd find the most proportional two-candidate set that included the first candidate and so on. I think I've given enough information in the previous e-mail, but as I say I'm unwilling to re-describe it all again given that I'm not committed to one particular method at present. I hope to be in the near future and if so will give a more detailed description in its own message rather than as part of a reply to this.

……………………………………

T: …  I think I've discussed previously how it would work and to be honest, I don't want to give a full description again, partly because what I have described was only ever a working model anyway. There are a couple of similar systems with their own pros and cons, rather than one definitive system that I would fully advocate.  …I'm hoping that this will change, however. …

 

S:  Fine, but I do not recall you ever completing your explanations in response to my questions. Perhaps I missed somehow.  Sorry.  If you can find the time, I would very much appreciate it if you could cut and paste to me.  I would not need an account of the “similar systems” you mention above but jus I that you think would do the job.

 

S: On the other hand, you may prefer to postpone our next dialogue until you have identified a “system that you would fully advocate”.

 

 

T: … My point of bringing up score systems was not to take over the discussion of APR with them, but to point out that they can look at aspects of voter preference that APR ignores.

 

S: Please specify each of the important “aspects of voter preference that APR ignores”.

 

……………………………..

 

34XXS: Correct me I am misunderstanding this by my following report: As I see it, “electing an MP that has no support” is impossible. Please explain how “the total representation from the MPs is less in this case and you'd have a different mean to calculate deviation from.”

 

35T: … The system wouldn't work properly in this case. …

 

36XXS: What “system wouldn't work properly in this case”?


T: I wouldn't worry too much about that. It would never elect a candidate with no votes so it wouldn't come up. But basically, if a candidate is elected, then their power is divided among the voters who have voted for them. If the candidate has one voter, each voter has 1/1 of the representation, if they have two voters, then they each have 1/2 each and so on. If it's 0 voters, then it's 0/0 each. Er... Also, if there are 500 representatives, then that power is split in some manner among the voters. The same amount of power is always there regardless of who is elected (500 candidates-worth), but the distribution of representation among the voters can change. That is unless someone is elected with no votes. That would mean that the power of only 499 representatives is split among the voters. It could be that this is split equally, so fully proportional in that sense, but it's not directly measurable against a result with 500 voted-for candidates. But none of this matters. The system would not elect a candidate with no votes.

 

37T: …The squared difference isn't really part of the definition of proportionality, but just how you'd measure disproportionality in an approval/score case.

 

38XXS: I agree that they are not the same thing. Still, if so, how do you propose to define “perfect proportionality” other than to say it is when the sum is zero when you add


1) the “squared difference” between each citizen’s actual share and the average share of each citizen in the total voting power in the Commons


2) to the similar squared difference in each of all the other citizen’s actual and average votes.


>Do you agree that this sum would be zero for APR?


T: It would be zero for APR, but as I say, only because the measure is based around APR. APR has no way of measuring disproportionality when one voter has their favourite candidate and another has their third favourite.

 

38XXS: … Are you willing to compare APR, approval voting, and score voting systems according to the same test, e.g. the one mentioned in the previous paragraph (and which might also be the one you already want to use for testing the latter two systems), or any other test of “proportionality you may be willing to define and explain?


T:  I agree that PR systems should be put to the same tests as each other to see how they fare. For example, you could ask voters for ranks and scores, and see how the APR result would fare when proportionality is measured using the scores. For example, when one voter is represented by their third favourite candidate (who they might give 8 out of 10), and also when some voters also happen to also like several of the elected candidates who aren't their official representative and other voters are less lucky.

 

S: Your formula for testing both is still not clear to me.  Is it different from the one you had in mind with regard to the above “small case”?  If not, APR would seem to prove more proportional  as a result of most if not all of the above tests.  Please explain.

 

38XXS: …At least with respect to wasting votes, do you agree that APR has the advantage of allowing each citizen to guarantee that her vote will not be wasted, that it will at least be added to the weighted vote of the MP pre-declared to be most preferred by her first choice but eliminated candidate?


T:  As long as all the candidates give a full ranking of the other candidates, then no vote will be wasted in that sense.

 

39T: To give a simple example:


>2 to elect (with equal power), approval voting


> 3 voters [approvals]: A, B
1 voter [approval]: C


>We can say that the representation that a voter gets from a candidate is 1/number of voters for that candidate. In this case, because there are two elected candidates and four voters, the [desired] average representation level would be 2/4 or 1/2 (the total representation being 2 candidates). …

 

40XXS: I added “desired” average because the actual denominator of the fraction producing the average would be smaller to the extent that some of the voter’s votes might be wasted.


T:  The average would always have to be the same, so it's not just the desired average. The total representation is always two candidates-worth, and this is split among the four voters, so the average representation has to be 2/4 (1/2). As I explained above, the only way this could ever not happen is if a candidate was elected with no votes, but the system wouldn't do that.

 

48XXS: As I see it, your above complicated attempt at an explanation does not remove the validity of the following conclusion I offered for your consideration in dialogue 13:


You have admitted that “individual voters” will have “deviations of representation levels from the mean”, i.e. each citizen’s vote may not count equally in an approval or score election, i.e. in the Commons.

Again, in the light of the above attempt to rewrite your words, your above “measure of [wasted votes] disproportionality” would usually show that there is some [wasted votes] “disproportionality” in approval or score systems but none in APR. This is true of APR because the total voting power in the Commons would be equal to the total number of voting citizens, each citizen’s vote being present in the weighted vote of his MP, i.e. each citizen’s voting power is one – exactly one of the voting population.


T: There would be disproportionality in the system I have described, yes. And there would be no disproportionality in APR, but only under APR's own measure. If we surveyed everyone for their true scores out of 10 in an APR election, and then fed the APR result into the score system that I have described, it would have disproportionality by that measure.

 

S: Sorry.  Perhaps you think you have already given it but, I still do not understand your formula for this measure, and thus, nor how you would feed “the APR result into the score system”.  Please explain.

 

 

52XS: Here you are admitting that “individual voters” will have “deviations of representation levels from the mean”, i.e. each citizen’s vote may not count equally in an approval or score election, i.e. in the Commons.


53T: Yes. Proportionality would never be perfect in a system that uses this amount of information.


54XXS: I’m a bit confused here. You seem to believe that APR is not perfect because it ignores important information. Now you are also saying that your system cannot be perfect because it offers too much information. I need you to explain both of these claims more fully. Please start by defining what you mean by “perfect” because it seems to contain the prime value by which you are judging both systems. Would the “perfect” guarantee no squared difference between the average and the actual mathematically expressed share each voter has in the voting power in the Commons?


T: We need to distinguish between our measure and the result. I would argue that APR is problematic because its measure of proportionality is too crude (ignores lower preferences). …

 

S:  Why do you want “lower preferences” to help elect MPs?  The full value of an APR citizen’s vote is fully used up in the MP’s weighted vote that she has helped to elect.

 

T: …Its own result is proportional by its own measure, but would not be if measured using a score system (if we surveyed people for their scores for each candidate). I would argue that a measure of proportionality that uses voters' scores for all candidates is better, as all preferences contain relevant information. But because of this more complex measure, it would be much harder for a result to achieve full proportionality. What I am saying is that any system would fail to achieve full proportionality by this measure, but that this is a strength of the measure in that it looks more deeply for flaws in a result by using more information.

 

55XS: Again in the light of the above attempt to rewrite your words, your above “measure of disproportionality” would usually show that there is some “disproportionality” in approval or score systems but none in APR. This is true of APR because the total voting power in the Commons would be equal to the total number of voting citizens, each citizen’s vote being present in the weighted vote of his MP, i.e. each citizen’s voting power is one – exactly one of the voting population.


56T: There would be no disproportionality in APR, but only under APR's own measure. That there will always be some disproportionality? Yes, but this would also happen in APR if measured by the same metric.

 

57XXS: I am open to being convinced of this upon receipt of your full explanation of this “same metric”.


T: I would want to survey voters in an APR election for their scores for candidates and test the APR result under the score measure of proportionality. You could, of course, do the reverse. Use people's ranks and measure the result of a score election using APR's measure of proportionality. It's just that we would differ on which we think is the better measure.

 

S:  Please specify what you think is “better” and explain why.

 

58XXS: We should be aiming to use the same “measure” and the one I would propose starts with the definition of “perfect proportionality” I define above in

 

38XXXS:  Would your proposal be different? If so, please explain how and why.


T:  I'd want to use people's scores of candidates to see how well represented they are by the representatives, whether their official representative or otherwise.

 

58XXS: … Secondly, has your measure ever been used anywhere?


T:  Not as far as I know.


61XS: Also, because your mathematical explanation would be much more difficult for most citizens to comprehend, in contrast to the relative mathematical simplicity of APR, I would see it, instead, as proving an argument that APR should be preferred both over approval or score systems.


62T: It's something to consider, but I don't think citizens all understand how STV works, and it is used in some places anyway.

 

63XXS: Yes, but do you believe your full score system with the above “measure” is also easier than existing STV (with their quotas, fractional transfers of votes, many iterations, etc.) systems to understand? In any case, APR’s count with weighted votes is easier to understand than previous STV systems because it only transfers whole votes from eliminated candidates without losing any votes.


T:  APR is probably easier to understand than what I have presented in terms of how results are calculated, yes. …

 
70T: …The main point is that APR doesn't use all the information and another system (whether the system I described or not) might, so APR could end up lacking something as a result, including in the examples I gave in previous e-mail about some voters getting chance extra representation that isn't officially recognised by APR.

 

71XXS: I thought we previously agreed that all systems can produce “chance extra representation” for some voters. Do we not agree about this now?


T:  We agreed that they can do this, but that APR does not even attempt to measure it and reduce it. A score system, such as I described, attempts to minimise this.

 

S:  Why would you want to “reduce it”?  Any such so-called “extra representation” occurs by chance in any system  only to the extent that one citizen’s scale of values happens to agree with those of is fellow citizens.  Why would anyone want to remove the electoral effects of such agreement?

 

>Secondly, what do you have in mind when you imply that such extra representation is “officially recognised” in score voting but not in APR?


T:  If a voter's first and second preferences are both elected then they would have better representation than someone whose first and fifth are elected (assuming that the first person's second preference is preferred to the second person's fifth), but APR does not measure this. A score system can measure this as disproportionality and can look for a less disproportional result.

 

S:  Do you think it would be better, for example, if score voting could instead guarantee that both of these voters would only see that their first and fifth candidates are elected?  In any case, I do not see how score voting could guarantee this, do you?


71XXS: …Thirdly, if for the sake of the argument, we were to agree that they are essential, why would you say that these summaries would be more revealing or more important than the similar summaries that could be made as a result of equally rigorous analyses of all the citizens’ rankings in an APR election?


T:  Rankings tell you less about how much a voter likes the candidates. A voter might like ranks 1 to 20 similarly or hate everyone from 2 down. A score ballot allows for a more rigorous analysis of whether voters are getting what they want.

 

S: No.  Rankings also tell us “whether voters are getting what they want”.  If a voter mentally scores 20 candidates in the same way, in an APR election she should number this group 1 - 20 in any order.  She would be equally happy if any one of these 20 is elected.  Why is it more important for you or anyone else also to know that this voter valued each of these 20 equally?


75XXS: Of course, before we could compare the two systems in this way, you would need, as requested in paragraph 32, to explain all the essential details of how these calculations could be done in practice for an election of 500 MPs, from thousands of candidates, by millions of citizens. Will you do this?

 

………………………

 

Toby.

 

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Richard Fobes | 10 Feb 19:35 2015

Re: Top-two primary system hasn't worked as proponents promised

On 2/9/2015 7:31 AM, Kathy Dopp wrote:
> Top-two primary system hasn't worked as proponents promised
>
> http://www.latimes.com/local/politics/la-me-pol-california-politics-20150208-story.html

The so-called "top-two primary" voting methods use single-mark ballots, 
which means the "top two" are not necessarily the two most popular 
candidates.

Of course it's easy for people with money and media control to add 
vote-splitting candidates so that the results are quite surprising -- 
for people who don't understand pairwise counting.

Wikipedia does not have an article about "pairwise counting".  It does 
have a psychology-oriented article about "pairwise comparison" and it 
has a statistics-oriented article about "pairwise difference test".

So, does anyone have an academic reference that can be used to create a 
mathematics-oriented article titled "pairwise counting"?

Richard Fobes

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⸘Ŭalabio‽ | 10 Feb 10:14 2015

Video About The Idiocy Of Internet-Voting

	http://youtube.com/watch?v=w3_0x6oaDmI
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steve bosworth | 9 Feb 18:49 2015
Picon

(10) APR: Steve's 10th dialogue with Richard Fobes (Steve)


(10) APR: Steve's 10th dialogue with Richard Fobes (Steve)
 

Hi Richard and others,


Again, thank you for suggestions as to how better simply to describe how APR works.  What do you think of the follow?


Steve
 
APR:  How Does it Work?


 


Primary Election


1)      APR’s primary determine which applicant organizations will become "associations":


2)      For the next countrywide primary, every applicant voluntary organization in the country will be listed by the central electoral commission (EC). These organizations need not be geographically defined.


3)      To be on this list, each such organization will have had to supply the EC with a returnable deposit of $100,000, its name, address, mission statement, names of its officials, list of its members, and the rules by which it would select applicant candidates to be listed later on its general election ballot.


4)      For the primary, the EC would give each applicant organization a unique number (see item 13 below) and list them in alphabetical order (together with all their above details).  All this information must be widely published at least one month before the date of the primary.


5)      Ask each citizen during the primary to rank as many or as few of these organizations as they wish, i.e. by putting 1 by their first choice organization, 2 by their second choice, etc.   The counting of all these rankings determines both how the one vote from each citizen will both help to make one of these organizations an “association”, and to make each citizen a registered voter in her most favored association during the general election.


6)      In an APR primary designed to discover the “associations” through which the 435 members of the US House of Representatives will be elected later, each organization that receives at least 0.23% of all the votes in the country will become an “association” (i.e. one 435th part of all these votes).


7)      Assuming that more than 435 organizations had received some 1st preference votes, the 1st organization to be eliminated in the count would be the one that had receive the fewest 1st preference votes.  If you voted for this eliminated organization, your vote would be automatically transferred to your second choice association.  This sequential bottom-up elimination processes would continue one by one until only the organizations remained who had received at least the 0.23% of registered voters as explained above.


8)      If none of the organizations you ranked becomes an association, you would automatically become a registered voter in your local voting district, i.e. your local geographically defined “association”.


9)      An organization that receives the above 0.23% would be authorized to elect one rep in the later general election.  An organization with twice this amount would elect two reps, etc. (see Endnote below for details).


10)  The deposit mentioned in item 3 above will be returned to each association and only to each applicant organization who receives more than half the above mentioned 0.23% before it was eliminated.  This threshold is suggested to dissuade organizations from applying who feel too unpopular to have any realistic chance of becoming an association.


Main (“general”) election


11)   Upon finalizing its list of candidates, each association must assign a unique code number to each so as to clearly identify them for general election purposes.  This code would be composed of the association’s unique number added to a unique letter or other symbol for each candidate (see item 4 above).  Under the supervision of the EC, and at least 2 months before the general election, each association must publish these code numbers and names as a part of the content of the ballot it will give to each of its registered voters during the general election (also see item 13 below).  At the same time, it must publish all the other relevant details about each candidate.  The EC must ensure that all this information is systematically organized and published widely.


12)  For APR’s general election, the EC ensures that each association’s ballot paper will be given to each of its registered voters at his or her local voting station on election day.


13)  Each ballot will allow each citizen to rank as many or as few of the candidates in the country as she might wish, i.e. putting 1 by her first choice candidate, 2 by her send choice, etc.  Section A of the ballot lists the names of the relevant association’s candidates; Section B allows each citizen to write in his or her own ranked list of the published code numbers of as many or as few of any other candidates seeking to represent other associations.


14)  The countrywide counting of all these rankings is coordinated by the EC. This count determines both which candidates are elected and exactly how many weighted votes each rep will have in the House of Representatives.


15)  All 435 elected candidates would be discovered by counting the rankings from all voting citizens.  They would be found by eliminating the least popular candidate one by one from the race until only the pre-established number of reps for each association remained.  Each of these reps would have a weighted vote in the House exactly equal to the number of rankings (votes) each had received by the time the last candidate had been eliminated.


16)  Each citizen’s vote would be a part of one representative’s weighted vote.  Most votes would have been given directly as a result of the above rankings.  However, some votes could have been received indirectly by a rep.


17)  There are two ways an APR vote could be given indirectly.  Firstly, if none of the candidates ranked by a citizen is elected, the ballot allows the citizen to require her first choice but eliminated candidate to give her vote to the rep most favoured by that eliminated candidate, i.e. to the rep highest on the list pre-declared by that eliminated candidate.  The second way a rep can indirectly receive an additional vote is when a very popular rep has initially received more than 10% of all the weighted votes.  Such a rep must publish exactly how she has given all her over 10% votes to her trusted fellow reps.


18)  In an APR legislative assembly, the voting power of each rep is equal to the number of his or her weighted votes, i.e. the number of citizens received.  The assembly’s own rules and the passing of any laws or resolutions would be subject to the approval of a majority of the weighted votes.  While this majority could authorize one-rep-one-vote methods to be used during any of its preliminary deliberative stages, the assembly’s final approval for any rule, law, or resolution could be given only by a majority of weighted votes.


 

Endnote (re: item 9 above):  If together these associations had not yet been authorized to elect all the 435 representatives, the additional number needed to complete the 435 would be distributed between these associations as follows: One by one, the right to elect an additional representative would be sequentially given to the association that currently has the ‘highest remainder’.  A ‘remainder’ here is the number of registered voters beyond that minimum required to allow an association to elect one, two, three, or x number of representatives.  The second additional representative would be added to the association with the second largest remainder, and so forth.  This sequential adding process would continue until the exact number of representatives that each association would elect as its contribution to the 435 had been discovered.


END


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Richard, you also asked whether committee members in the assembly could only use their weighted votes, and how would “chairmanships” and other positions in the assembly be determined by APR.  Item 17 above states that all such decisions would be subject finally to the will of the majority of weighted votes.


You also recalled the question of how a “ruling coalition” might be formed within an APR assembly.  Do you want me to address this question again, or were you perhaps suggesting only that I offer to send any of my earlier arguments in favour of the following related claims to anyone who might so request?:


1.      APR would seem to facilitate the formation of productive working majority coalitions in the assembly.


2.      A parliamentary constitution is more rational than a presidential constitution.


3.      The most rational parliamentary constitution would contain a Constructive Vote of No Confidence (CVNC) procedure like Germany’s, i.e. it would require that an existing chief executive (prime minister) can be removed from office by the assembly only if it first elects a new prime minister by a majority of all the weighted votes in the assembly.


 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
> From: election-methods-request <at> lists.electorama.com
> Subject: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 128, Issue 4
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2015 12:02:12 -0800
>
>
> 1. Re: (9) APR: Steve's 9th dialogue with Richard Fobes (Steve)
> (Richard Fobes)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 07 Feb 2015 13:34:23 -0800
> From: Richard Fobes <ElectionMethods <at> VoteFair.org>
> To: "election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com"
> <election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com>
> Cc: steve bosworth <stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [EM] (9) APR: Steve's 9th dialogue with Richard Fobes
> (Steve)
> Message-ID: <54D684DF.7020302 <at> VoteFair.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1254; format=flowed
>
> Ah, finally, you have supplied an important piece of information that I
> don't recall learning from your earlier descriptions.
>
> The sample fee of $100,000 (USD) makes it clear that your APR method
> uses high fees to limit the number of associations that will appear on
> the ballot.
>
> Later, if I have time, I may contribute comments about this financial
> influence on election results, but for now let's stay focused on the
> goal of you writing a full, clear, facts-only description of your method.
>
> Here are suggested steps, and suggested names, and some suggested
> starting wordings for use in your clearer description:
>
> *Determine which organizations will appear as "associations" on the next
> primary-election ballot. (e.g. "All the associations that won at least
> one seat in the previous general election will be listed on the
> primary-election ballot. In addition, any organization that applies and
> pays a specified deposit fee also will be listed, yet the deposit fee
> will be refunded if the organization is ranked first by at least one out
> of one thousand voters (0.1%). The fee will be high enough to exclude
> organizations that are unlikely to reach the vote threshold, and to
> exclude relatively unpopular organizations that cannot afford to lose
> the deposit fee at each election ....)
>
> * Hold a primary election (e.g. "Ask voters to rank ....")
>
> * Determine how many seats each association has won. (....)
>
> * [another step here?]
>
> * Determine which ...
>
> * Hold the main ("general") election. (e.g. "Ask voters to indicate
> which ....")
>
> * Determine which candidates are elected.
>
> * Determine the weighted vote for each elected candidate.
>
> * Form a ruling coalition.
>
> * Assign chairmanship positions. ([Does a popular representative get
> extra voting power when voting in a committee?])
>
> * Pass laws and resolutions using weighted voting.
>
> Please note that I expect you to depart from the above wording
> suggestions. They are provided to help you get started, which is the
> hardest part of writing.
>
> I look forward to seeing the full, yet concise, description of your APR
> method -- all in one place, and without distracting claims and goals.
>
> Then we can resume discussing its disadvantages.
>
> Your method's dominant advantage -- that it allows each voter to
> directly determine the level of parliamentary influence of their
> favorite elected representative -- is self-evident. (I would not be
> wasting my time asking you to supply a description if the method did not
> have a significant advantage over some of the methods discussed here.)
>
> Richard Fobes
>
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robert bristow-johnson | 9 Feb 17:07 2015

Re: Top-two primary system hasn't worked as proponents promised

On 2/9/15 10:31 AM, Kathy Dopp wrote:
> FYI,
>
> Top-two primary system hasn't worked as proponents promised
>

of course it hasn't.

it can't.

> http://www.latimes.com/local/politics/la-me-pol-california-politics-20150208-story.html
>

Kathy, we have disagreed about a few things regarding IRV (we both knew 
of its failures, but, at least in my home town, we were on opposite 
sides of how my home town should proceed), but i have *always* been 
dubious of the "Top-two primary", just as i am dubious of Top-two 
Runoff.  sometimes the top-two does not offer the electorate the best 
choice of candidates from a POV of majority rule.

Political parties should *not* be written into the Constitution (or any 
other government charter).  the only role of political parties appearing 
in law should simply be in contract law and law affecting organizations 
where multiple persons are stakeholders (i.e. there should be laws 
preventing some stakeholders in an organization from screwing over other 
stakeholders in that organization in a manner contrary to the rules and 
bylaws of the organization).

that said, political parties have a good reason to exist.  like a 
corporation, political parties are the means for a large number of 
like-minded people to organize to accomplish something (say, by 
campaigning and eventually creating governing majorities) that they 
could not do by themselves.  political parties, *if* their candidates 
meet ballot access requirements (minimum number of signatures on a 
ballot petition), should always be able to be represented (or have their 
candidates represented) on the ballot.

it's one reason i am soooo for the Ranked Ballot (which we agree that 
IRV is a crappy way to do a Ranked Ballot), because i don't like the 
two-party duopoly that denies a level playing field to third parties and 
independent candidates (Duverger's law).

but a single-party choice (which can happen from a top-two primary) is 
even worse.

--

-- 

r b-j                  rbj <at> audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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Gmane