Sebastiaan Snoeckx | 29 Aug 21:45 2015
Picon

Re: Highly-expressive preference voting

27/08/15 16:13, Juho Laatu <juho.laatu <at> gmail.com>:
>> On 27 Aug 2015, at 15:02, Sebastiaan Snoeckx<ikke <at> sebastiaansnoeckx.be> wrote:
>>
>> Hello
>>
>> This may sound like an insanely strange question, but I was
  wondering whether there were specific election algorithms and ballot 
designs that would allow a voter to express preferences between specific 
candidates, without having to specify their preference between the 
expressions of preferences themselves.
>>
>> Don't worry if this sounds inconsistent, I'll explain by example:
>> 1. The voter prefers A over B (A>B)
>> 2. The voter prefers C over D (C>D)
>> 3. The voter prefers E over F and G (E>F=G)
>> 4. The voter prefers their own preference of A>B over their
preference C>D, but could care less whether E>F=G is preferred over the 
others
>>
>> Notationally, it would be a bit like this: ((A>B)>(C>D))=(E>F=G)
>>
>> Ow! I can imagine any voting system choking over this (and imagine
this happening with loops allowed!), but it is an incredibly common 
thing in real life: people prefer burgers over pizza and prefer coke 
over sprite (YMMV!), but when you ask them wether this mean that they 
prefer burgers over coke or pizza over sprite, they'll shrug and say 
these are not comparable: (burgers>pizza)=(coke>sprite).
>>
>> In real-life elections, candidates are rarely comparable to each
other (ie. one-issue candidates or mutually-complementary ideologies), 
(Continue reading)

Sebastiaan Snoeckx | 29 Aug 17:17 2015
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Re: Highly-expressive preference voting

27/08/15 16:13, election-methods-request <at> lists.electorama.com:
>> This may sound like an insanely strange question, but I was wondering
>> whether there were specific election algorithms and ballot designs that
>> would allow a voter to express preferences between specific candidates,
>> without having to specify their preference between the expressions of
>> preferences themselves.
>>
>> Don't worry if this sounds inconsistent, I'll explain by example:
>>    1. The voter prefers A over B (A>B)
>>    2. The voter prefers C over D (C>D)
>>    3. The voter prefers E over F and G (E>F=G)
>>    4. The voter prefers their own preference of A>B over their preference
>> C>D, but could care less whether E>F=G is preferred over the others
>>
>> Notationally, it would be a bit like this: ((A>B)>(C>D))=(E>F=G)
>>
>> Ow! I can imagine any voting system choking over this (and imagine this
>> happening with loops allowed!), but it is an incredibly common thing in
>> real life: people prefer burgers over pizza and prefer coke over sprite
>> (YMMV!), but when you ask them wether this mean that they prefer burgers
>> over coke or pizza over sprite, they'll shrug and say these are not
>> comparable: (burgers>pizza)=(coke>sprite).
>>
>> In real-life elections, candidates are rarely comparable to each other
>> (ie. one-issue candidates or mutually-complementary ideologies), and
>> forcing voters to rank (or score, in a cardinal system) incomparable
>> candidates or ideologies seems to me like a lot of information is lost.
>>
>> Did this make any sense at all?
>>
(Continue reading)

Sebastiaan Snoeckx | 27 Aug 14:02 2015
Picon

Highly-expressive preference voting

Hello

This may sound like an insanely strange question, but I was wondering 
whether there were specific election algorithms and ballot designs that 
would allow a voter to express preferences between specific candidates, 
without having to specify their preference between the expressions of 
preferences themselves.

Don't worry if this sounds inconsistent, I'll explain by example:
  1. The voter prefers A over B (A>B)
  2. The voter prefers C over D (C>D)
  3. The voter prefers E over F and G (E>F=G)
  4. The voter prefers their own preference of A>B over their preference 
C>D, but could care less whether E>F=G is preferred over the others

Notationally, it would be a bit like this: ((A>B)>(C>D))=(E>F=G)

Ow! I can imagine any voting system choking over this (and imagine this 
happening with loops allowed!), but it is an incredibly common thing in 
real life: people prefer burgers over pizza and prefer coke over sprite 
(YMMV!), but when you ask them wether this mean that they prefer burgers 
over coke or pizza over sprite, they'll shrug and say these are not 
comparable: (burgers>pizza)=(coke>sprite).

In real-life elections, candidates are rarely comparable to each other 
(ie. one-issue candidates or mutually-complementary ideologies), and 
forcing voters to rank (or score, in a cardinal system) incomparable 
candidates or ideologies seems to me like a lot of information is lost.

Did this make any sense at all?
(Continue reading)

Monkey Puzzle | 5 Aug 01:34 2015
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Supreme Court considering "one man, one vote"

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Richard Fobes | 1 Aug 02:07 2015

Re: (20) APR: Steve's 20th dialogue with Richard Fobes

On 7/16/2015 4:15 PM, steve bosworth wrote:
 > .... I see this as 'full' both because [APR], unlike VoteFair, allows
 > for no votes to be wasted, and gives each citizen's vote to a names rep
 > who she has directly or indirectly favored. In this sense only, APR
 > offers '100% percent proportionality'. As far as I understand it, your
 > 'VoteFair ranking' will still waste some vote and cannot guarantee that
 > each vote that counts will be added to the weighted vote of the rep each
 > citizen has directly or indirectly favored. Please correct me if I am
 > mistaken about this.

Apparently you don't yet understand VoteFair Ranking.  If a voter does 
not support the winner of the first seat within a district, then that 
voter's influence shifts to help choose the winner of the second seat 
within that district.  If that voter also does not like the winner of 
the second seat, then that voter's first-party preference shifts to 
determine the number of winning candidates from that political party.

As another clarification, if a voter supports a very popular winner of 
the first seat within the district, then some of the "surplus" influence 
from this voter shifts to help choose the winner of the second seat.

In other words VoteFair Ranking does not "waste" any votes.

 > ....  Did you intend 'demographic' only
 > to mean 'geographic'? ....

Oops, yes, I intended to use the word geographic rather than demographic.

 > ...

 > This results from my understanding that your VoteFair proposal
 > for California included both a number of individual voting districts, as
 > well a number of state-wide districts. If so, each individual district
 > could result from some gerrymandering. Am I mistaken?

Yes, you are mistaken.  Regardless of where the boundaries are drawn, 
the results would not change in any significant way (assuming that each 
district has the same number of voters).

 > ... please note that my new Endnote 8 in my article
 > explains that the number of candidates would be somewhat limited
 > in practice both by the rules for selecting candidates which would have
 > been pre-declared by each association, and by the countrywide rule that
 > each must provide and returnable deposit of $10,000 or a sufficiently
 > long list of registered supports.

Thank you for listening to feedback and adjusting your method to prevent 
an excessive number of unpopular candidates.

 > .... APR has the advantage of
 > prompting citizens to observe, study, and rank as few or as many of all
 > the candidates running in the state or nation as they wish.

This "advantage" applies to any good voting method.

 > ...Please remember the different but related pre-selection role that
 > APR's own primary would play.

In a different message you seem to suggest that these primary elections 
would be held privately, instead of being administered by the 
government.  That approach would never be acceptable in U.S. elections. 
  (From what I understand, Canada does have such an approach, and also 
requires money to participate in that nomination process, but that 
unfairness in Canadian elections is well-known.)

I'm pleased that you finally recognize the need for primary elections.

 >  > >R: I'll argue that VoteFair ranking greatly reduces the 
effectiveness of
 >  > > > campaign contributions compared to most other election methods.
 >  > >

 > You have frequently asserted this but I have not yet seen that
 > you have 'argued' for this yet, especially in preference to APR,
 > i.e. how would VoteFair reduce the effectiveness of these contributions
 > more than APR would?

Again I'll refer you to our earlier discussions in this thread, where I 
described vulnerabilities that apply to your APR method.  Those 
vulnerabilities do not apply to VoteFair Ranking -- for the reasons 
explained in my book.

If I had lots of time I would point to the specific messages, but alas 
my time is quite limited.

 >  > In addition, "Ending The Hidden Unfairness In U.S. Elections" explains
 >  > in detail how money is currently used to influence election 
results, and
 >  > your APR method is vulnerable to some of the same tactics, ...

 > Yes, but still no explanation of how APR is more vulnerable than
 > VoteFair in this regard.

What?  My book clearly explains the vulnerabilities, and explains how 
VoteFair ranking is not vulnerable to these weaknesses.  Again, please 
refer to earlier messages in this thread regarding which vulnerabilities 
apply to APR, why they apply, and unfair strategies that can take 
advantage of those vulnerabilities.

 > Only if a voter chooses to use Section B of the APR ballot might
 > it be a little more complex than the VoteFair ballot. ....

I disagree.

Just the fact that a voter must choose between filling out section A or 
section B is a very significant barrier for many voters, and would be 
the source of lots of confusion.

 >  > Why do you regard "remaining arbitrariness in determining its 
electoral
 >  > districts" as a disadvantage? The best defense against gerrymandering
 >  > is to ensure that gerrymandering is not possible.

 > Yes, and APR does make it 'impossible', not VoteFair.

I disagree.  Please refer to my explanation above about how a voter's 
influence shifts in ways that ensure the vote is not "wasted".

 > Please note that APR does not ' impose any limit on the number of
 > candidates' in the general election. This is when each APR citizen is
 > actually determining which individual candidates she favors. This degree
 > of ranking of choice is not offered in the general election of VoteFair.

Yes, VoteFair Ranking excludes political parties that are not popular 
enough to justify offering candidates that have no chance of winning.

 >  >R: [….] If I have missed answering any of your latest questions, 
please note
 >  > that your non-standard way of marking your most recent
 >  > comments/questions is difficult to follow (as someone else has also
 >  > pointed out).

 >  I hope my 'way of marking my most recent comments' now conforms
 > to Kristofer's suggestions.

You are getting closer.  Notice that your most recent content should not 
be preceded by any angle brackets.  Expressed another way, the comments 
with the most angle brackets are the oldest, and the comments without 
any angle brackets are the newest.

Thank you for your continued interest in my opinions.

Richard Fobes

On 7/16/2015 4:15 PM, steve bosworth wrote:
>
> Re: (20) APR: Steve's 20^th dialogue with Richard Fobes
>
>  > Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2015 21:05:23 -0700
>  > From: ElectionMethods <at> VoteFair.org
>  > To: election-methods <at> electorama.com
>  > CC: stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com
>  > Subject: Re: 19) APR: Steve's 19th dialogue with Richard Fobes
>  >
>  > On 6/30/2015 7:39 PM, steve bosworth wrote:
>  > > ...
>  > > >>>S: I accept that your method might mathematically at most provide
>  > > 'nearly full proportionality'. However, APR offers the advantage of
>  > > 'full proportionality'. Do you dispute this?
>  >
>  > R: Yes I dispute this. As I have said before (and I think someone else
>  > made a similar point), your APR method does not achieve full
>  > proportionality. Specifically, with APR, not every voter is represented
>  > by her first choice.
>
>
>
>
>  >>>S: I have never claimed the impossible, i.e. that APR guarantees
> that each voter's 'first choice' candidate will be elected. If this is
> not what I mean by 'full proportionality'. APR only allows each citizen
> to guarantee that her vote will be added to the weighted vote of the
> elected candidate (i.e. the rep) she ranked higher than the others, or
> which her first choice but eliminated candidate ranks higher than the
> others. I see this as 'full' both because it, unlike VoteFair, allows
> for no votes to be wasted, and gives each citizen's vote to a names rep
> who she has directly or indirectly favored. In this sense only, APR
> offers '100% percent proportionality'. As far as I understand it, your
> 'VoteFair ranking' will still waste some vote and cannot guarantee that
> each vote that counts will be added to the weighted vote of the rep each
> citizen has directly or indirectly favored. Please correct me if I am
> mistaken about this.
>  >
>  > >S: ... APR also removes even the,
>  > > small degree of gerrymandering that may continue with regard to the
>  > > establishment, for example, of any of your smaller than 'state wide
>  > > seats' for electing California's Legislative Assembly. Do you agree?
>  >
>  >R: No I do not agree.
>  >
>  > I do agree that your APR method cannot be gerrymandered. But that
>  > advantage occurs at the loss of demographic proportionality.
>
>
>
>
>  >>>S: I understand 'demography' to be focused on populations. APR
> allows each self-identified section of the citizen population to
> guarantee that each citizen (and association) will be mathematically
> represented in the assembly through the weighted vote of her favored rep
> from the association she favors. This also includes all the
> geographically defined associations. Did you intend 'demographic' only
> to mean 'geographic'? What do you think?
>  >
>  > R: I don't understand what you are specifically saying above in the
> part of
>  > your sentence that says:
>  >
>  > > ... for example, of any of your smaller than 'state wide
>  > > seats' for electing California's Legislative Assembly.
>
>
>
>
>  >>>S: This results from my understanding that your VoteFair proposal
> for California included both a number of individual voting districts, as
> well a number of state-wide districts. If so, each individual district
> could result from some gerrymandering. Am I mistaken?
>
>
>
>  >>S: Perhaps you did not notice that Section A of each 'association's'
>  > > ballot would only list the candidates seeking to represent that
>  > association.
>  >
>  >R: If plurality is replaced, lots and lots of citizens will want to jump
>  > into politics to fix what's wrong. I don't see where the initial number
>  > of candidates will be anything but large.
>
>
>
>
>  >>>S: Yes, quite possibly, but surely this would be a good thing, other
> things being equal. Also, please note that my new Endnote 8 in my
> article explains that the number of candidates would be somewhat limited
> in practice both by the rules for selecting candidates which would have
> been pre-declared by each association, and by the countrywide rule that
> each must provide and returnable deposit of $10,000 or a sufficiently
> long list of registered supports.
>
>
>
>  > > R: Remember that debates between dozens of candidates become
>  > impractical.
>  > >
>
>  >R: You seem to say, on the one hand, that APR imposes no limits on the
>  > number of candidates, yet on the other hand you say that comparing those
>  > many candidates will not be a problem.
>  >
>  > How do you envision voters finding the time to compare even more
>  > candidates than currently? Getting specific, the U.S. presidential
>  > election currently has more than 20 candidates. In APR there is only
>  > one chance to rank candidates (because there is nothing like a primary
>  > election), so how do people choose which candidates to focus on learning
>  > more about in order to rank them?
>
>
>
>
>  > > >>>S: Again, as with every electoral system, candidates will debate
> with
>  > > whichever other candidates they choose. APR has the advantage of
>  > > prompting citizens to observe, study, and rank as few or as many of all
>  > > the candidates running in the state or nation as they wish.
>
>
>
>  >>>S: Please remember the different but related pre-selection role that
> APR's own primary would play.
>
>
>  >
>  > >R: I'll argue that VoteFair ranking greatly reduces the effectiveness of
>  > > > campaign contributions compared to most other election methods.
>  > >
>  > > >>>S: You have frequently asserted this but I have not yet seen that
>  > > you have 'argued' for this yet, especially in preference to APR,
> i.e. how would VoteFair reduce the effectiveness of these contributions
> more than APR would?
>  >
>  > What? In multiple messages I have described multiple ways in which APR
>  > is vulnerable to manipulation through the use of money.
>  >
>  > In addition, "Ending The Hidden Unfairness In U.S. Elections" explains
>  > in detail how money is currently used to influence election results, and
>  > your APR method is vulnerable to some of the same tactics, ...
>
>
>
>
>  >>>S: Yes, but still no explanation of how APR is more vulnerable than
> VoteFair in this regard.
>
>
>
>
>
>  >>R: ... plus APR is vulnerable to new tactics that I have previously
> explained in earlier
>  > messages to you.
>
>
>
>
> S: I still have not seen these extra vulnerabilities.
>  >
>  > > >>>S: Equally, I do not yet see that you have addressed my following
>  > claims in our 18^th dialogue:
>  >
>  > Aside from these important relative weaknesses of VoteFair when
>  > compared to APR for electing an assembly, I see VoteFair's greater
>  > mathematical complexity, its remaining arbitrariness in determining
> its electoral
>  > districts, and its still wasting some votes (for example by its
> offering a more limited choice of candidates for electors) as seeming to
> make it less likely (and less worthy than APR) to replace the existing
> system in California. More Californians would understand APR.
>  >
>  >>R: Repeating myself, yes more voters/citizens would understand APR's
>  > counting method.
>  >
>  > Yet from a voter's perspective, marking ballots would be much simpler
>  > using VoteFair ranking. Only the calculations done on a computer are
>  > "complex" in terms of VoteFair ranking not being simple to understand.
>  >
>  > In contrast, figuring out how to mark an APR ballot is complex.
>
>
>
>
>  >>>S: Only if a voter chooses to use Section B of the APR ballot might
> it be a little more complex than the VoteFair ballot. At the same time,
> Section B has the advantage of allowing a citizen also to rank any
> number of candidates seeking to represent any other associations in the
> country.
>
>
>
>  >R: APR's counting method [...] is simpler.
>  >
>  > Why do you regard "remaining arbitrariness in determining its electoral
>  > districts" as a disadvantage? The best defense against gerrymandering
>  > is to ensure that gerrymandering is not possible.
>
>
>
>
>  >>>S: Yes, and APR does make it 'impossible', not VoteFair.
>  >
>  >> R: As for "[limiting the] choice of candidates for electors," the
> [VoteFaier]
>  > voters/electors are the ones who do that limiting in the primary
>  > election. (In the primary election, VoteFair ranking does not need to
>  > impose any limit on the number of candidates.)
>
>
>
>
>  >>>S: Please note that APR does not ' impose any limit on the number of
> candidates' in the general election. This is when each APR citizen is
> actually determining which individual candidates she favors. This degree
> of ranking of choice is not offered in the general election of VoteFair.
>  >
>  >R: [….] If I have missed answering any of your latest questions,
> please note
>  > that your non-standard way of marking your most recent
>  > comments/questions is difficult to follow (as someone else has also
>  > pointed out).
>  >
>  >>>S: I hope my 'way of marking my most recent comments' now conforms
> to Kristofer's suggestions.
>
>
>
>
>  >>R: As you may have noticed, I haven't had lots of time lately. (I'm
>  > writing this in haste.) Yet if you do have specific questions, and they
>  > are not repeats of questions I've already answered, please do ask.
>  >
>  > Thank you for taking the time to better understand election-method
>  > complexities.
>  >
>  > Richard Fobes
>
>
>  > >>S: What do you think?
>
>
> I look forward to your replies.
>
>
>
>
> Steve

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steve bosworth | 26 Jul 03:14 2015
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Steve's 2nd Real Democracy, APR and SPPA dialogue with Stephane

 

[EM] Steve's 2nd Real Democracy, APR and SPPA dialogue with Stephane

> From: election-methods-request <at> lists.electorama.com
> Subject: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 133, Issue 20
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2015 19:56:12 -0700
>
> 2. Re: Real Democracy (1): Steve 1st dialogue with Stephane
> Rouillon (St?phane Rouillon)
> [---]
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2015 22:55:59 -0400
> From: St?phane Rouillon <stephane.rouillon <at> sympatico.ca>
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> Subject: Re: [EM] Real Democracy (1): Steve 1st dialogue with Stephane
> Rouillon
> Message-ID: <BLU436-SMTP140D793C8BDDBFDF1386B538F830 <at> phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"; Format="flowed"
>
> Stephane Rouillon (R) wrote:

>
> R: 1) The whole document is available from http://citation.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/9/9/3/9/pages199397/p199397-1.php tohttp://citation.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/9/9/3/9/pages199397/p199397-10.php
> You can copy (Ctrl-C) any of the 10 pages in a text document...
>
> 2) I will read your APR document as soon I find which software opens
> .odt document...
>

>>S: I have re-sent it using Rich Text (.rtf) format. I hope this will make it easier to read.


>Rouillon (R): For the moment I can only give some comments on your APR comparison. I
> am sorry if it sounds negative but it is not. I just want more details
> about the few differences between APR and SPPA:
>
> 3) Does APR "geographically or non-geographically defined voluntary
> organizations (e.g. political parties, interest groups)" /that/ "will be
> officially recognized as electoral 'associations" prevent
> outsiders to infiltrate artificially an electoral 'associations? Like
> partisan of a mainstream idea that would decide to sink another debate
> using their strong majority...? Lets suppose that massive
> supporters of gay weddings want to dilute a more 50%-50% debate about
> adoption from homosexual parents (just an example). Would APR detect
> organized infiltration movements?
>
>>S: Firstly, for the primary, any voluntarily organization applying to become an 'association' could decide officially to exclude all citizens from becoming a part of its registered voters for general election purposes other than those conforming to any criteria it might publicly specify. These criteria would have to be specified within its application to the FEC and widely published before the relevant APR primary. Any citizens not conforming to these criteria could know in advance that they would not be accepted as registered voters in that 'association'.

If any such citizen ignored this bar to them and initially seemed to become a registered voter in the relevant association as a result of the way she ranked the organizations during the primary, she would later be excluded from this membership immediately upon the association discovering that she did not satisfy the criteria. At that point, she would, by default, become a registered voter within the geographically defined association within which she resides.


At the same time, each applicant organization would want to think very carefully before excluding anyone because it expects to have more voting power in the assembly in proportion to the number of citizen who help to elect its rep(s). Also, the more registered votes it gains, the more MPs it would be allowed to send to the assembly.


Finally, it seems to me that no rational citizen would choose to join an association she opposes when this means, as a result, she will not be able to join and support her most favored association during the primary an thus not be able to help it send more MPs to the assembly in this way.


>R: 4) What happens if a very low number of APR representatives controls a
> majority (more than 50%) of the parliament voices? Oligarchy?


> >S: My article stipulates that no MP would be allowed to retain more that 10% of the weighted votes in the assembly. Any extra votes received by a very popular MP would have to be non-returnably transferred to her trust colleagues.


> 5) SPPA garantees a stable bipartite coalition around the main political
> parties, despite balanced national split supports like 30%, 18%, 17%,
> 14%, 11% and 10%.
> In such a case, it would boost the main party to 50% and reduce the
> mandate to 3/7 of tis original length to ensure fairness. How does APR
> handle unstable splits?


>>S: Firstly, I have to admit that at least the 1st APR elected assembly could be even more 'split' than your above numbers suggest. However, because the ideology and policy agenda of each APR MP is likely to be much closer to her electorate, I think this also makes it more likely that each will be trusted, able, and motivated to negotiate any necessary compromises (even with her opposing MPs) to form and be an essential part of a working majority coalition. Separately, I will email to you (or anyone else) my reason for this expectation (see the attachment: 'Common Ground').


That attachment explains especially why an APR MP would have a strong incentive to negotiate to become an essential part of a working majority coalition so she can have at least some of her own policy aims passed into law. However, even these incentives by themselves do not guarantee that such a majority will always be formed. This is why I will also separately email to you a second attachment outlining some constitutional arrangements that some states already have and which rationally address the potential danger that a state might otherwise become paralyzed if its legislative assembly fails to form a working majority. The contingency plans contained in these constitutional arrangements also make it even more likely that such a majority will be formed. This is because they remove the option for any MP or group of MPs to hold the assembly or the state to ransom simply by refusing to cooperate with all other minorities of MPs (see attachment: 15-secure-executive. I will also email anyone else these attachments upon requests).
>
> 6) How do you organize fair debates when a voter can choose between a
> huge amount of candidates?


>>S: Firstly, ideally all candidates' campaigns should be basically facilitated by a public media provider like the BBC. Also, each campaign should be basically financed by the state in proportion to the numbers of registered voters each association has received as a result of APR's primary. Also, the amount of additional private funds each association and candidate can spend should be carefully limited by law.

Secondly, it must be recalled that the very basic information about every association would be made widely available to the public before APR's primary, as guaranteed by the central electoral commission. The basic information about each candidate in the country would be similarly published well before the general election.

Thirdly, each association would want to organize debates between all the candidates seeking to represent it. For example, the publicly controlled internet would be able to facilitate such debates between the candidates seeking to represent even a small and non-geographically defined association.

Also, coalitions of associations would coordinate their campaigns, both to present their common policies and to attack opposing coalitions or parties. Parties (together with any 'associations' that might be affiliated to them) would presumably campaign in a similar way.


>>S: I look forward to receiving your feedback.

Steve
>
> R: It might take some time before I comment: plenty of work...
> S. Rouillon
>

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steve bosworth | 22 Jul 01:53 2015
Picon

Real Democracy (1): Steve 1st dialogue with Stephane Rouillon



 


> From: election-methods-request <at> lists.electorama.com
> Subject: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 133, Issue 17
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2015 12:01:59 -0700
> …..........................
> 1. Real Democracy (St?phane Rouillon)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2015 23:09:04 -0400
> From: St?phane Rouillon <stephane.rouillon <at> sympatico.ca>
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com

> Subject: [EM] Real Democracy (1):  Steve 1st dialogue with Stephane Rouillon


> Message-ID: <BLU437-SMTP1063BACDACEABF3872910208F860 <at> phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"; Format="flowed"
>


Stephane Rouillon wrote:
>
>R: I do not know if you would find it real democracy, but SPPA is what I
> have to offer best...
> http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/9/9/3/9/p199397_index.html
> http://votebook.ca/pdf/SPPAforMPSA13042007.pdf
>
> Dr Rouillon.
>


>>Steve (S): I have studied your very useful but brief bullet-point-type-presentation of SPPA. Thank you. I hope you will send me more details, partly in response to my following points and suggestions.


Our aims and values seem to be almost identical. Therefore, if you have the time, I would appreciate it if you would study my article ('Equal Voting Sustained') to see whether or not Associational Proportional Representation (APR) might not serve your aims even more completely than your current version of SPPA. I will send you (or anyone else) this article separately upon request.


For example, with regard to your list of SPPA's benefits, APR would seem to compare as follows:


  • still needs only one visit to the polling station: Yes.

  • maintains the accountability link with elected members: Yes.

  • gathers sincere preferences: Yes.

  • allows ordering of the issues by the electorate: APR allows this to some extent during its 'primary election' which determines which geographically or non-geographically defined voluntary organizations (e.g. political parties, interest groups) will be officially recognized as electoral 'associations'. At the same time, each citizen chooses through which one she will rank as few or as many candidates in the whole country as she might wish during the later general election.

  • reduces the antagonism between candidates: APR candidates would have every incentive both to be very clear and exact about her own scale of values and policy proposals, and to negotiate, even with opponents, any compromises necessary, to achieve agreements (e.g. to help form a majority coalition) to legislate at least some of her policy goals.

  • vanishes vote splitting issues: APR give no incentive (or possibility) to split votes.

  • raises the individual approbation rate of elected members: Each APR rep will have a 'weighted vote' in the legislative assembly exactly equal to the number of citizens who have helped her to be elected – no vote is wasted and continues into the assembly.

  • treats all candidates equally (independents included)! Completely! For example, 'independents' could either form an 'association' by themselves, or seek to represent any association's agenda that any of them might favor.

  • eliminates the democratic deficit: Completely!

  • treats all political parties equally (no quota): Completely!

  • gives to every voter the same weight: Completely!

  • elects party-line builder: Yes, if this refers to the building and sustaining of a working majority coalition (and also its government in a parliamentary system).

  • guarantees stable coalitions of two parties: see previous response.

  • guarantees twice the number of MPs in the worst case: No, APR guarantees only the exact proportional election of the pre-established number of MPs.

  • preserves learning [about] a small number of candidates to vote [for]: If she wishes, APR allows a citizen to vote for only one candidate in the country. Alternatively, she can rank as few or as many candidates in the whole country as she might wish.

  • reduces strategic nominations: Completely!

  • hinders bribing electorate [for]support: as much as possible.

  • avoids regional confrontation: APR provides alternatives to regional conflicts yet would allow any such conflicts to be represented, i.e. exactly in proportion to the number of citizens who care most about them.

  • eliminates gerrymandering: Completely!


To facilitate any of our future discussions, it might sometime be helpful if I could 'cut and paste' some of your words (like the above) to comment upon them. Thus, might it be possible for you separately to email me your relevant SPPA works in a suitable [?Word?] format so that I could do this?

I look forward to your feedback.




Steve






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steve bosworth | 21 Jul 20:46 2015
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Re: (4) Steve's 4th dialogue with Fred Gohlke


  > From: election-methods-request <at> lists.electorama.com
> Subject: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 133, Issue 18
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 12:01:42 -0700
>
> 1. Re: (2&3) Steve's 2nd and 3rd dialogue with Fred Gohlke
> (Fred Gohlke)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:43:04 -0400
> From: Fred Gohlke <fredgohlke <at> verizon.net>
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> Subject: Re: [EM] (2&3) Steve's 2nd and 3rd dialogue with Fred Gohlke
> Message-ID: <55AD08F8.8000300 <at> verizon.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>
Fred wrote:
>
> F: Thank you for the description of the method you suggest. It seems
> straightforward.
>
> You asked what I think. I hope you find my comments thoughtful and
> worth your effort to consider.
>
> You presuppose a "Paper (or computer) ballot counting method". I take
> issue with that presupposition and will explain why later in the discussion.
>
>
> re: "Imagine that you are a citizen of this village and 15
> of your fellow citizens want to be elected."
>
> That's reasonable.
>
> What do I know about the people who seek public office? For any of them
> that I do not know personally, the only knowledge I have is the stand
> they profess and the fact that they seek public office. From that, I
> must try to figure out their suitability for election. Here are a
> couple of thoughts that come to mind:
>
> a) They see themselves as politicians. I share the public perception
> that politicians are deceitful individuals. Anyone who, of their own
> volition, casts themselves as a politician raises a question in my mind
> as to their integrity. That fact, by itself, does not close the door on
> them. It is simply one factor that must be considered.
>
> b) They see themselves as worthy of public office. That may be an
> indication that their ego exceeds their intellect. It raises the
> question of whether they have the humility to serve the public interest.
> Without humility, public servants will not learn from their peers.
>
> c) They are assertive. That's a double-edged sword: If their
> assertiveness is exercised in the public interest it will be a good
> thing. If it is exercised in pursuit of their personal advantage, it
> will be destructive.




>>S: Yes.
>
> re: "To discover which 7 of the 15 are to be elected, each
> candidate initially stands at a different place in the
> Village Hall surrounded by the citizens who most favor
> him or her."
>
> R: How are we to decide which is the best candidate? The description
> implies that citizens must make their decision based on where a
> candidate stands. How does the fact that a candidate takes a stance
> help me determine the candidate's character?




>>S: In the Village, you might already know a lot about the candidates. In APR for electing your nation's legislative assembly, you might already know a lot about some the candidates seeking to represent the 'associations' that you already have had many dealings even before APR's primary. However, all each citizen can and should do is also to spend as much additional time as they can to research the abilities, history, and scale of values of as many of all the candidates as they can so as to be able to rank as many as possible during the general election on the basis of evidence.
>
>F: It doesn't, and a candidate's character is infinitely more important
> than where he or she stands.
>
> Does the process you suggest expect citizens to take candidates'
> character on faith?




>>S: No




That is inadequate, as is demonstrated so clearly
> by the degradation of modern so-called democracies into oligarchies.
> [….]
> >
> I said I would have additional comments on a "Paper (or computer) ballot
> counting method". This, too, must be brief. I just want to point out
> that there are many ways for people to vote. Casting a ballot is the
> least democratic of them.


>>S: Please both explain what you see as the most democratic 'way' and try to give me your definition of 'democracy'.


>
>F: The way we currently elect politicians to public office is why modern
> governments are undemocratic. In the party-based political systems that
> dominate modern governments, the right to vote is not evidence of
> democracy, it shows that the people are subjects of the parties that
> decide the options available to the voters. This subjugates the people
> because:
>
> THOSE WHO CONTROL THE OPTIONS, CONTROL THE OUTCOME!!!
>
> If we are ever to achieve democracy, we must devise a political process
> that lets the people select the candidates and choose the issues on
> which they must decide.




>>S: When you have the time, I hope you let me know the extent to which APR's concept of 'democracy' matches yours. So far, I see APR as an essential part of the 'political process
> that [would let] the people select the candidates and choose the issues on
> which they must decide.' It would maximally help to solve the problems you have mentioned.




I look forward to your feedback.




Steve
>
> Fred Gohlke


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steve bosworth | 17 Jul 23:47 2015
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Re: (2&3) Steve's 2nd and 3rd dialogue with Fred Gohlke

From: stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com
To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com; fredgohlke <at> verizon.net
Subject: RE: (2) Steve's 2nd dialogue with Fred Gohlke
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2015 20:29:19 +0000

<!-- .ExternalClass .ecxhmmessage P { padding:0px; } .ExternalClass body.ecxhmmessage { font-size:12pt; font-family:Calibri; } -->

 
> From: election-methods-request <at> lists.electorama.com
> Subject: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 133, Issue 12
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> >
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2015 14:40:53 -0400
> From: Fred Gohlke <fredgohlke <at> verizon.net>
> To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
> Subject: Re: [EM] Alexander Praetorius, regarding Frome, U.K.
> Message-ID: <55A7FAB5.5060406 <at> verizon.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Hi Fred,
 
In your last paragraph in your most recent post, you write:
 
 
> It is unfortunate that the many bright and thoughtful people who post on
> this site do not think it worthwhile to help the Frome Town Council find
> a way for every member of the community to help decide which of their
> peers are the most attuned to the needs of the community and have the
> qualities required to advocate the common good.
>
> Fred Gohlke
 
>>S:  However, I would ask you to consider how the following solution, i.e. it is a:
 
'Paper (or computer) ballot counting method which is most simply illustrated by the face to face way the following imaginary village elects the 7 Members of its Village Council:

Imagine that you are a citizen of this village and 15 of your fellow citizens want to be elected. To discover which 7 of the 15 are to be elected, each candidate initially stands at a different place in the Village Hall surrounded by the citizens who most favor him or her. If more than 7 candidates have such supporters, the one with the fewest is eliminated. Each of his or her supporters now moves to stand by their 2nd choice candidates. This process continues until only 7 candidates remain. These 7 are elected.

Each of these 7 Members will have a ‘weighted vote’ in the Council equal to the number of citizens standing by them at the end of the count. No citizen’s vote is wasted. Each citizen’s vote will continue to count in every decision made by the Council. Each citizen has voted most positively. If you participated in this election, your concerns would be represented by the Member you trust most.2

Similarly with APR, each vote would continue to count quantitatively by being added to the weighted vote of the most favored representative each citizen had helped to elect, i.e. this weighted vote would be exactly equal to the number of electors who had rectly or indirectly ranked this representative'.


>>S:  This is introductory paragraph in the article which I offered to send you earlier.  However, perhaps I neglected to send you my 2nd post to you as I had intended.  This post would help you make sense of this proposal.  Consequently, I have taken the liberty of adding the contents of that 2nd post to this 3rd post.
 
I look forward to your replies.
 
Steve
2nd Post:

Thank you for your reply. I'll tag my responses with S:


F: re: "I would like to understand exactly what you mean by the difference
> between 'internal and external proportionality'."
>
> External proportionality is the relatively static division of political
> interests, as reflected by party representation in a legislature.
>
> Internal proportionality is the relatively dynamic division of political
> interests as reflected by the range of thoughts and feelings about the
> world around us that each of us carry within ourselves.

S: Using your definitions, I see each person's somewhat different 'internal proportionality' as what would guide each citizen as how to participate or not in electing a rep, e.g. to choose which candidate(s) to rank. This 'proportionality' is what I sometimes refer to as a person's 'scale of values'.
>
F: re: "I see the proportionality that could be guaranteed by APR (as
> mentioned) above my comments to James Gilmour) would offer what you seem
> to want: 'to choose representatives that represent the entire community'."
>
> Although I've seen your comments about APR, I have no deep understanding
> of the method. As far as I've been able to tell, it is a way to weigh
> votes for party candidates. However, that is not what I'm concerned
> about. I'm concerned about the way influence on the political process
> is distributed throughout the community. I, and many others like me,
> are not members of, and do not subscribe to the positions proclaimed by,
> any party. Can you tell me how much influence APR will give us on the
> choice of candidates for public office?

…............ how does APR let non-partisans seek out the members of the community best suited to lead it?


S: If APR already existed in your country, and you only wanted to rank (vote for) attractive candidates whose scale of values are closely matched with your own 'internal proportionality', you could do this without 'joining' any organization, face to face. You would do this as follows:

During APR's primary election you would rank (1,2,3, etc.) all the voluntary, social organizations that had applied directly to elect their own rep(s) during the next general election, i.e applied to the central electoral commission to become and official electoral 'association'. These organization would presumably not only include all the existing geographically defined associations (electoral districts) and political parties, but also a number of nongeographically defined organizations (e.g. interest groups: economic, religious, social, environmental, etc.)You would rank these according to the degree to which each organization seemed to mirror your own. In any case, you would, as a result, become a registered vote for general election purposes through the surviving organization (i.e. association) that you had ranked most highly. You would expect that the candidates who later would run to represent this organization would also have similar aims and concerns to your own, and that at least one of them would represent you very well in the legislative assembly.


For the general election itself, the central electoral commission would ensure that you would receive your official ballot at your most local polling station, i.e. even if your official association and ballot is different from the list of candidates for that local district. Each ballot paper originating from each association would also contain a Section B which would also allow a voter to rank as few or as many candidates seeking to represent associations other than the one in which she is registered. Consequently, you would rank as few or as many of the hundreds of candidate in the whole country during the general election as you might wish. As a result, you would be represented by the one elected candidate in the whole assembly you had ranked most highly. She would have a weighted vote in the assembly exactly equal to the number of citizens who had elected her. If none of the candidates you ranked received enough votes to be elected, APR's ballot allows you to require your first choice but eliminated candidate to transfer your vote to the weighted vote of the elected candidate she favors most, e.g. the elected candidate highest on her pre-declared list.


In this way, I see APR as offering you 'the means to seek out and elect
> those who have the particular blend of qualities needed to address and
> resolve the issues that are of current concern'.
>

What do you think?

I look forward to your feedback.

P.S. If you wish, ask Steve to email you a copy of his more systematic explanation of APR.


Steve

stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com



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Richard Fobes | 12 Jul 06:05 2015

Re: 19) APR: Steve's 19th dialogue with Richard Fobes

On 6/30/2015 7:39 PM, steve bosworth wrote:
 > ...
 >  >>>S: I accept that your method might mathematically at most provide
 > 'nearly full proportionality'. However, APR offers the advantage of
 > 'full proportionality'. Do you dispute this?

Yes I dispute this.  As I have said before (and I think someone else 
made a similar point), your APR method does not achieve full 
proportionality.  Specifically, with APR, not every voter is represented 
by hisher first choice.

No method can achieve 100% percent proportionality.  If you want to say 
that APR gets as close as is easily possible, then I'll agree with that 
on the condition that you also acknowledge that VoteFair ranking also 
can (if desired) achieve that same high level of proportionality.

 > ... APR also removes even the
 > small degree of gerrymandering that may continue with regard to the
 > establishment, for example, of any of your smaller than 'state wide
 > seats' for electing California's Legislative Assembly. Do you agree?

No I do not agree.

I do agree that your APR method cannot be gerrymandered.  But that 
advantage occurs at the loss of demographic proportionality.

I don't understand what you are specifically saying above in the part of 
your sentence that says:

 > ... for example, of any of your smaller than 'state wide
 > seats' for electing California's Legislative Assembly.

Regarding:

 >  >>>S: Perhaps you did not notice that Section A of each 'association's'
 > ballot would only list the candidates seeking to represent that 
association.

If plurality is replaced, lots and lots of citizens will want to jump 
into politics to fix what's wrong.  I don't see where the initial number 
of candidates will be anything but large.

 >  > R: Remember that debates between dozens of candidates become 
impractical.
 >
 >  >>>S: As with every electoral system, candidates will debate with
 > whichever other candidates they choose. APR has the advantage of
 > prompting citizens to observe, study, and rank as few or as many of all
 > the candidates running in the state or nation as they wish.

You seem to say, on the one hand, that APR imposes no limits on the 
number of candidates, yet on the other hand you say that comparing those 
many candidates will not be a problem.

How do you envision voters finding the time to compare even more 
candidates than currently?  Getting specific, the U.S. presidential 
election currently has more than 20 candidates.  In APR there is only 
one chance to rank candidates (because there is nothing like a primary 
election), so how do people choose which candidates to focus on learning 
more about in order to rank them?

 >  > I'll argue that VoteFair ranking greatly reduces the effectiveness of
 >  > campaign contributions compared to most other election methods.
 >
 >  >>>S: You have frequently asserted this but I have not yet seen that
 > you have 'argued' for this yet, especially in preference to APR.

What?  In multiple messages I have described multiple ways in which APR 
is vulnerable to manipulation through the use of money.

In addition, "Ending The Hidden Unfairness In U.S. Elections" explains 
in detail how money is currently used to influence election results, and 
your APR method is vulnerable to some of the same tactics, plus APR is 
vulnerable to new tactics that I have previously explained in earlier 
messages to you.

 >  >>>S: Equally, I do not yet see that you have addressed my following
 > claims in our 18^th dialogue:
 >
 >  >> Aside from these important relative weaknesses of VoteFair when 
compared
 >  > > to APR for electing an assembly, I see VoteFair's greater 
mathematical
 >  > > complexity, its remaining arbitrariness in determining its electoral
 >  > > districts, and its still wasting some votes (for example by its
 > offering
 >  > > a more limited choice of candidates for electors) as seeming to 
make it
 >  > > less likely (and less worthy than APR) to replace the existing
 > system in
 >  > > California. More Californians would understand APR.

Repeating myself, yes more voters/citizens would understand APR's 
counting method.

Yet from a voter's perspective, marking ballots would be much simpler 
using VoteFair ranking.  Only the calculations done on a computer are 
"complex" in terms of VoteFair ranking not being simple to understand.

In contrast, figuring out how to mark an APR ballot is complex.  It is 
APR's counting method that is simpler.

Why do you regard "remaining arbitrariness in determining its electoral 
districts" as a disadvantage?  The best defense against gerrymandering 
is to ensure that gerrymandering is not possible.

As for "[limiting the] choice of candidates for electors," the 
voters/electors are the ones who do that limiting in the primary 
election.  (In the primary election, VoteFair ranking does not need to 
impose any limit on the number of candidates.)

As for worthiness for use in California, you are the person who is 
promoting APR for use there.  VoteFair ranking would be a better choice. 
  Yet the reality is that election reform in California is a very long 
way into the future.

If I have missed answering any of your latest questions, please note 
that your non-standard way of marking your most recent 
comments/questions is difficult to follow (as someone else has also 
pointed out).

As you may have noticed, I haven't had lots of time lately.  (I'm 
writing this in haste.)  Yet if you do have specific questions, and they 
are not repeats of questions I've already answered, please do ask.

Thank you for taking the time to better understand election-method 
complexities.

Richard Fobes

On 6/30/2015 7:39 PM, steve bosworth wrote:
>
> (19) APR: Steve's 19th dialogue with Richard Fobes
>
>  > Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:21:19 -0700
>  > From: ElectionMethods <at> VoteFair.org
>  > To: election-methods <at> lists.electorama.com
>  > CC: stevebosworth <at> hotmail.com
>  > Subject: Re: (18) APR: Steve's 18th dialogue with Richard Fobes
>  >
>  > On 6/15/2015 1:56 PM, steve bosworth wrote:
>
>
>  > > Yes, as a result of reading your book ("Ending The Hidden
> Unfairness…”),
>  > > I think I do understand how both VoteFair popularity and representation
>  > > rankings could work. [...]
>  > > However, I still see it as offering less proportionality and
>  > > representativeness than APR for electing a legislative assembly. In
>  > > fact, you seem to acknowledge this APR advantage below:
>  > >
>  > > You explicitly say that you do not “dispute” the fact that “these
>  > > VoteFair-based linkages between a specific ballot and a specific
>  > >representative are not as obvious as … in your APR method”.
>  > >
>  > > “I do not dispute your claim that your APR method has the advantage
> that
>  > > a voter can directly associate their vote with a particular elected
>  > > representative's voting influence. …
>  >
>  > R: My comments about your APR method being relatively easy to use, and
>  > relatively easy to understand, have nothing to do with degree of
>  > proportionality.
>  >
>  > You don't mention VoteFair partial proportional ranking, so please read
>  > or reread, the chapter titled "It's Party Time!" (in my book "Ending the
>  > Hidden Unfairness in U.S. Elections"). And note that this method can
>  > implement nearly full proportional ranking simply by increasing the
>  > number of "statewide seats."
>
>
>  >>>S: I accept that your method might mathematically at most provide
> 'nearly full proportionality'. However, APR offers the advantage of
> 'full proportionality'. Do you dispute this? APR also removes even the
> small degree of gerrymandering that may continue with regard to the
> establishment, for example, of any of your smaller than 'state wide
> seats' for electing California's Legislative Assembly. Do you agree?
>  >
>  > > ... I see VoteFair's ... remaining arbitrariness in determining its
>  > electoral districts ...
>  >
>  > R: The best election methods cannot be gerrymandered, which means that
>  > district boundaries can be adjusted in nearly any way
>
>
>  >>>S: This is one of the reasons I see APR as offering the 'best
> method'. It removes all the anti-democratic influence of gerrymandered
> boundaries, as well as any districts that have produced safe-seats by
> chance.
>
>  > [….]
>  > >S: ... still wasting some votes (for example by its offering
>  > > a more limited choice of candidates for electors)
>  >
>  > R: This is the flip side of your method's disadvantage that a ballot
> would
>  > list too many candidates.
>
>
>  >>>S: Perhaps you did not notice that Section A of each 'association's'
> ballot would only list the candidates seeking to represent that association.
>
>
>  > R: Remember that debates between dozens of candidates become impractical.
>
>
>  >>>S: As with every electoral system, candidates will debate with
> whichever other candidates they choose. APR has the advantage of
> prompting citizens to observe, study, and rank as few or as many of all
> the candidates running in the state or nation as they wish.
>  >
>  > > S: However, against this APR advantage you again claim that it is more
>  > > vulnerable to money corruption. Several times before you have suggested
>  > > that APR would be more vulnerable in this regard but I still have not
>  > > seen your exact reasons for believing this. Please try again to specify
>  > > the nature of the extra vulnerability you see APR having in this
> regard.
>  >
>  > R: Once again you claim that you do not understand how your APR
> method is
>  > vulnerable to strategies that involve money. Rather than repeating the
>  > reasons I've already explained, I'll explain yet another reason for its
>  > vulnerability.
>  >
>  > You seem to be assuming that an interest group can shift from [being] a
>  > nonpolitical organization to a political organization without
>  > corruption. The reality is that the moment an organization gains
>  > significant influence in politics, (outside) money is used to pay
>  > (inside) individuals to shift their opinions in ways that the financial
>  > contributors desire.
>  >
>  > As a simple example in the United States, the organization named the
>  > Sierra Club became so popular that it begin to have an influence on
>  > politics. As a result, money was used to entice top leaders to support
>  > positions that were not consistent with environmental protection, which
>  > was a core priority for most Sierra Club members.
>  >
>  > I suspect that Green parties in Europe have experienced something
>  > similar, namely a shift in priorities as a result of monetary influence.
>  >
>  > The point is that an organization that was previously trusted becomes at
>  > least partially corrupt when enough money is supplied to influence key
>  > members in the organization. Note that money will be supplied in
>  > proportion to the organization's influence on politics -- or more
>  > specifically in proportion to the effectiveness of those contributions.
>
>
>  > I'll argue that VoteFair ranking greatly reduces the effectiveness of
>  > campaign contributions compared to most other election methods.
>
>
>  >>>S: You have frequently asserted this but I have not yet seen that
> you have 'argued' for this yet, especially in preference to APR. Of
> course, I believe that every system (including APR) is somewhat
> vulnerable to the corruptions you mention. But you seem not yet to have
> explained why you think APR in more vulnerable than is your VoteFair
> ranking proposal. In this connection, neither have you as yet also
> explained why you doubt the validity of my explanation of how APR should
> be less vulnerable for the reasons given at the end of my contribution
> to 18^th dialogue, the contribution that ended with the following paragraph:
>
>  > > APR’s primary elections and associations should also help to reduce the
>  > > sometimes anti-democratic power of great wealth, celebrity, and the
> mass
>  > > media. I see this as likely given the extent to which APR’s
>  > > ‘associations’ would emerge from previously existing voluntary
>  > > organizations in society. These associations could benefit from the
>  > > loyalties among the population such organizations had enjoyed prior to
>  > > them being recognized as 'associations'. Presumably, many of these
>  > > organizations would already have some communication and mobilization
>  > > resources that are entirely independent of celebrity, the richest
>  > > sections of society, and the mass media. Thus, the adoption of APR
> would
>  > > probably help to reduce the relative power of these sometimes
>  > > anti-democratic forces in determining how people and their
>  > > representatives vote. APR’s official political recognition of these
>  > > voluntary organizations would seem to assist many citizens more firmly,
>  > > securely, and independently to see that their own abiding interests are
>  > > best promoted and protected through the associational and
>  > > representational connections validated by APR.
>
>  >>>S: Equally, I do not yet see that you have addressed my following
> claims in our 18^th dialogue:
>
>  >> Aside from these important relative weaknesses of VoteFair when compared
>  > > to APR for electing an assembly, I see VoteFair's greater mathematical
>  > > complexity, its remaining arbitrariness in determining its electoral
>  > > districts, and its still wasting some votes (for example by its
> offering
>  > > a more limited choice of candidates for electors) as seeming to make it
>  > > less likely (and less worthy than APR) to replace the existing
> system in
>  > > California. More Californians would understand APR.
>  > >
>  >
>  > R: I think these are the main answers to your latest questions.
>  >
>  > If you should want further details about how (the full system of)
>  > VoteFair ranking achieves proportional results, please ask.
>  >
>  > I continue to appreciate your progress in better understanding
>  > election-method complexities.
>  >
>  > Richard
>

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Kristofer Munsterhjelm | 1 Jul 22:14 2015
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Thresholded weighted multiwinner elections

I think I see why the cloning attack is possible in two-stage weighted 
voting. If I'm right, then it is possible to make voting methods that 
produce results that fit weighted voting better -- at least when the 
voters are honest. However, I'm not sure if it is possible at all if 
enough voters are strategic. It might turn out that the only way of 
making weighted voting work is through either varying the number of 
winners (like in party list) or by an unconventional (nondeterministic) 
voting system or the Asset version of this.

First, why the cloning attack is possible: when we use (call them semi-
majoritarian[1]) methods like IRV or Plurality, if candidates represent 
parties who can clone as many as they want, then I think the strategic 
equilibrium gives each party a number of seats equal to their number of 
Droop quotas. If we instead use an unweighted multiwinner method (STV, 
Schulze STV, etc), then the Droop proportionality criterion gives each 
party at least their Droop quotas' worth in seats without strategy.

Simply, when the number of winners is fixed, the semi-majoritarian 
methods have an implicit threshold of a Droop quota, and the unweighted 
multiwinner methods  have an explicit threshold of the same.

In that light, the cloning strategy in three-seat
	26: A1 > A2 > B > C > D
	26: A2 > A1 > C > B > D
	25: B > C > A1 > A2 > D
	10: C > B > A2 > A1 > D
	 5: D > A1 > A2 > B > C
works because the A-group has more than two Droop quotas (a Droop quota 
being 23 here).

Perhaps we'd want to have no threshold at all, something like minimax 
Approval where we want to find the outcome that satisfies the voter who 
likes it the least the most. But it'd seem unreasonable to elect {A1, B, 
C} in this extreme variant of the above:
	1000: A1 > A2 > B > C > D
	1000: A2 > A1 > C > B > D
	 500: B > C > A1 > A2 > D
	   2: C > B > A2 > A1 > D
	   1: D > A1 > A2 > B > C

and hence, that implies there should be some kind of threshold, but that 
it should be lower than a Droop quota[2]. A lower threshold would mean 
that the assembly would be more broad than deep: it would choose a 
compromise among popular candidates to make room for more specialized 
candidates.

For instance, in a two-seat election with an augmented LCR example like
	50: L > C > R > S
	40: R > C > L > S
	10: C > R > L > S
	20: S

the method could elect {LR} with a high threshold, but instead elect 
{CS} if the threshold were lower. In return, the candidate C would have 
a much greater weight in the latter case than either L or R would have 
in the former.

The next thing to do would be to find a proof of concept method that 
would have a tunable threshold just to show that it'x possible (at least 
under honesty). Here's one that reduces to Bucklin (if one picks a 50% 
threshold):

==

Let X be a set of winners and t a threshold (in number of voters). Then 
evaluate(X, t) is a function that works on the ballots and returns a 
list of numbers in sorted order from least to most. evaluate(Y, t) is 
"better" than evaluate(X, t) if the first number where the output from 
evaluate(Y, t) differs from evaluate(X, t) is one where evaluate(Y, t)'s 
number is greater than evaluate(X, t)'s. The best set is the one that is 
better than every other, and that set wins.

Evaluate itself just counts the ranks of the ballots (of the candidates 
in the set X), where first place is n, second place is n-1, all the way 
to nth place is 1 (and unranked is 0). It then sorts these and removes 
the t worst.

==

Here's the two-seat LCR example above with a Droop quota (40) and with a 
  threshold of 10. {LR} wins with a Droop quota and {CS} with the 
threshold of 10. To skip, just search for #. I have omitted other sets 
like CL, CR, LS, etc.

	evaluate({LR}, 40):
                 rank number:    4       3       2       1
                 50:             *L      C       R       S
                 40:             *R      C       L       S
                 10:             C       *R      L       S
                 20:             S

                 So we have 50 4s, 40 4s, 10 3s and 20 0s, or

                 20 0s, 10 3s, 90 4s

                 Threshold of 40 removes the 40 least, so the output is
                 80 4s.

         evaluate({CS}, 40):
                 rank number:    4       3       2       1
                 50:             L       *C      R       S
                 40:             R       *C      L       S
                 10:             *C       R      L       S
                 20:             *S

                 So we have 50 3s, 40 3s, 10 4s, 20 4s, or

                 90 3s, 30 4s

                 Threshold of 40 removes the 40 least, giving 50 3s and
                 30 4s.

         So here {LR} with 80 4s wins over {CS} with 50 3s and 30 4s.

With a threshold of 10:

         evaluate({LR}, 10):
                 As above, before truncating, we have 20 0s, 10 3s, 90 4s

                 But now we can only remove 10 worst. So the final
                 output is 10 0s, 10 3s, 90 4s

         evaluate({CS}, 10):
                 90 3s, 30 4s.

                 Removing 10 worst gives
                         80 3s, 30 4s.

         So now {CS} with 80 3s and 30 4s wins over {LR} with 10 0s
         first, because 3 is clearly greater than 0.

#

Hence it's possible to make something that has a tunable threshold under 
honesty.

But here's a problem. In the single-seat case, this behaves like Borda: 
it may violate the majority criterion to elect a candidate that has more 
second-place votes. That is, in something like
	55: A>B>C
	35: B>C>A
	10: C>B>A
Borda will elect B, and with a threshold of say, 10, so will the method 
above:
	evaluate({B}, 10) gives (truncated) 55 2s, 35 3s
	evaluate({A}, 10) gives (truncated) 35 1s, 55 3s
	evaluate({C}, 10) gives (truncated) 45 1s, 35 2s, 10 3s
All well and good. But for Borda, a strategic majority can force a 
winner by acting like an unreasonable group or an aggregate of different 
smaller groups so that the method considers the majority winner to be 
the broad-support candidate. The problem with this is that if that's a 
general property, then it might turn out that a Droop quota can force 
the election of a particular candidate in a weighted voting method with 
a lower threshold just by pretending to be very unreasonable or to be 
many different smaller groups.

It certainly is possible for the proof of concept method. For instance, 
the L-first voters can truncate after L, after which the outcome changes 
from {CS} to {LS}. Part of this, however, is due to that the method 
above passes LNHelp but not LNHarm (because it's Bucklinesque and 
because voters are assigned completely to their first preferences). If 
the strategy is particular to certain weighted voting/tunable threshold 
methods, then there's no problem. But if it's general (and it might 
intuitively be), that's another matter.

If it is general, I can think of three ways to keep weighted voting:
	1. Let the number of seats/winners be adjustable.
	2. Accept the Droop quota.
	3. Use a (randomized) consensus method.

Some combination of 1 and 3 might also be possible.

The first option is to let the number of winners be adjustable. The 
general idea would be to have the same threshold and if a party clones 
itself, it does get another winner - but the number of winners also 
increases so that there's no benefit. Or, conversely (if one accepts the 
Droop quota), a candidate who gets more than a Droop quota's worth 
removes as many seats as he has Droop quotas. E.g. in the clone example 
above, without cloning, the outcome would then be {A, B}, and with 
cloning, it would be {A1, A2, B}. Again, there's no benefit. Both of 
these make weighted voting more like party list PR.

The second option is to just accept the Droop quota and use a 
multiwinner method as basis. The cloning is still possible, but at least 
one gets more varied winners without cloning and there's no need to 
engage in strategic nomination. With IRV, a party could split itself too 
thin by overestimating its support, but that won't happen with say, STV. 
A party just has to field enough candidates (say enough to fill the 
council) and doesn't have to worry about fielding too many.

The third option is to use consensus. If it's an Asset variant, we could 
just "stick the candidates in a room and have them negotiate until they 
agree" with a supermajority, but there's an incentive for the status quo 
to block the consensus. That can be fixed with randomized consensus - 
some kind of variant of the methods Jobst and Forest Simmons have 
proposed[3]. Randomized consensus can be done either before the election 
(as a general method) or after (as a variant of Asset), but the former 
is much less likely to work.

Basically, these methods consist of every voter (candidates in case of 
Asset) voting for a consensus outcome as well as for a favorite outcome. 
If fewer voters than the threshold disagree about the consensus outcome, 
then it is picked, otherwise a random favorite outcome is picked. As 
random ballot is suboptimal but gives nobody an advantage, so everybody 
would want to find a consensus outcome to the extent they can work 
together to do so. The equivalent of a cloning attack would be for a 
majority candidate to stick to his guns and only propose a council 
consisting of his own party. But if he tries to block the consensus, 
then it falls through to random ballot which favors nobody and only 
degrades the quality of the solution.

Generalizing this to multiwinner might be trickier because we want 
something that with high probability returns a low-threshold assignment 
and that is strategically unbiased. The consensus ballot can simply be a 
set of winners. If fewer voters than the threshold disagree about the 
consensus, then it is picked. But the fallback is hard. If we just do 
"pick a winner from voters' first preferences at random, eliminate, 
repeat", then that favors Droop quota cloning because only one of the 
clones get eliminated at once. "Pick a proposed winner set at random" 
favors extreme outcomes. It would be fair, but have very high variance: 
one could end up with a council controlled completely by a single party, 
it's just which party would control it that would be random in a 
low-threshold unbiased manner.

---

[1] These are methods that never elect candidates with zero first 
preference votes and where giving someone more first preferences always 
helps. I think the observation above holds for all of these; it does at 
least seem to hold for Plurality and IRV.

[2] We could also argue that there should be a threshold less than a 
Droop quota by saying that if the threshold is a Droop quota, then 
(under strategy) the outcome for weighted voting and unweighted voting 
is the same, so why bother with weights? Thus the point of having a 
weight should be to make weighted voting be more representative with 
fewer seats than ordinary unweighted voting can be. If, on the other 
hand, a Droop quota is good enough (and we just want weighting to handle 
excess beyond the Droop quota), then we shouldn't use semi-majoritarian 
methods but instead unweighted multiwinner methods to decide upon the 
winners in the first stage.

[3] 
https://www.pik-potsdam.de/members/heitzig/presentation-slides/some-chance-for-consensus
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