Re: Proportional Condorcet Voting
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd <at> lomaxdesign.com>
2006-05-01 23:28:59 GMT
At 05:52 PM 5/1/2006, Antonio Oneala wrote:
>As for the other reply to my thread, I'm not a fan of asset
>either. I have a feeling it will enforce party structures, as a
>candidate inside of a party is far more likely to give it to another
>candidate in the party than to and independent.
Sure. And a voter is more likely to vote for candidates who belong to
the voter's favorite party. But the question is whether or not Asset
would "enforce" such structures and strictures, or would it make it
possible to move beyond them. Since Asset systems (Asset as
effectively free proxy voting or Published List) give the power
directly to the candidates, I strongly doubt that it will increase
party power and factionalism. Rather, when a candidate has excess
votes, that candidate will assign them where he or she sees will best
advance his or her interests, which are a proxy for the interests of
the voters who chose that candidate. If the candidate wants to
increase his or her party's power, that's what will be done, I'd presume.
But Asset makes it possible for candidates to run *without* party
affiliation. Normally, under every other voting system, if the
candidate can't make the quota, that's just plain suicide for the
voters and the candidate. Voting for the candidate effectively takes
the votes out of the system, making them irrelevant. But with Asset,
such votes aren't lost. They will normally be recast to create
winners at least friendly to the interests of the transferring candidates.
What I'd see Asset as likely doing is increasing the *personal* power
of candidates as distinct from parties. But at the same time, the
number of active and significant candidates would likely increase greatly.
> It also has the problem that a lot of systems do; it doesn't
> increase the amount of voting power per each voter to accomodate
> more candidates.
I really don't understand this. Each voter has divisible voting power
in FAAV and in the original Asset. The number of candidates does not
really matter. The voter's vote is not wasted if it is cast for one
candidate, whether or not that candidate ultimately gains a seat. And
if the voter votes for ten, none of these fractions is lost unless
the voter votes for someone who fails to transfer them. And this
would be an action for which a candidate can and would be held
accountable. If I voted for Bozo, I'd really want to know why Bozo
let my votes die without reaching a winner!
Under Asset, votes would be traceable. If a candidate transferred all
of his or her votes to someone else, I'd have a very reasonable basis
for considering that person *my* representative, since my vote very
specifically brought that person toward the quota.
Ideally, under Asset, the quota can be very precisely V/N, and each
candidate ends up being elected by exactly the quota, excepting for
very minor roundoff error and the few votes lost. I've suggested that
seats remain vacant if no remaining candidate reaches the quota; if
it is allowed to be elected without the quota, if perhaps, say, the
last seat is won by the remaining candidate with a majority of the
vote, this would encourage intransigence by that candidate....
> Therefore, it will lead probably lead to factionalization, or at
> least cannot handle more parties than there are seats.
Well, duh! Asset is *non-party* PR. Of course it can't handle more
parties than seats! It doesn't handle parties at all, not as part of
the system. If candidates choose to recast their votes within
parties, that's allowed. But it is not required. Party affliliation
is irrelevant to the method.
> I've come up with a formula, where V is the amount of voting
> power per a voter, and C is the amount of candidates. The formula
> is, easily enough, C = V.
If all voters have equal voting power, then it does not matter if
they have 1 or many votes.
> If the voting system keeps V stable as C increases, then
> vote-splitting will result.
So? Under Asset, votes are kept whole or split. It does not matter if
one is splitting 10 votes or 1 vote; the only difference is that with
the former the total vote -- and the quota -- are multiplied by ten.
I'm not sure that the terminal simplicity of FAAV has been
understood. Every voter has 1 vote, and they may divide it among as
many candidates as they like. By voting for a candidate, they are
assigning a fraction of their vote to the candidate, the fraction is
of the form 1/N, where N is the number of votes they cast.
*They have exactly what was suggested: as many "votes" as
candidates.* But because all voters should be equal, no matter how
many votes they cast, the votes are normalized to a *total* of one
vote per voter.
(In standard Approval, the votes are not divided because standard
Approval is a single-winner system and the only votes that count in
the end are those cast for a winner. All other votes become moot.
Standard Approval effectively discards all votes cast for other than
the winner. They are moot; had they not been cast, the outcome would
not change. This is why standard Approval is, in fact, "one-person,
one-vote," in spite of charges made by some against it.)
> If it adds more C then V as C increases, then teaming will result.
What will happen with Asset, certainly if it is free Asset, i.e., the
original proposal, not Published List, is that candidates who do not
reach the quota will negotiate with each other -- and with candidates
having excess votes -- to redistribute the votes to create more
winners. So minor parties can still gain a seat by essentially
agreeing to share it, with a mutually acceptable winner. (I'd allow
candidates to recast their votes outside the original candidate list,
precisely to enable such compromises, seeking to find compromise
winners mutually acceptable to "losers," who, since they recast votes
to create a desired winner, are not quite losers in the same sense as today!
> For instance, Plurality keeps V stable as C increases (as you
> always have only one vote), approval and Condercet increase V in
> proportion to C, and Borda increases V at a faster rate than
> C. Asset seems to fall into the plurality situation, although it
> is a bit less vulnerable.
I really don't think Asset has been understood here.
> However, a moderate who has 20 votes as compared to the polar
> candidate thirty votes doesn't have much leeway to convince the
> other guys to send votes to him, his only choice would probably be
> to send his votes to the lesser of two evils.
If you are running Asset for single winner, what would you expect?
However, even in that case you'd really need to look at the total
election results; what was stated here is not enough to even begin to
understand the situation. "The polar candidate"? There would
presumably be two polar candidates, in this single-winner situation.
And then the moderate would be able to choose, indeed, the lesser of
two evils. But what if the rules don't allow a winner without a
majority of votes?
And Asset would allow a far broader distribution of votes.
(I wonder why there is only one moderate.... Asset would make it
feasible to run for office without campaigning. Campaigns are
necessary because votes are totally wasted if they don't create a
winner. Once one has eliminated vote-wasting, people could simply
declare candidacies and allow those who trust them to vote for them.
Right now, that would be simply insanity.)
But we were talking about multiwinner PR, where "moderate" does not
carry the same meaning, and where the goal is to distribute
representation, not to have a winner and a bunch of losers. I have
yet to see any PR proposal that even approaches Asset in clear
This is the real beauty of Asset. The voters don't have to know all
the candidates; it is enough that they know and trust one. Presumably
a broadly-trusted candidate will know the other candidates reasonably well.
Some don't like this concentration of power, but the fact is that the
concentration takes place under other systems, but it is not by the
free and direct choice of the voters, it rather takes place in the
halls of the parties and those who fund elections.
What I'm trying to encourage, ultimately, is the concept that we can
*choose* our representatives, which is quite distinct from trying to
get them elected. Proxy representation is this, purely. And, beyond
that, I'm trying to encourage the choosing of proxies who are
personally known to the voters, who have direct communication with
the voters. Which requires, in a large jurisdiction, delegable proxy,
so that voters can communicate directly with their direct proxies,
and the direct proxies can communicate directly with *their* direct
It is a phone tree generalized into an organizational structure.
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