Discussion:
[EM] IRV / RCv advances
(too old to reply)
Sennet Williams
2018-07-13 01:37:27 UTC
Permalink
Sorry I don't get online much, but everyone should know that RCV is getting a LOT of good publicity.1-Maine just had the first statewide IRV election in U.S. history.2-since then, there have been op-ed(s?) in the NYT calling for RCV nationwide3-London Breed has just become the first african american female mayor of SF: thanks to RCV.4-Jesse Arreguin is the first latino mayor of Berkeley, thanks to RCV.5-Jean Quan was the first asian mayor of Oakland, thanks to RCV.6-Libby Schaaf, Oakland's new mayor, was elected thanks to RCV.
If you want to pay attention, IRV/RCV/ranked pairs are inevitably the future, that is why  I don't understand this craziness discussing outdated election "systems."-Thanks for reading
f***@snkmail.com
2018-07-13 02:19:58 UTC
Permalink
I don't understand this craziness of advocating outdated election "systems"
like IRV, either.

Everyone agrees it's obsolete junk; why keep pushing mediocrity when so
many better options exist?
Post by Sennet Williams
If you want to pay attention, IRV/RCV/ranked pairs are inevitably the
future, that is why I don't understand this craziness discussing outdated
election "systems."
robert bristow-johnson
2018-07-13 02:29:32 UTC
Permalink
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: [EM] IRV / RCv advances

From: "Sennet Williams" <***@yahoo.com>

Date: Thu, July 12, 2018 9:37 pm

To: "Election-***@lists.electorama.com" <Election-***@lists.electorama.com>

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Sennet Williams
Sorry I don't get online much, but everyone should know that RCV is getting a LOT of good publicity.1-Maine just had the first statewide IRV election in U.S. history.2-since then, there have been op-ed(s?) in the NYT calling for RCV nationwide3-London Breed has just become the first african
american female mayor of SF: thanks to RCV.4-Jesse Arreguin is the first latino mayor of Berkeley, thanks to RCV.5-Jean Quan was the first asian mayor of Oakland, thanks to RCV.6-Libby Schaaf, Oakland's new mayor, was elected thanks to RCV.
Post by Sennet Williams
If you want to pay attention, IRV/RCV/ranked pairs are inevitably the future, that is why  I don't understand this craziness discussing outdated election "systems."-Thanks for reading
you know that Ranked Pairs is not the same as IRV although both RP and IRV are, strictly
speaking, RCV.
but, unfortunately, IRV was presented by FairVote as the *only* way to tally a Ranked-Choice Vote ballot in the past, but at least they called it "IRV".  now they have appropriated the term "RCV" and use that label to repackage the same IRV (under a
different name since "IRV" has gotten a little bit stained, particularly after Burlington 2009) with a different label that might seem more attractive.
I would hope that **everywhere** that this topic comes up in the mainstream media that we can hear someone saying:


"Ranked-Choice Voting - GOOD ;  Plurality Voting -  BAD"   (fine, Rob Richie and i agree about that.)  but then we need to hear:

"Ranked-Pairs -  GOOD ; Instant Runoff Voting (or STV or Hare or AV or whatever is the name in vogue at some particular place in spacetime) - BAD"
 
we can introduce RCV to voters and to governments without having to define it **solely** in terms of IRV.  IRV is
the second **worst** way of realizing RCV (Borda is, i think, the worst, and i haven't formed an opinion about Bucklin).  A Condorcet-compliant method the only correct way to implement RCV.  (and I still think that RP is simpler to implement and simpler to sell than Schulze, sorry
Marcus.   and RP and Schulze agree on any election with a Smith Set of 3 or smaller and while i think a cycle will almost never happen, a cycle with a Smith Set bigger than 3 will truly never happen in a governmental election with decent ballot access requirements so we may as well sell
the simpler RP.)
I am truly disappointed that, in the public discussion, *only* IRV is suggested for RCV as if they are the same thing.  They are not.  IRV is a crappy way of doing RCV.  Why not just do it the right way?
I believe that more than two viable parties is a
good thing and we want to level the playing field between what is now the two major parties and, what are now, minor parties.  And I want Independents to have a level playing field.  So when an election happens when there are 3 or more **viable** candidates (in which anyone of the 3 are
plausible winners), my fear is what happened in Burlington Vermont in 2009 will happen again somewhere, people will get pissed, RCV is repealed, and election reform is set back another generation.  We lost IRV in 2010 and it will be 2030 before enough people die and enough new people come into
Vermont that the memory of this failure will start to dissipate.  THEN maybe we can have another stab at RCV.  I hope then, we'll do it right.
In the meantime, I wish all other jurisdictions will at least be able to consider Ranked Pairs (along with STV or IRV) and choose
wisely.
Screwups in reform sets reform back.  Sometimes permanently.  We need to learn from mistakes and these IRV proponents are not learning from the mistakes.
 

--



r b-j                         ***@audioimagination.com



"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

 
 
 
 
Richard Lung
2018-07-13 06:53:24 UTC
Permalink
It is ironic that the world seems to have this electoral reform battle
of the big-enders versus the little-enders (from Gullivers Travels).
That is to say the collectivist Europeans and their outliers, back a
proportional count with party lists - such as sabotages individual
choice, without a ranked choice for voters. While the good ole US of A
does not forget individual representation with a ranked choice, but
forgets equality of representation with a proportional count. The only
exception is Cambridge Mass. using STV, and one or two minor cases of
STV in Minnesota, I believe.
One EM member says STV is BAD. As the ignored inventor of FAB STV, I
know the limitations of traditional STV but essentially it is on the
right lines, laid down by the original inventors, Carl Andrae and Thomas
Hare, namely the quota-preferential method, as the Aussies pithily
describe its essence.

As for ranked pairing, my understanding is that it is not an independent
method at all, but a means of cross-referencing a ranked choice
electoral system. As previously mentioned to this email group, I wrote a
supplemetary chapter on this, in my book FAB STV: Four Averages Binomial
Single Transferable Vote.

from
Richard Lung.
Post by Sennet Williams
Sorry I don't get online much, but everyone should know that RCV is
getting a LOT of good publicity.
1-Maine just had the first statewide IRV election in U.S. history.
2-since then, there have been op-ed(s?) in the NYT calling for RCV
nationwide
3-London Breed has just become the first african american female mayor
of SF: thanks to RCV.
4-Jesse Arreguin is the first latino mayor of Berkeley, thanks to RCV.
5-Jean Quan was the first asian mayor of Oakland, thanks to RCV.
6-Libby Schaaf, Oakland's new mayor, was elected thanks to RCV.
If you want to pay attention, IRV/RCV/ranked pairs are inevitably the
future, that is why I don't understand this craziness discussing
outdated election "systems."
-Thanks for reading
----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
Kristofer Munsterhjelm
2018-07-13 16:37:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Lung
It is ironic that the world seems to have this electoral reform battle
of the big-enders versus the little-enders (from Gullivers Travels).
That is to say the collectivist Europeans and their outliers, back a
proportional count with party lists - such as sabotages individual
choice, without a ranked choice for voters. While the good ole US of A
does not forget individual representation with a ranked choice, but
forgets equality of representation with a proportional count. The only
exception is Cambridge Mass. using STV, and one or two minor cases of
STV in Minnesota, I believe.
One EM member says STV is BAD. As the ignored inventor of FAB STV, I
know the limitations of traditional STV but essentially it is on the
right lines, laid down by the original inventors, Carl Andrae and Thomas
Hare, namely the quota-preferential method, as the Aussies pithily
describe its essence.
As for ranked pairing, my understanding is that it is not an independent
method at all, but a means of cross-referencing a ranked choice
electoral system. As previously mentioned to this email group, I wrote a
supplemetary chapter on this, in my book FAB STV: Four Averages Binomial
Single Transferable Vote.
If you mean Ranked Pairs, that is a method of its own. It goes like this:

1. Construct a pairwise matrix (call it d) from the set of ranked
ballots. Usually this is defined as c[x, y] = number of voters who
preferred x to y, and d[x, y] = c[x, y] if c[x, y] > c[y, x], otherwise
d[x, y] = 0. (wv) Margins is also possible; see below.

2. Make a list of pairwise contests and sort it from greatest value of
d, to least value of d. A pairwise contest entry is of the form "X over
Y" and has strength equal to d[x, y].
E.g. if d[a, b] = 100 and d[b, c] = 80, then "A over B" comes before "B
over C".

3. Go down the list and affirm a pairwise contest unless it would
contradict what has already been affirmed. "Affirming X over Y" means
that the final outcome must rank X over Y.

4. Return the candidate who has nobody affirmed over him; he is the winner.

Strictly speaking, what I've described above is MAM (without
tiebreakers). Ranked Pairs "proper" uses margins (d[x, y] = c[x, y] if
c[x, y] > c[y, x], otherwise d[x, y] = c[x, y] - c[y, x]).

An example instance of step 3 could go like:

If the list is:
40: A over B
34: B over C
30: C over A
0: B over A
0: C over B
0: A over C

Then step three proceeds this way:
Affirm A over B: A must be higher ranked than B in the outcome
Affirm B over C: B must be higher ranked than C in the outcome
C over A: Impossible because we've affirmed A over B and B over C,
which means we indirectly have A over C, and C over A would contradict it.
B over A: Contradicts A over B
C over B: contradicts B over C
Affirm A over C: A must be higher ranked than C in the outcome (though
we already knew that).

And then the outcome is: A first, B second, C third. A is the winner.
----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
Richard Lung
2018-07-13 18:56:51 UTC
Permalink
I took ranked pairs to mean Condorcet pairing. No?

Richard Lung.
Post by Kristofer Munsterhjelm
Post by Richard Lung
It is ironic that the world seems to have this electoral reform
battle of the big-enders versus the little-enders (from Gullivers
Travels). That is to say the collectivist Europeans and their
outliers, back a proportional count with party lists - such as
sabotages individual choice, without a ranked choice for voters.
While the good ole US of A does not forget individual representation
with a ranked choice, but forgets equality of representation with a
proportional count. The only exception is Cambridge Mass. using STV,
and one or two minor cases of STV in Minnesota, I believe.
One EM member says STV is BAD. As the ignored inventor of FAB STV, I
know the limitations of traditional STV but essentially it is on the
right lines, laid down by the original inventors, Carl Andrae and
Thomas Hare, namely the quota-preferential method, as the Aussies
pithily describe its essence.
As for ranked pairing, my understanding is that it is not an
independent method at all, but a means of cross-referencing a ranked
choice electoral system. As previously mentioned to this email group,
I wrote a supplemetary chapter on this, in my book FAB STV: Four
Averages Binomial Single Transferable Vote.
1. Construct a pairwise matrix (call it d) from the set of ranked
ballots. Usually this is defined as c[x, y] = number of voters who
preferred x to y, and d[x, y] = c[x, y] if c[x, y] > c[y, x],
otherwise d[x, y] = 0. (wv) Margins is also possible; see below.
2. Make a list of pairwise contests and sort it from greatest value of
d, to least value of d. A pairwise contest entry is of the form "X
over Y" and has strength equal to d[x, y].
E.g. if d[a, b] = 100 and d[b, c] = 80, then "A over B" comes before
"B over C".
3. Go down the list and affirm a pairwise contest unless it would
contradict what has already been affirmed. "Affirming X over Y" means
that the final outcome must rank X over Y.
4. Return the candidate who has nobody affirmed over him; he is the winner.
Strictly speaking, what I've described above is MAM (without
tiebreakers). Ranked Pairs "proper" uses margins (d[x, y] = c[x, y] if
c[x, y] > c[y, x], otherwise d[x, y] = c[x, y] - c[y, x]).
40: A over B
34: B over C
30: C over A
0: B over A
0: C over B
0: A over C
Affirm A over B: A must be higher ranked than B in the outcome
Affirm B over C: B must be higher ranked than C in the outcome
C over A: Impossible because we've affirmed A over B and B over C,
which means we indirectly have A over C, and C over A would contradict it.
B over A: Contradicts A over B
C over B: contradicts B over C
Affirm A over C: A must be higher ranked than C in the outcome
(though we already knew that).
And then the outcome is: A first, B second, C third. A is the winner.
----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
Kristofer Munsterhjelm
2018-07-13 20:32:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Lung
I took ranked pairs to mean Condorcet pairing. No?
Not quite. Perhaps the terms can be a bit confusing.

The Condorcet criterion is a voting method criterion that says "if there
exists a candidate who would win a two candidate runoff against any
other candidate, based on the ballot preferences, then that candidate
must win". In other words, if there exists a candidate A, so that for
any other candidate B, more voters prefer A to B than B to A, then A
must win.

A Condorcet method is a method that satisfies that criterion. These can
use pairwise matrices (what I called c and d in my description of Ranked
Pairs), but they don't need to. For instance, the Borda analog of IRV
(where you repeatedly eliminate the candidate with the lowest Borda
score) is a Condorcet method although no pairwise matrices are needed to
calculate who wins.

A pairwise method could be the same as a Condorcet method, or could be a
Condorcet method that explicitly uses a pairwise matrix.

Ranked Pairs is a Condorcet method that uses an election's associated
pairwise matrix to determine the winner of that election. Schulze is
another (as is Minmax, Copeland, River, etc...)

So Ranked Pairs is not a class of methods, but a particular method - or
two methods if you consider the version proposed by Nicolaus Tideman
(with margins definition of d) as a different method than the version
proposed by Steve Eppley (with wv definition of d).

I called d the pairwise matrix in my description of Ranked Pairs, but
it's probably more accurate to call c the pairwise matrix (or Condorcet
matrix). When doing precinct counts, the election authority would get
different c matrices from each precinct, sum them up element-wise, and
then convert to d when running Ranked Pairs (or Schulze, Minmax,
Copeland, River, or what method it might use).
----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
robert bristow-johnson
2018-07-13 18:27:39 UTC
Permalink
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: Re: [EM] IRV / RCv advances

From: "Richard Lung" <***@ukscientists.com>

Date: Fri, July 13, 2018 2:53 am

To: "Sennet Williams" <***@yahoo.com>

Cc: "Election-***@lists.electorama.com" <Election-***@lists.electorama.com>

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Richard Lung
It is ironic that the world seems to have this electoral reform battle
of the big-enders versus the little-enders (from Gullivers Travels).
That is to say the collectivist Europeans and their outliers, back a
proportional count with party lists - such as sabotages individual
choice, without a ranked choice for voters. While the good ole US of A
does not forget individual representation with a ranked choice, but
forgets equality of representation with a proportional count. The only
exception is Cambridge Mass. using STV, and one or two minor cases of
STV in Minnesota, I believe.
One EM member says STV is BAD. As the ignored inventor of FAB STV, I
know the limitations of traditional STV but essentially it is on the
right lines, laid down by the original inventors, Carl Andrae and Thomas
Hare, namely the quota-preferential method, as the Aussies pithily
describe its essence.
As for ranked pairing, my understanding is that it is not an independent
method at all, but a means of cross-referencing a ranked choice
electoral system.
i was referring to the Tideman Ranked-Pairs method, which is a Condorcet compliant method of RCV.

 
 
Post by Richard Lung
As previously mentioned to this email group, I wrote a
supplemetary chapter on this, in my book FAB STV: Four Averages Binomial
Single Transferable Vote.
 
Richard, I think i found this e-book at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/806030 .
 
There are a couple of observations (or criticisms, sorry about that):
1. RCV advocates have trouble convincing people that just insist that a ranked-ballot is too
complicated.  No matter *how* the ranked-ballot election is tallied, they complain that instructions which are anything more than "Mark your choice with an 'X'." is too complicated.  I really disagree, but that is a reality that we voting-reform advocates have to deal
with. 
2. I **do** think that Score Voting (I like that term for it, rather than "Range Voting") is too complicated and that both Score Voting and Approval Voting are **inherently** presenting voters with a tactical decision, which is: What do they do with their 2nd-choice
candidate?  I want to remove any pressure for tactical decisions.  And when it comes to a binary decision ("Do we elect A or B?"), I fundamentally want each voter's vote count equally.  This is one basic reason I'm for Condorcet.
3. IRV (or STV or, nowadays,
"RCV") advocates say to me that "Condorcet" is too complicated.  I disagree emphatically in the case of no cycle in which I think that Condorcet is far **simpler** than IRV.  All Condorcet simply says is "If more voters mark their ballots preferring Candidate A
over Candidate B than voters marking their ballots to the contrary, then Candidate B is not elected."  That's **all** it says and, with one-person-one-vote as an electoral dogma, I cannot see how anyone can disagree with that.  The **only** thing that makes Condorcet appear
complicated is: "What to do in the case of a cycle?" and Ranked-Pairs is the **simplest** meaningful rule to answer to that.
4. Even looking at your online book that I note above, I cannot figure out what FAB-STV is.  With study, maybe I *can* figure it out.  But because of
its inherent complexity, *selling* this method to a legislature or a voting public appears to me to be dead-in-the-water.  If it's complicated, it will never-ever-ever be adopted for governmental use, and that is because we want elections to be transparent to the public.  The public needs
to know **exactly** how and why some particular candidate won the election, and it must not be obfuscated behind an opaque or hard-to-understand algorithm for tallying votes and picking the winner.
5. There are several reasons why STV is a problem and I doubt, once I understand what FAB-STV
is, that these problems will be surmounted.  e.g. Is FAB-STV precinct summable?  Or do all of the ballots (or electronic facsimiles of the ballots) have to be transferred from the precincts to a central location where the tabulation is done and after each round, votes are transferred from
one pile to another according to the FAB-STV rules?  If that problem doesn't go away, there will always be election integrity advocates (as well as conspiracy theorists) that will suspect that maybe some monkey business happens when the ballots are transferred from the precincts to the central
location, or maybe the code at the central location got hacked, and there is no immediate way to check that out.  Precinct summability is an important safeguard that the resistors to change (those who support keep First-Past-The-Post) will use to beat over our heads.  And with today's STV
(and I assume also with FAB-STV) they can still bonk us over the head with that.
6. Lastly, I am not (yet) venturing into the multi-winner election problem.  I realize that with multi-winner elections (often multi-seat legislative districts or city councils with large districts or
at-large councilors), that STV might be the simplest way to get to proportional representation (PR).  And despite the precinct-summability problem, STV might be preferable to other methods (but it seems to me that the ranking that happens from Ranked-Pairs *might* work for multi-winner). 
So when I say "STV --> BAD", I mean that principally for single-winner elections.

--



r b-j                         ***@audioimagination.com



"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

 
 
 
 
Richard Lung
2018-07-14 14:08:37 UTC
Permalink
Hello all, Robert in particular.
Re point 1.
I forget which, but there is an official (STV) election that counts an
x-vote as a first preference. Those, who don't want to change, don't
have to. But those, who do, can rank their choices beyond one order of
choice. This is not a problem of a learning difficulty, beyond the
difficulty of learning consideration for others.
Re. 2.
Agree completely about score voting. I can't help but feel approval
voting is essentially a rebranding of cumulative voting. In about 1867,
John Stuart Mill knew it was only a trifling improvement on plurality
counting but at least opened peoples minds to alternatives.
Re 3.
Weighted Condorcet pairing arguably offers a back-door that partly gets
round the Laplace criticism of Condorcet pairing, that it does not
establish the relative importance of higher and lower preferences, in
the over-all election count.
I see Condorcet pairing primarily as a research tool for
cross-referencing the results of an at-large election with the results
from sub-elections of one-to-one contests or less minimal partitions.
Ideally, we would have an election system that does not have to watch
its back for a Condorcet paradox.
Even an admittedly crude election like IRV (Alternative Vote), according
to this group, has only come-up with the Burlington case. That may have
been politically unfortunate. But, if about 150? elections have not
suffered the paradox, that incidence is not statistically significant.
The real comparison is how many "Bush beats Gore minus Nader" contests
are there? And how many simple plurality elections make voters act as
their own returning officers in an implicit ranked choice election,
where the voter excludes his first preference for Nader, and counts it
for second preference Gore?

Re 4.
Thankyou, Robert for the thankless task of reading my book or manual on
the subject. It took me 14 years to develop FAB STV, on top of a
lifetimes study of voting method. It is bound to be unfamiliar to readers.
The key to understanding the FAB STV procedure is that one thing leads
to another, starting with the Meek method keep value. It is a logical
succession of steps each required for greater consistency. All this
hugely complex system is to fulfill this guiding purpose of
representation to higher degrees of statistical accuracy.
I can answer questions. I did think of outlining the FAB STV thread of
logic. But I found myself leaving out key explanations, to not get
bogged down in details.

Re 5.
You are way ahead of me, on administration of the new electoral system.
You are completely right. There is no chance of its political adoption
in the forseeable future. Brian Meek did not live to see Meek method
adopted for official elections in New Zealand.
Re 6.
In a multi-member constituency, a voters fifth choice may be more liked
than his first choice in a single member constituency, such is the
expansion of choice and comprehensiveness of representation. This was
why HG Wells specified the three conditions: proportional representation
with the single transferable vote in large constituencies.
It is not ranked choice that is the problem but the fixation on single
winner elections, that do not have to be more than minimally democratic.

from
Richard Lung.
Post by robert bristow-johnson
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: [EM] IRV / RCv advances
Date: Fri, July 13, 2018 2:53 am
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Richard Lung
It is ironic that the world seems to have this electoral reform battle
of the big-enders versus the little-enders (from Gullivers Travels).
That is to say the collectivist Europeans and their outliers, back a
proportional count with party lists - such as sabotages individual
choice, without a ranked choice for voters. While the good ole US of A
does not forget individual representation with a ranked choice, but
forgets equality of representation with a proportional count. The only
exception is Cambridge Mass. using STV, and one or two minor cases of
STV in Minnesota, I believe.
One EM member says STV is BAD. As the ignored inventor of FAB STV, I
know the limitations of traditional STV but essentially it is on the
right lines, laid down by the original inventors, Carl Andrae and Thomas
Hare, namely the quota-preferential method, as the Aussies pithily
describe its essence.
As for ranked pairing, my understanding is that it is not an independent
method at all, but a means of cross-referencing a ranked choice
electoral system.
i was referring to the Tideman Ranked-Pairs method, which is a
Condorcet compliant method of RCV.
Post by Richard Lung
As previously mentioned to this email group, I wrote a
supplemetary chapter on this, in my book FAB STV: Four Averages Binomial
Single Transferable Vote.
Richard, I think i found this e-book
at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/806030 .
1. RCV advocates have trouble convincing people that just insist that
a ranked-ballot is too complicated. No matter *how* the ranked-ballot
election is tallied, they complain that instructions which are
anything more than "Mark your choice with an 'X'." is too
complicated. I really disagree, but that is a reality that we
voting-reform advocates have to deal with.
2. I **do** think that Score Voting (I like that term for it, rather
than "Range Voting") is too complicated and that both Score Voting and
Approval Voting are **inherently** presenting voters with a tactical
decision, which is: What do they do with their 2nd-choice candidate?
I want to remove any pressure for tactical decisions. And when it
comes to a binary decision ("Do we elect A or B?"), I fundamentally
want each voter's vote count equally. This is one basic reason I'm
for Condorcet.
3. IRV (or STV or, nowadays, "RCV") advocates say to me that
"Condorcet" is too complicated. I disagree emphatically in the case
of no cycle in which I think that Condorcet is far **simpler** than
IRV. All Condorcet simply says is "If more voters mark their ballots
preferring Candidate A over Candidate B than voters marking their
ballots to the contrary, then Candidate B is not elected." That's
**all** it says and, with one-person-one-vote as an electoral dogma, I
cannot see how anyone can disagree with that. The **only** thing that
makes Condorcet appear complicated is: "What to do in the case of a
cycle?" and Ranked-Pairs is the **simplest** meaningful rule to answer
to that.
4. Even looking at your online book that I note above, I cannot figure
out what FAB-STV is. With study, maybe I *can* figure it out. But
because of its inherent complexity, *selling* this method to a
legislature or a voting public appears to me to be dead-in-the-water.
If it's complicated, it will never-ever-ever be adopted for
governmental use, and that is because we want elections to be
transparent to the public. The public needs to know **exactly** how
and why some particular candidate won the election, and it must not be
obfuscated behind an opaque or hard-to-understand algorithm for
tallying votes and picking the winner.
5. There are several reasons why STV is a problem and I doubt, once I
understand what FAB-STV is, that these problems will be surmounted.
e.g. Is FAB-STV precinct summable? Or do all of the ballots (or
electronic facsimiles of the ballots) have to be transferred from the
precincts to a central location where the tabulation is done and after
each round, votes are transferred from one pile to another according
to the FAB-STV rules? If that problem doesn't go away, there will
always be election integrity advocates (as well as conspiracy
theorists) that will suspect that maybe some monkey business happens
when the ballots are transferred from the precincts to the central
location, or maybe the code at the central location got hacked, and
there is no immediate way to check that out. Precinct summability is
an important safeguard that the resistors to change (those who support
keep First-Past-The-Post) will use to beat over our heads. And with
today's STV (and I assume also with FAB-STV) they can still bonk us
over the head with that.
6. Lastly, I am not (yet) venturing into the multi-winner election
problem. I realize that with multi-winner elections (often multi-seat
legislative districts or city councils with large districts or
at-large councilors), that STV might be the simplest way to get to
proportional representation (PR). And despite the
precinct-summability problem, STV might be preferable to other methods
(but it seems to me that the ranking that happens from Ranked-Pairs
*might* work for multi-winner). So when I say "STV --> BAD", I mean
that principally for single-winner elections.
--
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
----
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Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
2018-07-15 18:08:24 UTC
Permalink
[...] Agree completely about score voting. I can't help but feel
approval voting is essentially a rebranding of cumulative voting. In
about 1867, John Stuart Mill knew it was only a trifling improvement
on plurality counting but at least opened peoples minds to alternatives.
I'd question that simply counting all the votes would be a "trifling
improvement." It would have flipped the US presidential election in
2000, almost certainly, and is a no-cost improvement, simple to
implement and easy to understand. In a two-round system, it can provide
substantial flexibility, perhaps even allowing runoffs to have a third
candidate. Counting all the votes would be, again, an improvement over
IRV, allowing voters to equal-rank. But the IRV method, by discarding
votes, is intrinsically flawed, and Bucklin actually worked when used.
The arguments that it didn't work were based on the fact that it wasn't
magic pixie dust. The only system that fixes about everything is Asset,
which hardly gets any consideration at all. My suggestion has been for
EM reformers to suggest Asset for NGOS, since it's really simple, as
well, and creates a deliberative structure, which is far more flexible
-- and functionally democratic -- than pure amalgamation. To be
fail-safe, it could be used in a nomination process, to be actually
ratified for a final result.

Approval -- and most methods -- are plurality methods unless a true
majority of the votes is required for a result. In Australia, in some
places they accomplish that by making it illegal to not completely rank.
In other words, to make a result more "democratic," coerce the voters.
Ah, the things people do to preserve the way things are!
Re 3.
Weighted Condorcet pairing arguably offers a back-door that partly
gets round the Laplace criticism of Condorcet pairing, that it does
not establish the relative importance of higher and lower preferences,
in the over-all election count.
I see Condorcet pairing primarily as a research tool for
cross-referencing the results of an at-large election with the results
from sub-elections of one-to-one contests or less minimal partitions.
Ideally, we would have an election system that does not have to watch
its back for a Condorcet paradox.
A condorcet paradox is an indication of an incomplete process. Depending
on preference strength, which some Condorcet methods attempt to
estimate, it might be meaningless. But to truly analyse election returns
requires preference strength information. Borda, again, estimates it
with an assumption of full ranking, such that with many candidates, the
"rank distance" would approximate a measure of preference strength.

But the only ballot that actually allows the voters to directly express
preference strength is a score ballot. And then some advocates of other
systems point out Condoret failure, as if that matters when preference
strength is obviously low. It doesn't. And then it is pointed out that
voters may vote "strategically," as if that is dishonest or bad. In a
Score system, there is never any incentive to reverse preference. Voters
decide what preferences matter to them, and will vote accordingly, and a
good overall system will detect situations where is ambiguity, perhaps
due to inaccurate perception of probable results, and will then set up a
runoff.

Instead of working together to create a system that will actually
improve and foster full democracy, we don't, it seems, trust the people
and want them to conform to our own ideas. In other words, same old same
old. The problem with democracy is the damn people!

But democracy is still government by consent, and whenever that fails,
oppression is inevitable. It's only a question of how bad it gets. The
logic that captured me, so many decades ago, is that we need
representation by consent and choice, not by "winners" and "losers." And
that appears to be doable. But who cares enough to try it?

Some. Not yet enough, but it's possible any day. It might only take one
person to make a proposal and carry it through, in one place.
Even an admittedly crude election like IRV (Alternative Vote),
according to this group, has only come-up with the Burlington case.
That may have been politically unfortunate. But, if about 150?
elections have not suffered the paradox, that incidence is not
statistically significant.
It is possible to show that about one-third of IRV results were not
optimal. This is done by comparing IRV results with top-two runoff
results. If a full-information ballot were used with IRV (it could be
done! Easily!) we would then know. However, actually collecting the data
to determine, definitively, if a voting system is actually working is
not a part of any reform proposal I have seen. The collecting of
information is confused with and considered less important than creating
a result, and I can easily see the counter-argument: what if this causes
the result of an election to be called into question? Won't this damage
our trust in government? I think I have actually seen that argument.

If our trust in government is based in ignorance, it's worse than a bit
of trouble. A simple, coarse-score ballot, with explicit approval
cutoff, would be cheap and easy, and how the actual result is determined
could be explicity declared on the ballot. Providing the additonal
information would be optional. One could vote the ballot, if one
chooses, as vote-for-one. It would all generate useful information, and
could guide future election method decisions.
The real comparison is how many "Bush beats Gore minus Nader" contests
are there?
In a two-party system. Duverger's law and party attempts to corner the
electorate create many of them. Look at any close election and at the
participation of minor parties in it. There may be hundreds of these a
year. As well, the existing system tends to suppress minor party
participation. New York has Fusion voting, a step in a direction of
improved democracy. It was proposed for Massachusetts and lost. Who
opposed it?

The "Democratic" party, of course! It lost. So why did people vote
against it? Well, perhaps they trusted their party. After all, isn't our
party the Good Guys? If it's bad for them, surely we don't want it! It
all makes sense until and unless one starts to look more closely, which
most people don't do. And realizing that, Dodgson proposed Asset, which
actually creates, very simply, representative government, with the good
stuff associated with that, while allowing low-level decisions, by
ordinary people who don't want their lives to be about politics, to be
useful and effective.
And how many simple plurality elections make voters act as their own
returning officers in an implicit ranked choice election, where the
voter excludes his first preference for Nader, and counts it for
second preference Gore?
My sense is that many would vote for a third party candidate if they did
not know it would be a wasted vote. It could be trivial to fix that
problem. But we obviously care about something else more. about what?

----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
Richard Lung
2018-07-16 19:34:20 UTC
Permalink
Thankyou for troubling to make so many comments. Have never heard of
Asset, even if it goes as far back as 1880. Have heard Charles Dodgson
mentioned but forget (am old). Indeed am unfamiliar with the host of
variations on methods. But have a few basic guidelines, which I trust.
(It surprises me but does not perturb me that many experts don't think
so.) A single-order vote, the x-marks the spot vote is not sufficient
for effective voting. A many-order vote (ranked choice) is essential.
Likewise a single majority count is far less accurate than a
many-majority count (like the Droop quota). You will perceive a pattern
here: the general system is a many order vote for a many majority count.
from
Richard.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
[...] Agree completely about score voting. I can't help but feel
approval voting is essentially a rebranding of cumulative voting. In
about 1867, John Stuart Mill knew it was only a trifling improvement
on plurality counting but at least opened peoples minds to alternatives.
I'd question that simply counting all the votes would be a "trifling
improvement." It would have flipped the US presidential election in
2000, almost certainly, and is a no-cost improvement, simple to
implement and easy to understand. In a two-round system, it can
provide substantial flexibility, perhaps even allowing runoffs to have
a third candidate. Counting all the votes would be, again, an
improvement over IRV, allowing voters to equal-rank. But the IRV
method, by discarding votes, is intrinsically flawed, and Bucklin
actually worked when used. The arguments that it didn't work were
based on the fact that it wasn't magic pixie dust. The only system
that fixes about everything is Asset, which hardly gets any
consideration at all. My suggestion has been for EM reformers to
suggest Asset for NGOS, since it's really simple, as well, and creates
a deliberative structure, which is far more flexible -- and
functionally democratic -- than pure amalgamation. To be fail-safe, it
could be used in a nomination process, to be actually ratified for a
final result.
Approval -- and most methods -- are plurality methods unless a true
majority of the votes is required for a result. In Australia, in some
places they accomplish that by making it illegal to not completely
rank. In other words, to make a result more "democratic," coerce the
voters. Ah, the things people do to preserve the way things are!
Re 3.
Weighted Condorcet pairing arguably offers a back-door that partly
gets round the Laplace criticism of Condorcet pairing, that it does
not establish the relative importance of higher and lower
preferences, in the over-all election count.
I see Condorcet pairing primarily as a research tool for
cross-referencing the results of an at-large election with the
results from sub-elections of one-to-one contests or less minimal
partitions. Ideally, we would have an election system that does not
have to watch its back for a Condorcet paradox.
A condorcet paradox is an indication of an incomplete process.
Depending on preference strength, which some Condorcet methods attempt
to estimate, it might be meaningless. But to truly analyse election
returns requires preference strength information. Borda, again,
estimates it with an assumption of full ranking, such that with many
candidates, the "rank distance" would approximate a measure of
preference strength.
But the only ballot that actually allows the voters to directly
express preference strength is a score ballot. And then some advocates
of other systems point out Condoret failure, as if that matters when
preference strength is obviously low. It doesn't. And then it is
pointed out that voters may vote "strategically," as if that is
dishonest or bad. In a Score system, there is never any incentive to
reverse preference. Voters decide what preferences matter to them, and
will vote accordingly, and a good overall system will detect
situations where is ambiguity, perhaps due to inaccurate perception of
probable results, and will then set up a runoff.
Instead of working together to create a system that will actually
improve and foster full democracy, we don't, it seems, trust the
people and want them to conform to our own ideas. In other words, same
old same old. The problem with democracy is the damn people!
But democracy is still government by consent, and whenever that fails,
oppression is inevitable. It's only a question of how bad it gets. The
logic that captured me, so many decades ago, is that we need
representation by consent and choice, not by "winners" and "losers."
And that appears to be doable. But who cares enough to try it?
Some. Not yet enough, but it's possible any day. It might only take
one person to make a proposal and carry it through, in one place.
Even an admittedly crude election like IRV (Alternative Vote),
according to this group, has only come-up with the Burlington case.
That may have been politically unfortunate. But, if about 150?
elections have not suffered the paradox, that incidence is not
statistically significant.
It is possible to show that about one-third of IRV results were not
optimal. This is done by comparing IRV results with top-two runoff
results. If a full-information ballot were used with IRV (it could be
done! Easily!) we would then know. However, actually collecting the
data to determine, definitively, if a voting system is actually
working is not a part of any reform proposal I have seen. The
collecting of information is confused with and considered less
important than creating a result, and I can easily see the
counter-argument: what if this causes the result of an election to be
called into question? Won't this damage our trust in government? I
think I have actually seen that argument.
If our trust in government is based in ignorance, it's worse than a
bit of trouble. A simple, coarse-score ballot, with explicit approval
cutoff, would be cheap and easy, and how the actual result is
determined could be explicity declared on the ballot. Providing the
additonal information would be optional. One could vote the ballot, if
one chooses, as vote-for-one. It would all generate useful
information, and could guide future election method decisions.
The real comparison is how many "Bush beats Gore minus Nader"
contests are there?
In a two-party system. Duverger's law and party attempts to corner the
electorate create many of them. Look at any close election and at the
participation of minor parties in it. There may be hundreds of these a
year. As well, the existing system tends to suppress minor party
participation. New York has Fusion voting, a step in a direction of
improved democracy. It was proposed for Massachusetts and lost. Who
opposed it?
The "Democratic" party, of course! It lost. So why did people vote
against it? Well, perhaps they trusted their party. After all, isn't
our party the Good Guys? If it's bad for them, surely we don't want
it! It all makes sense until and unless one starts to look more
closely, which most people don't do. And realizing that, Dodgson
proposed Asset, which actually creates, very simply, representative
government, with the good stuff associated with that, while allowing
low-level decisions, by ordinary people who don't want their lives to
be about politics, to be useful and effective.
And how many simple plurality elections make voters act as their own
returning officers in an implicit ranked choice election, where the
voter excludes his first preference for Nader, and counts it for
second preference Gore?
My sense is that many would vote for a third party candidate if they
did not know it would be a wasted vote. It could be trivial to fix
that problem. But we obviously care about something else more. about
what?
----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
2018-07-16 20:40:06 UTC
Permalink
Asset is totally out-of-the-box. It was reinvented on the Election
Methods mailing list in the 1990s, and by Warren Smith, who coined the
term "Asset Voting." Asset was designed to make STV work far better. It
works well if the voter only states the favorite, and, in fact, my own
analysis came to be that adding more candidates simply complicates the
process with no benefit.

The concept of a voting system that simply allows the voter to name
their most-trusted candidate, with nothing more needed, is definitely
not how people think!

You think that ranked choice is "essential" but that comes from an
assumption of contested elections. Asset with a Hare quota creates fully
cooperative elections. Nobody loses. Depending on specific rules, the
election might run a seat short. I actually prefer that to using the
Droop quota, which then creates wasted votes. With the Hare quota, votes
might seem "wasted" but only because those holding them don't get it
together to create a seat. Natural consequences, and it becomes possible
to allow a seat to be elected later, and it's even possible to use the
"electoral college" that Asset creates to allow some level of direct
democracy.

Asset used for single-winner elections would find a majority or simply
fail until the electors get it together. They eventually will, that's
history!

Asset can create a winner or winners that are not even on the ballot.
And, in fact, Asset doesn't need printed ballots and doesn't need
restricted candidate lists, but for simplicity I'd require candidate
registration.

http://rangevoting.org/Asset.html

Warren's version of Asset was needlessly complicated, and he was still
thinking in terms of trying to select the "best" candidates using
amalgamation. Asset can do this much more directly and intelligently.

Basically, if Asset is run properly, all voters are represented by a
person they freely chose (from among those willing to serve), either
actually by that person or -- for most elected seats -- by someone
approved by the person they chose. I call the collection of candidates
receiving any votes the "electoral college," because this does resemble
the original U.S. electoral college.

Again, Warren, writing that page, was still thinking in terms of a party
system. Asset could be truly revolutionary, making the party system
unnecessary. Most people, hearing about Asset for the first time, simply
don't get that with no wasted votes, there is no need for strategy, no
need to campaign, even, so no need for money to run for office. Leaders
will emerge, for sure, but will be clearly responsible to those who vote
for them.

I expect that ballots with names on them would disappear. With Asset,
you can decide to vote only for someone who will actually talk with you,
whom you know. Those who are actually elected will know which electors
actually voted for them, so there is, again, responsibility, and a
communication network would be naturally created. You can talk with your
elector, the one you voted for, and your elector can talk to the seat,
generally. Electors who only have a few votes will turn them over to
other electors, so the chain of communication can become larger, but
that's normal. It can still be clear and reliable.
Post by Richard Lung
Thankyou for troubling to make so many comments. Have never heard of
Asset, even if it goes as far back as 1880. Have heard Charles Dodgson
mentioned but forget (am old). Indeed am unfamiliar with the host of
variations on methods. But have a few basic guidelines, which I trust.
(It surprises me but does not perturb me that many experts don't think
so.) A single-order vote, the x-marks the spot vote is not sufficient
for effective voting. A many-order vote (ranked choice) is essential.
Likewise a single majority count is far less accurate than a
many-majority count (like the Droop quota). You will perceive a
pattern here: the general system is a many order vote for a many
majority count.
 from
----
Election-Methods mailing list -
Richard Lung
2018-07-17 18:50:05 UTC
Permalink
Regarding the quota, one of my four averages (in FAB STV) is the
Harmonic Mean quota which is the average of the Droop and Hare quotas,
which I invented in order to achieve a more representative quota. (I
won't go into details here.) Ranked voting is indeed essential, because
order is essential. Order in the vote and proportion in the count are
essential, because they are essential to mathematics, not to mention
civilisation, itself.
Order and proportion, the bases of science, have become political
footballs. Electoral science was founded in the age of the Enlightenment
and has foundered in this electoral age of the Benightenment.

I say this only as helpful advice. I don't mind if you don't take it.
Good wishes.
from
Richard Lung.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Asset is totally out-of-the-box. It was reinvented on the Election
Methods mailing list in the 1990s, and by Warren Smith, who coined the
term "Asset Voting." Asset was designed to make STV work far better.
It works well if the voter only states the favorite, and, in fact, my
own analysis came to be that adding more candidates simply complicates
the process with no benefit.
The concept of a voting system that simply allows the voter to name
their most-trusted candidate, with nothing more needed, is definitely
not how people think!
You think that ranked choice is "essential" but that comes from an
assumption of contested elections. Asset with a Hare quota creates
fully cooperative elections. Nobody loses. Depending on specific
rules, the election might run a seat short. I actually prefer that to
using the Droop quota, which then creates wasted votes. With the Hare
quota, votes might seem "wasted" but only because those holding them
don't get it together to create a seat. Natural consequences, and it
becomes possible to allow a seat to be elected later, and it's even
possible to use the "electoral college" that Asset creates to allow
some level of direct democracy.
Asset used for single-winner elections would find a majority or simply
fail until the electors get it together. They eventually will, that's
history!
Asset can create a winner or winners that are not even on the ballot.
And, in fact, Asset doesn't need printed ballots and doesn't need
restricted candidate lists, but for simplicity I'd require candidate
registration.
http://rangevoting.org/Asset.html
Warren's version of Asset was needlessly complicated, and he was still
thinking in terms of trying to select the "best" candidates using
amalgamation. Asset can do this much more directly and intelligently.
Basically, if Asset is run properly, all voters are represented by a
person they freely chose (from among those willing to serve), either
actually by that person or -- for most elected seats -- by someone
approved by the person they chose. I call the collection of candidates
receiving any votes the "electoral college," because this does
resemble the original U.S. electoral college.
Again, Warren, writing that page, was still thinking in terms of a
party system. Asset could be truly revolutionary, making the party
system unnecessary. Most people, hearing about Asset for the first
time, simply don't get that with no wasted votes, there is no need for
strategy, no need to campaign, even, so no need for money to run for
office. Leaders will emerge, for sure, but will be clearly responsible
to those who vote for them.
I expect that ballots with names on them would disappear. With Asset,
you can decide to vote only for someone who will actually talk with
you, whom you know. Those who are actually elected will know which
electors actually voted for them, so there is, again, responsibility,
and a communication network would be naturally created. You can talk
with your elector, the one you voted for, and your elector can talk to
the seat, generally. Electors who only have a few votes will turn them
over to other electors, so the chain of communication can become
larger, but that's normal. It can still be clear and reliable.
Post by Richard Lung
Thankyou for troubling to make so many comments. Have never heard of
Asset, even if it goes as far back as 1880. Have heard Charles
Dodgson mentioned but forget (am old). Indeed am unfamiliar with the
host of variations on methods. But have a few basic guidelines, which
I trust. (It surprises me but does not perturb me that many experts
don't think so.) A single-order vote, the x-marks the spot vote is
not sufficient for effective voting. A many-order vote (ranked
choice) is essential. Likewise a single majority count is far less
accurate than a many-majority count (like the Droop quota). You will
perceive a pattern here: the general system is a many order vote for
a many majority count.
from
----
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Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
2018-07-17 21:17:18 UTC
Permalink
Richard, thanks for the advice. How to apply it is mysterious to me. So
I'll just look at what you wrote, on what I wrote about.

The essence of genuine democratic representation is choice. I may, for
most affairs in life requiring my decision, designate a proxy, when I
can't be there to make a decision myself.

In designating a proxy, the only relevant factor is my choice, my
decision to name a person. I may revoke this designation at any time,
but it generally stands until revoked (either deliberately or by the
lapse of some specified time.)

Needing to meet a quota is contrary to the fundamental principle of
choice in representation, but it may be made as a compromise. So, we
decide that, to have a seat in an Assembly, the seat must be supported
by a quota of voters, who agree to the person serving in that way, for
them, and if this is fully democratic, then those voter choices are not
coerced. It is possible for a voter to designate a series of choices,
i.e., my first choice is A, my second choice, if A cannot serve, is B,
etc. However, this leads to a fairly complex system and Dodgson
(Carroll) found a far better way, far more suitable for ordinary voters,
who, after all, have busy lives. STV  systems only work because of party
candidate lists, otherwise most voters, as Dodgson pointed out, really
only know their favorite, and there is a far simpler way, that allows
the exercise of choice in a slightly different way.

Rather, a basic principle of leadership is understanding how to delegate
authority. The skill of serving as a representative will be associated
with skill in designating someone to serve. In the system I have
described, electors will focus on politics and may be able to develop
personal relationships with those who end up with seats. That is, they
will not merely be depending on media impressions, and the corrupting
power of money is politics is largely related to the cost of dominating
media coverage.

So, in an Asset election, the voter need only choose one person, the
person the voter most trusts, out of all those willing to serve as
public voters. Obviously, anyone who is a candidate is so willing to
serve, since votes in the Assembly will be public.

By some means, a quota is chosen. I use the Hare quota because it is
very simple to understand, and the only problem with Hare is that it is
likely, given real-world phenomena, that the Hare quota will fail to
elect the full number of seats. There are many ways to solve this
problem, and an Assembly that is missing a seat for a time can still
function with little harm.

One of the facts often overlooked is that under standard parliamentary
procedure, any assembly makes its own rules. All it takes to make -- or
remove -- a rule is a majority vote. If one doesn't like that, tell it
to Robert's Rules, or the parliamentarians. It is a basic right of the
majority in any democratic assembly to make its own rules. For lots of
reasons, the rules tend to be not changed very much. But the "nuclear
option" in the U.S. Senate reflects this very old principle, being
abused because of the party system. The party system has corrupted many
basic democratic processes, including the U.S. Electoral College.

It is not that parties are Bad. It is that the Iron Law of Oligarchy is
very real and to design fully democratic institutions we need to be
aware of it and factor for it. There is a way, and the path has been
blazed, but few pay any attention to it. Rather, most people run with
the standard assumptions about democracy, it's all they have heard for
their entire lives.

So ... suppose we use the Hare quota. So there are one (or less likely,
more) seats that are not filled. So then the Assembly, if it cares about
those voters whose votes have not been applied, can decide to allow some
kind of representation. Perhaps "observers" can be allowed. Perhaps they
might have fractional votes, which they could use, perhaps to break
ties. And there are many, many possibilities.

I see a common reaction to new ideas for election methods, and it was
repeated in these discussions. A proposal was made that seats have
voting power proportional to the votes they received. Immediately it is
pointed out that what, in delegable proxy systems I called a superproxy,
someone who represents a majority of voting members, could make any
decision unilaterally. Yes, they could, if the rules allowed it. Any
system coupled with a well-designed set of Stupid Rules could create a
disaster.

But Asset systems that I wrote about create a peer assembly, with
anything different from that only on the edges, and easily handled with
sane rules.

Use of the Droop quota is based on the idea of election by majority. In
such an election, there are losers, who do not end up with chosen
representation, and that is by design. Our election systems were
designed for district representation, where districts are represented by
someone chosen by a plurality. Used to be that the representative was
chosen by the Sovereign. Maybe the people were consulted, and maybe not.

Any number could be picked as an election quota. Key to a fully
democratic system, though, is that seats, elected by the same number of
voters, have equal voting power (setting aside vote-weighting systems,
which would still be democratic). And then we can deal with the "dregs,"
the votes not yet assigned to a seat. Right now, such people have zero
representation, unless a seat decides to serve them anyway (which
members of assmblies often do).

It would take very minor adjustments to rules and procedures to create
what would amount to full representation, or which would, at least,
approach it.

What is often missed in considering this is communication in the other
direction. Amalgamation is thought of as a one-way process, where the
voters "express their will," albeit in a primitive way. Human
communication can be far, far more than that. An Asset seat would know
who voted for him or her, and could directly communicate, could explain
his or her stand on issues, could ask for advice, and could, in fact,
ask an elector to communicate with his or her voters.

But, wait, electors won't know who they voted for. No, not formally, but
yes, often, and voters know who they voted for and will be able to talk
to their electors, unless they are dumb enough to vote for . . . I used
to use Clint Eastwood as the model for this style of voting. Vote for
someone with whom you cannot have personal communication. Not bright, in
my book. But some people will do it. It harms nobody but them, unless
everyone votes for the Your Fired guy.

What? That can happen? Yes. That can happen with the present system,
because we only know candidates through the media.

We need to rebuild democracy from the ground up, and I suggest creating
advanced election methods and using advanced voting systems in NGOs.
That's an old suggestion of mine, and the Election Science Foundation
actually did it in an election, with the only known actual Asset
election in history. It worked spectacularly, as a voting system. It did
not create magic candidates who would kick ass and change the world. It
only created a steering committe that could have advised the leadership
and the active volunteers. Had they asked. They never did. But that
committee ended up, quite quickly (it took a few days), representing
every voter. There was one dissenter, who had not understood that his
vote might be transferred and he Didn't Like It. He wanted his Favorite
and the H with everyone else! But his Favorite transferred all his votes.

But other than that one person, the election was Unanimous!

Richard, this is all simpler than you think. "Order" as a demand is
oppressive. In real life, I am indifferent between certain
possibilities, and so they are "equally ranked," and requiring a choice
be made is introducing noise into the system, not smart.

The quota set, with a certain number of voters, is designed to insure
the election of a consequential number of seats. it's based on an idea
that so many seats *must* be elected, and the demand that an election
produce a determined result has already lost a basic principle of
democracy, that a decision requires a majority; instead, in effect,
deterministic voting systems are undemocratic. A free people may decide
not to decide, or may act such that no decision is made.

(Arrow's theorem doesn't even consider nondeterministic systems as
"voting systems," thus ordinary, standard, Robert's Rules election
process is not a "voting system," which shows how crazy this field gets)
Post by Richard Lung
Regarding the quota, one of my four averages (in FAB STV) is the
Harmonic Mean quota which is the average of the Droop and Hare quotas,
which I invented in order to achieve a more representative quota. (I
won't go into details here.) Ranked voting is indeed essential,
because order is essential. Order in the vote and proportion in the
count are essential, because they are essential to mathematics, not to
mention civilisation, itself.
Order and proportion, the bases of science, have become political
footballs. Electoral science was founded in the age of the
Enlightenment and has foundered in this electoral age of the
Benightenment.
I say this only as helpful advice. I don't mind if you don't take it.
Good wishes.
from
Richard Lung.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Asset is totally out-of-the-box. It was reinvented on the Election
Methods mailing list in the 1990s, and by Warren Smith, who coined
the term "Asset Voting." Asset was designed to make STV work far
better. It works well if the voter only states the favorite, and, in
fact, my own analysis came to be that adding more candidates simply
complicates the process with no benefit.
The concept of a voting system that simply allows the voter to name
their most-trusted candidate, with nothing more needed, is definitely
not how people think!
You think that ranked choice is "essential" but that comes from an
assumption of contested elections. Asset with a Hare quota creates
fully cooperative elections. Nobody loses. Depending on specific
rules, the election might run a seat short. I actually prefer that to
using the Droop quota, which then creates wasted votes. With the Hare
quota, votes might seem "wasted" but only because those holding them
don't get it together to create a seat. Natural consequences, and it
becomes possible to allow a seat to be elected later, and it's even
possible to use the "electoral college" that Asset creates to allow
some level of direct democracy.
Asset used for single-winner elections would find a majority or
simply fail until the electors get it together. They eventually will,
that's history!
Asset can create a winner or winners that are not even on the ballot.
And, in fact, Asset doesn't need printed ballots and doesn't need
restricted candidate lists, but for simplicity I'd require candidate
registration.
http://rangevoting.org/Asset.html
Warren's version of Asset was needlessly complicated, and he was
still thinking in terms of trying to select the "best" candidates
using amalgamation. Asset can do this much more directly and
intelligently.
Basically, if Asset is run properly, all voters are represented by a
person they freely chose (from among those willing to serve), either
actually by that person or -- for most elected seats -- by someone
approved by the person they chose. I call the collection of
candidates receiving any votes the "electoral college," because this
does resemble the original U.S. electoral college.
Again, Warren, writing that page, was still thinking in terms of a
party system. Asset could be truly revolutionary, making the party
system unnecessary. Most people, hearing about Asset for the first
time, simply don't get that with no wasted votes, there is no need
for strategy, no need to campaign, even, so no need for money to run
for office. Leaders will emerge, for sure, but will be clearly
responsible to those who vote for them.
I expect that ballots with names on them would disappear. With Asset,
you can decide to vote only for someone who will actually talk with
you, whom you know. Those who are actually elected will know which
electors actually voted for them, so there is, again, responsibility,
and a communication network would be naturally created. You can talk
with your elector, the one you voted for, and your elector can talk
to the seat, generally. Electors who only have a few votes will turn
them over to other electors, so the chain of communication can become
larger, but that's normal. It can still be clear and reliable.
Post by Richard Lung
Thankyou for troubling to make so many comments. Have never heard of
Asset, even if it goes as far back as 1880. Have heard Charles
Dodgson mentioned but forget (am old). Indeed am unfamiliar with the
host of variations on methods. But have a few basic guidelines,
which I trust. (It surprises me but does not perturb me that many
experts don't think so.) A single-order vote, the x-marks the spot
vote is not sufficient for effective voting. A many-order vote
(ranked choice) is essential. Likewise a single majority count is
far less accurate than a many-majority count (like the Droop quota).
You will perceive a pattern here: the general system is a many order
vote for a many majority count.
 from
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Richard Lung
2018-07-18 17:30:18 UTC
Permalink
Thankyou for your discussion.
I just pick-up on two or three points. People often think of first,
second, third choices, in terms of a poor choice for a single vacancy,
so that their second choice, or even their first, is not someone they
really want. A fifth choice in a large multi-member constituency,
equitably elected, can be a better choice than a first choice for a
single vacancy. I'm not considering necessary conditions of campaign
finance reform, freedom of information; the need for local democratic
infrastructure, instead of the information poverty of the fly-by-night
polling station, etc.
By the way, my system of FAB STV, uses all preference information,
counts all preferences including abstentions, and they go to a quota for
an empty seat. I agree that this is a voters right, but it only came
about in this system, as a necessary condition of the logic of its count.
Four Averages Binomial STV treats elections as statistical
representation. I believe that (social choice theory, or what have you)
refuting the assumption that there is a logically determined winner or
loser, in no way invalidates the reasonableness of democratic elections.
In other words, I agree that it is "crazy" to assume voting systems must
be deterministic and then blame them for not being so!
from
Richard (Lung).
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Richard, thanks for the advice. How to apply it is mysterious to me.
So I'll just look at what you wrote, on what I wrote about.
The essence of genuine democratic representation is choice. I may, for
most affairs in life requiring my decision, designate a proxy, when I
can't be there to make a decision myself.
In designating a proxy, the only relevant factor is my choice, my
decision to name a person. I may revoke this designation at any time,
but it generally stands until revoked (either deliberately or by the
lapse of some specified time.)
Needing to meet a quota is contrary to the fundamental principle of
choice in representation, but it may be made as a compromise. So, we
decide that, to have a seat in an Assembly, the seat must be supported
by a quota of voters, who agree to the person serving in that way, for
them, and if this is fully democratic, then those voter choices are
not coerced. It is possible for a voter to designate a series of
choices, i.e., my first choice is A, my second choice, if A cannot
serve, is B, etc. However, this leads to a fairly complex system and
Dodgson (Carroll) found a far better way, far more suitable for
ordinary voters, who, after all, have busy lives. STV systems only
work because of party candidate lists, otherwise most voters, as
Dodgson pointed out, really only know their favorite, and there is a
far simpler way, that allows the exercise of choice in a slightly
different way.
Rather, a basic principle of leadership is understanding how to
delegate authority. The skill of serving as a representative will be
associated with skill in designating someone to serve. In the system I
have described, electors will focus on politics and may be able to
develop personal relationships with those who end up with seats. That
is, they will not merely be depending on media impressions, and the
corrupting power of money is politics is largely related to the cost
of dominating media coverage.
So, in an Asset election, the voter need only choose one person, the
person the voter most trusts, out of all those willing to serve as
public voters. Obviously, anyone who is a candidate is so willing to
serve, since votes in the Assembly will be public.
By some means, a quota is chosen. I use the Hare quota because it is
very simple to understand, and the only problem with Hare is that it
is likely, given real-world phenomena, that the Hare quota will fail
to elect the full number of seats. There are many ways to solve this
problem, and an Assembly that is missing a seat for a time can still
function with little harm.
One of the facts often overlooked is that under standard parliamentary
procedure, any assembly makes its own rules. All it takes to make --
or remove -- a rule is a majority vote. If one doesn't like that, tell
it to Robert's Rules, or the parliamentarians. It is a basic right of
the majority in any democratic assembly to make its own rules. For
lots of reasons, the rules tend to be not changed very much. But the
"nuclear option" in the U.S. Senate reflects this very old principle,
being abused because of the party system. The party system has
corrupted many basic democratic processes, including the U.S.
Electoral College.
It is not that parties are Bad. It is that the Iron Law of Oligarchy
is very real and to design fully democratic institutions we need to be
aware of it and factor for it. There is a way, and the path has been
blazed, but few pay any attention to it. Rather, most people run with
the standard assumptions about democracy, it's all they have heard for
their entire lives.
So ... suppose we use the Hare quota. So there are one (or less
likely, more) seats that are not filled. So then the Assembly, if it
cares about those voters whose votes have not been applied, can decide
to allow some kind of representation. Perhaps "observers" can be
allowed. Perhaps they might have fractional votes, which they could
use, perhaps to break ties. And there are many, many possibilities.
I see a common reaction to new ideas for election methods, and it was
repeated in these discussions. A proposal was made that seats have
voting power proportional to the votes they received. Immediately it
is pointed out that what, in delegable proxy systems I called a
superproxy, someone who represents a majority of voting members, could
make any decision unilaterally. Yes, they could, if the rules allowed
it. Any system coupled with a well-designed set of Stupid Rules could
create a disaster.
But Asset systems that I wrote about create a peer assembly, with
anything different from that only on the edges, and easily handled
with sane rules.
Use of the Droop quota is based on the idea of election by majority.
In such an election, there are losers, who do not end up with chosen
representation, and that is by design. Our election systems were
designed for district representation, where districts are represented
by someone chosen by a plurality. Used to be that the representative
was chosen by the Sovereign. Maybe the people were consulted, and
maybe not.
Any number could be picked as an election quota. Key to a fully
democratic system, though, is that seats, elected by the same number
of voters, have equal voting power (setting aside vote-weighting
systems, which would still be democratic). And then we can deal with
the "dregs," the votes not yet assigned to a seat. Right now, such
people have zero representation, unless a seat decides to serve them
anyway (which members of assmblies often do).
It would take very minor adjustments to rules and procedures to create
what would amount to full representation, or which would, at least,
approach it.
What is often missed in considering this is communication in the other
direction. Amalgamation is thought of as a one-way process, where the
voters "express their will," albeit in a primitive way. Human
communication can be far, far more than that. An Asset seat would know
who voted for him or her, and could directly communicate, could
explain his or her stand on issues, could ask for advice, and could,
in fact, ask an elector to communicate with his or her voters.
But, wait, electors won't know who they voted for. No, not formally,
but yes, often, and voters know who they voted for and will be able to
talk to their electors, unless they are dumb enough to vote for . . .
I used to use Clint Eastwood as the model for this style of voting.
Vote for someone with whom you cannot have personal communication. Not
bright, in my book. But some people will do it. It harms nobody but
them, unless everyone votes for the Your Fired guy.
What? That can happen? Yes. That can happen with the present system,
because we only know candidates through the media.
We need to rebuild democracy from the ground up, and I suggest
creating advanced election methods and using advanced voting systems
in NGOs. That's an old suggestion of mine, and the Election Science
Foundation actually did it in an election, with the only known actual
Asset election in history. It worked spectacularly, as a voting
system. It did not create magic candidates who would kick ass and
change the world. It only created a steering committe that could have
advised the leadership and the active volunteers. Had they asked. They
never did. But that committee ended up, quite quickly (it took a few
days), representing every voter. There was one dissenter, who had not
understood that his vote might be transferred and he Didn't Like It.
He wanted his Favorite and the H with everyone else! But his Favorite
transferred all his votes.
But other than that one person, the election was Unanimous!
Richard, this is all simpler than you think. "Order" as a demand is
oppressive. In real life, I am indifferent between certain
possibilities, and so they are "equally ranked," and requiring a
choice be made is introducing noise into the system, not smart.
The quota set, with a certain number of voters, is designed to insure
the election of a consequential number of seats. it's based on an idea
that so many seats *must* be elected, and the demand that an election
produce a determined result has already lost a basic principle of
democracy, that a decision requires a majority; instead, in effect,
deterministic voting systems are undemocratic. A free people may
decide not to decide, or may act such that no decision is made.
(Arrow's theorem doesn't even consider nondeterministic systems as
"voting systems," thus ordinary, standard, Robert's Rules election
process is not a "voting system," which shows how crazy this field gets)
Post by Richard Lung
Regarding the quota, one of my four averages (in FAB STV) is the
Harmonic Mean quota which is the average of the Droop and Hare
quotas, which I invented in order to achieve a more representative
quota. (I won't go into details here.) Ranked voting is indeed
essential, because order is essential. Order in the vote and
proportion in the count are essential, because they are essential to
mathematics, not to mention civilisation, itself.
Order and proportion, the bases of science, have become political
footballs. Electoral science was founded in the age of the
Enlightenment and has foundered in this electoral age of the
Benightenment.
I say this only as helpful advice. I don't mind if you don't take it.
Good wishes.
from
Richard Lung.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Asset is totally out-of-the-box. It was reinvented on the Election
Methods mailing list in the 1990s, and by Warren Smith, who coined
the term "Asset Voting." Asset was designed to make STV work far
better. It works well if the voter only states the favorite, and, in
fact, my own analysis came to be that adding more candidates simply
complicates the process with no benefit.
The concept of a voting system that simply allows the voter to name
their most-trusted candidate, with nothing more needed, is
definitely not how people think!
You think that ranked choice is "essential" but that comes from an
assumption of contested elections. Asset with a Hare quota creates
fully cooperative elections. Nobody loses. Depending on specific
rules, the election might run a seat short. I actually prefer that
to using the Droop quota, which then creates wasted votes. With the
Hare quota, votes might seem "wasted" but only because those holding
them don't get it together to create a seat. Natural consequences,
and it becomes possible to allow a seat to be elected later, and
it's even possible to use the "electoral college" that Asset creates
to allow some level of direct democracy.
Asset used for single-winner elections would find a majority or
simply fail until the electors get it together. They eventually
will, that's history!
Asset can create a winner or winners that are not even on the
ballot. And, in fact, Asset doesn't need printed ballots and doesn't
need restricted candidate lists, but for simplicity I'd require
candidate registration.
http://rangevoting.org/Asset.html
Warren's version of Asset was needlessly complicated, and he was
still thinking in terms of trying to select the "best" candidates
using amalgamation. Asset can do this much more directly and
intelligently.
Basically, if Asset is run properly, all voters are represented by a
person they freely chose (from among those willing to serve), either
actually by that person or -- for most elected seats -- by someone
approved by the person they chose. I call the collection of
candidates receiving any votes the "electoral college," because this
does resemble the original U.S. electoral college.
Again, Warren, writing that page, was still thinking in terms of a
party system. Asset could be truly revolutionary, making the party
system unnecessary. Most people, hearing about Asset for the first
time, simply don't get that with no wasted votes, there is no need
for strategy, no need to campaign, even, so no need for money to run
for office. Leaders will emerge, for sure, but will be clearly
responsible to those who vote for them.
I expect that ballots with names on them would disappear. With
Asset, you can decide to vote only for someone who will actually
talk with you, whom you know. Those who are actually elected will
know which electors actually voted for them, so there is, again,
responsibility, and a communication network would be naturally
created. You can talk with your elector, the one you voted for, and
your elector can talk to the seat, generally. Electors who only have
a few votes will turn them over to other electors, so the chain of
communication can become larger, but that's normal. It can still be
clear and reliable.
Post by Richard Lung
Thankyou for troubling to make so many comments. Have never heard
of Asset, even if it goes as far back as 1880. Have heard Charles
Dodgson mentioned but forget (am old). Indeed am unfamiliar with
the host of variations on methods. But have a few basic guidelines,
which I trust. (It surprises me but does not perturb me that many
experts don't think so.) A single-order vote, the x-marks the spot
vote is not sufficient for effective voting. A many-order vote
(ranked choice) is essential. Likewise a single majority count is
far less accurate than a many-majority count (like the Droop
quota). You will perceive a pattern here: the general system is a
many order vote for a many majority count.
from
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Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
2018-07-19 02:35:25 UTC
Permalink
I'm not getting my message across.
Post by Richard Lung
Thankyou for your discussion.
I just pick-up on two or three points. People often think of first,
second, third choices, in terms of a poor choice for a single vacancy,
so that their second choice, or even their first, is not someone they
really want. A fifth choice in a large multi-member constituency,
equitably elected, can be a better choice than a first choice for a
single vacancy.
I'm encouraging looking at basic democratic process, as has been
practiced in NGOs for centuries. NGOs, generally, don't allow members to
name proxies (while share corporations uniformly do so). Most small
organizations don't have any representative assembly. They may elect
boards, and board members are more like officers than representatives
(though multiwinner methods might be used).

I'm pointing out that if I cannot choose my representative to an
allegedly representative assembly, I am not represented. Rather, my
district might be represented, i.e., a majority in my district, or some
quota. Not me.

Imagine this concept for choosing a representative assembly. Candidates
are listed and people openly vote for them, and can change their votes
at any time. When a quota of people choose a candidate, the candidate
gains a seat. All seats, then, represent by choice the same number of
people. (The system stops accepting votes for a candidate, when the
candidate gains a quota).

Then add this tweak: if candidates may still accept votes after reaching
the quota, they may then transfer the votes to other candidates. This,
then, becomes Asset. It is very close to direct choice of representation.

It is simple, optimal voting strategy is totally obvious -- vote for
your best choice -- and is then compatible with secret ballot in the
primary election, which simply creates electors who then have so many
votes to transfer to create seats, and who may serve to reassign votes
as needed pending the next full election.

The electoral college, then, represents the/entire electorate,/ by
direct choice.

I would have the Assembly formed decide its own rules, as is
traditional. Because deliberative democracy is essential (not merely
aggregative popular democracy), I would handle all officer elections in
the Assembly, officers to serve at the pleasure of the Assembly. I.e., a
parliamentary system.
Kristofer Munsterhjelm
2018-07-19 14:17:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Richard, thanks for the advice. How to apply it is mysterious to me. So
I'll just look at what you wrote, on what I wrote about.
The essence of genuine democratic representation is choice. I may, for
most affairs in life requiring my decision, designate a proxy, when I
can't be there to make a decision myself.
In designating a proxy, the only relevant factor is my choice, my
decision to name a person. I may revoke this designation at any time,
but it generally stands until revoked (either deliberately or by the
lapse of some specified time.)
Needing to meet a quota is contrary to the fundamental principle of
choice in representation, but it may be made as a compromise. So, we
decide that, to have a seat in an Assembly, the seat must be supported
by a quota of voters, who agree to the person serving in that way, for
them, and if this is fully democratic, then those voter choices are not
coerced. It is possible for a voter to designate a series of choices,
i.e., my first choice is A, my second choice, if A cannot serve, is B,
etc. However, this leads to a fairly complex system and Dodgson
(Carroll) found a far better way, far more suitable for ordinary voters,
who, after all, have busy lives. STV  systems only work because of party
candidate lists, otherwise most voters, as Dodgson pointed out, really
only know their favorite, and there is a far simpler way, that allows
the exercise of choice in a slightly different way.
Rather, a basic principle of leadership is understanding how to delegate
authority. The skill of serving as a representative will be associated
with skill in designating someone to serve. In the system I have
described, electors will focus on politics and may be able to develop
personal relationships with those who end up with seats. That is, they
will not merely be depending on media impressions, and the corrupting
power of money is politics is largely related to the cost of dominating
media coverage.
So, in an Asset election, the voter need only choose one person, the
person the voter most trusts, out of all those willing to serve as
public voters. Obviously, anyone who is a candidate is so willing to
serve, since votes in the Assembly will be public.
One thing I don't get about this phrasing of Asset is how the problem of
scale is handled.

If the number of people initially voted for is small enough that they
can all physically meet, then Asset is easy: everybody who gets at least
one vote meets and then negotiate to distribute vote assets until the
vote assets have been concentrated on sufficiently few candidates to fit
the final council. If the council votes are unweighted, one might
additionally add a constraint that every candidate needs more than a
quota's worth of votes.

But now suppose there are a million voters and everybody chooses one of
their friends as the one they trust. The set of everybody who's
somebody's friend is unlikely to be small enough that they can
physically meet. How does Asset proceed from this point? Is it just like
delegable proxy, where the "initial candidates" name other candidates in
turn until the set has been narrowed down enough?
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Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
2018-07-19 16:39:50 UTC
Permalink
Great question, thanks.
Post by Kristofer Munsterhjelm
One thing I don't get about this phrasing of Asset is how the problem
of scale is handled.
If the number of people initially voted for is small enough that they
can all physically meet, then Asset is easy: everybody who gets at
least one vote meets and then negotiate to distribute vote assets
until the vote assets have been concentrated on sufficiently few
candidates to fit the final council. If the council votes are
unweighted, one might additionally add a constraint that every
candidate needs more than a quota's worth of votes.
Actually, what I've been proposing is far simpler. A quota is set, and
once a candidate is chosen by that number of electors, the candidate is
elected. It is not essential that the election process be complete by
some deadline. Some seats might remain vacant, and under some conditions
and rules, some seats might not be filled until the next election. An
Assembly can -- and often does -- function with fewer than the full
number of seats. However, two points should be considered: the Assembly,
like traditional assemblies, makes its own rules and it can create
observer seats with limited voting power. I prefer to not make that part
of the voting system. The system creates seats and there might be some
unassigned votes, I call "dregs." Ideally, these are considered, but
they are controlled by the owners of the unassigned votes.

The other consideration is that an elector may delegete votes to a
candidate who is already elected, and in delegating such votes, the
elector is consenting to assignment of those votes by the selected
candidate. Or the elector may hold back the votes until an effective
candidate is found, to be chosen directly. I prefer in this system that
votes be transfered in named blocks (named after the original elector
who received them). Thus every vote becomes traceable to the elector,
and thus the actual secret ballot voter knows whom their vote elected.
This is quite simple to do. Fractional votes might also be part of the
dregs. Again, I'd suggest that those transferring votes maintain the
identify of all voting blocks. Simple to do with computers, and it
creates a traceable and verifiable path from voters to seats. (As to the
original votes, those would be identified by precinct and, again, there
are quite good reasons to suggest that this identification remain.)

While Asset is not "district-based," as I've described it, in practice
people will mostly prefer to select someone local to represent them.
Asset allows them to do that, if they can agree locally with other
electors, while some may prefer to choose some special representative
for their point of view or identity for the entire jurisdiction.
Post by Kristofer Munsterhjelm
But now suppose there are a million voters and everybody chooses one
of their friends as the one they trust.
Which is quite what I'd suggest. I.e., I suggest that initial voting be
for someone who is not only considered qualified, but with whom on may
actually, in real life, communicate.
Post by Kristofer Munsterhjelm
The set of everybody who's somebody's friend is unlikely to be small
enough that they can physically meet.
It is not necessary for everyone to meet. Indeed, meeting may not be
particularly useful until amalgamation is at a very high level.

So, a million voters. Not stated, how many seats? Let's set the quota at
20,000. So this is 50 seats maximum. There may be electors with only one
vote. My sense is that most of "small electors" will simply assign that
vote to their favorite and leave it at that.
Post by Kristofer Munsterhjelm
How does Asset proceed from this point? Is it just like delegable
proxy, where the "initial candidates" name other candidates in turn
until the set has been narrowed down enough?
I have suggested that electors may use delegable proxy to rapidly
identify efficient transfers. But that would be voluntary, not official.
Officially, an elector logs into a web site and records vote transfers.
These are all public and traceable. The actual election is public, but
only a very simple choice is being exercised by each elector, it is not
necessary to meet in person, because deliberative process is not required.

The exact details may obviously vary. But let's imagine that votes have
assigned and amalgamated to a level where half the seats plus one have
been assigned. If the vote required to pass a substantive measure is
based on a majority of the total possible seats (thus actually
representing a majority of the total body of voters), then the Assembly
may begin functioning, but requiring unanimity for action. As more seats
are elected, that would decline. If all seats are elected, or if
fractional voting is allowed (a tweak), the standard to meet for passage
would be a simple majority. Motions of privilege and the like would be
based on actual elected and present seats.

So we have 25 seats left, and 500,000 voters not yet represented.
Whenever 20,000 voters agree, another seat is elected. How many electors
are involved. If the average number of votes per elector by this time is
200, groups of congenial electors could meet, and it would be about 100
electors, very doable. They do not need to agree with each other, in
toto, only in blocks enjoying, within the block, unanimity of choice.
There might be a big convention, toward the end.

By the way, who pays for the expenses of electors? My suggestion is that
elector be a fully volunteer position, and that electors pay their own
expenses. However, people may donate to a fund for elector expenses,
assigning this to electors. If spent for legitimate expenses, this would
be tax-free. Anything beyond that would be taxable income, and some
electors might make it a full-time job, similar to present lobbyists.
They would serve to communicate between seats and the general public,
and especially those who voted for them.

Asset Assemblies, I predict, will self-organize with much more
efficiency than we might expect.

However, this is one reason why I suggest NGO implementation of Asset
before using it for governmental purposes. That's to develop experience
in how it works -- and how it might not work.
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Christopher Colosi
2018-07-14 00:04:03 UTC
Permalink
In promoting RCV, you can't just credit it in cases where the outcome would
have been the same given plurality / first past the post.

I can't speak for the others in this list, but London Breed was the front
runner and would have won in a traditional FPTP/plurality election. She
nearly lost due to RCV and effectively spoke out against it when saying it
was the method we are stuck with. You can make the claim that it was
"thanks to RCV" due to the fact that SF previously would have had a
separate run off election between her and the next top candidate (would
have been Leno or Kim), which she could have lost, but none of Breed's
supporters are saying "thanks to RCV". So it is hard to argue that this is
good press to anyone beyond those who were already fans of RCV. And that
causes me to question all the others in the list.

Living in SF, I can say that many people who filled out ballots correctly
really didn't understand how it worked. Education on this stuff is tough.
The press didn't feel positive.

As a side note on this specific election with regards to RCV, it made me
question if we should still have a separate runoff when less than some
amount (maybe 2%) separates the candidates after all rounds. When after
RCV it was still so tight of an election, the community may have been
better served (even if the outcome was the same) to get a week or two of
campaigning and a chance to choose solely between these two candidates.
It is ironic that the world seems to have this electoral reform battle of
the big-enders versus the little-enders (from Gullivers Travels). That is
to say the collectivist Europeans and their outliers, back a proportional
count with party lists - such as sabotages individual choice, without a
ranked choice for voters. While the good ole US of A does not forget
individual representation with a ranked choice, but forgets equality of
representation with a proportional count. The only exception is Cambridge
Mass. using STV, and one or two minor cases of STV in Minnesota, I believe.
One EM member says STV is BAD. As the ignored inventor of FAB STV, I know
the limitations of traditional STV but essentially it is on the right
lines, laid down by the original inventors, Carl Andrae and Thomas Hare,
namely the quota-preferential method, as the Aussies pithily describe its
essence.
As for ranked pairing, my understanding is that it is not an independent
method at all, but a means of cross-referencing a ranked choice electoral
system. As previously mentioned to this email group, I wrote a supplemetary
chapter on this, in my book FAB STV: Four Averages Binomial Single
Transferable Vote.
from
Richard Lung.
Sorry I don't get online much, but everyone should know that RCV is
getting a LOT of good publicity.
1-Maine just had the first statewide IRV election in U.S. history.
2-since then, there have been op-ed(s?) in the NYT calling for RCV
nationwide
3-London Breed has just become the first african american female mayor of
SF: thanks to RCV.
4-Jesse Arreguin is the first latino mayor of Berkeley, thanks to RCV.
5-Jean Quan was the first asian mayor of Oakland, thanks to RCV.
6-Libby Schaaf, Oakland's new mayor, was elected thanks to RCV.
If you want to pay attention, IRV/RCV/ranked pairs are inevitably the
future, that is why I don't understand this craziness discussing outdated
election "systems."
-Thanks for reading
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Kristofer Munsterhjelm
2018-07-14 11:47:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Colosi
In promoting RCV, you can't just credit it in cases where the outcome
would have been the same given plurality / first past the post.
I can't speak for the others in this list, but London Breed was the
front runner and would have won in a traditional FPTP/plurality
election.  She nearly lost due to RCV and effectively spoke out against
it when saying it was the method we are stuck with.  You can make the
claim that it was "thanks to RCV" due to the fact that SF previously
would have had a separate run off election between her and the next top
candidate (would have been Leno or Kim), which she could have lost, but
none of Breed's supporters are saying "thanks to RCV".  So it is hard to
argue that this is good press to anyone beyond those who were already
fans of RCV.  And that causes me to question all the others in the list.
Living in SF, I can say that many people who filled out ballots
correctly really didn't understand how it worked.  Education on this
stuff is tough.  The press didn't feel positive.
That's a problem with many ranked vote methods, and moving to
multiwinner will make it worse still. I suppose voters in places like
the NZ counties that use Meek just trust the method without entirely
knowing how it works, but such trust would have to depend on results. In
that respect, STV has it easier than IRV because it's more clear that it
has an effect: a proportional council looks very different from a
two-party-controlled one.
Post by Christopher Colosi
As a side note on this specific election with regards to RCV, it made me
question if we should still have a separate runoff when less than some
amount (maybe 2%) separates the candidates after all rounds.  When after
RCV it was still so tight of an election, the community may have been
better served (even if the outcome was the same) to get a week or two of
campaigning and a chance to choose solely between these two candidates.
Warren makes a related argument that although you'd expect IRV to
dominate top-two because IRV has many rounds and top-two has just two,
in practice, the IRV winner tends to coincide with the Plurality winner
more often than the top-two winner coincides with the Plurality winner:
http://rangevoting.org/TTRvsIRVrevdata.html

Being a Condorcet fellow, I'd suggest a runoff between the IRV winner
and whoever most voters prefer to the IRV winner, if that candidate
either beats the IRV winner pairwise or is within, say 2% of doing so.
But I don't suppose the election authorities would be all that
interested in doing so if IRV has been marketed as a cost-saving measure
("get the results of a runoff without having to actually hold a runoff!").

(I would prefer the runoff to be between the CW if there is one and he's
not the IRV winner, otherwise as above, but that might just be too complex.)
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Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
2018-07-14 18:05:24 UTC
Permalink
Ignorance about voting systems is widespread. "IRV" was invented in the
19th century, and is the single-winner version of Single Transferable
Vote, which is a not-so-bad method for creating, in multiwinner
elections, something like proportional representation, though a far
superior variant was invented in the 1880s that would, if impemented,
create full representation. "No taxation without representation," but
systems that depend on contested elections leave many and often most
voters without any chosen representation, and, at best, a weak
compromise. But because we have never seen anything better, we think
that we have a democracy, and we do, compared with truly awful systems.
But the systems we have can fail badly, and we never seem to fix them.

Now, back in the 19th century, single-winner STV was known to be a very
poor system. Within the context of a strong two-party system, it looks
good. However, whenever there are three factions, and the third faction
starts to approach parity, it can fail badly. IRV proponents look at
what can seem like successes, but ...

IRV was so-named to make it resemble the most widely-used "advanced
voting system" in actual use, top two runoff. In fact, top two runoff
showed a very interesting characteristic, in research conducted by
FairVote. In about a third of the runoffs, the frontrunner in the
primary lost in the runoff. That is rare in actual IRV elections. Why?
Well, IRV proponents also claim that Robert's Rules of Order (RRONR)
recommends IRV. In fact, it recommends a version that requires a true
majority of the votes for someone to win. If there is no true majority
(i.e., a majority of all ballots containing a vote for the leader), then
the election must be repeated. With a top-two runoff? No. That, in fact,
would cement in the pathology. With a completely new election, new
nominations, etc. RRONR actually doesn't like the IRV method, but
suggests it only because it is in actual usage in some organizations,
and if it is impossible to hold a runoff, IRV can be considered. In
fact, they know that there are better methods for that contingency, but
they are not in wide use, and RRONR is descriptive, not prescriptive.;
(and if one is following the described standard rules, no decision is
ever made by mere plurality, which IRV commonly does.

And the voters of San Francisco were lied to in the voter information
pamphlet that claimed a "majority of the votes" would still be required
to win. The IRV initiative actually removed that requirement from the
law. But they then redefine "votes." If you didn't vote for a
frontrunner, one of the top two, our ballot is disqualified. The system
pretends you didn't vote. I've pointed out that by these rules, all
elections would complete with unanimous agreement of "all the votes,"
just do the elimination one more time.

I haven't looked at recent elections, but Burlington Vermont was a city
with three major parties. It elected a candidate from the Progressive
Party when it was clear from the votes that a majority of voters
preferred the Democrat over him. Republican voters actually would have
seen a better result if they had stayed home and not voted. (Because
they preferred the Republican, the Democrat was disqualified before
their second-rank votes for hiim were counted, leading the the
Progressive winning. If one is a Progressive, one might think that a
good result, but the voters of Burlington proceeded to toss out the
method. By the way, top-two runoff would have the same problem.

People are interested in other voting systems, because some of them are
known to work better than IRV. Top two runoff, where write-in votes are
allowed in the runoff, is better than IRV. Of course, if one thinks that
runoff elections are Bad, then one might like IRV more. However, there
are other options that reduce the need for runoffs while preserving
basic democratic values, as IRV does not.

I'm fascinated how reformers, supposedly interested in improving
democratic process, will lie to promote their ideas. (But most pushing
IRV are not lying, they are ignorant, but some who make their living
lobbying for IRV do lie.)

It is fascinating to me that those with obviously little understanding
of the issues are ready to dismiss discussions of them by those with far
higher knowledge and experience as "crazy." It seems to be symptomatic
of our time, ignorance displayed with high confidence.

A naive appraisal would look at, say, Bush v. Gore in 2000 and think
that IRV would have fixed it. And it might have. However, the problem is
that with IRV, third parties would gain an initial toehold and would
gain much more of the vote. That might be considered good.; But, then,
the spoiler effect would return with a vengeance, with results like
those in Burlington, demolishing the benefit. I'm not going into them,
but there are demonstrated systems with far better and safer
performance, such as Bucklin Voting, which could be called "Instant
Runoff Approval." It counts all the votes, and is precinct summable,
unlike IRV, which is expensive and difficult to canvass, and which ends
up ignoring many or even most of the votes cast. They aren't even
counted. Bucklin was very popular for a time about a hundred years ago,
and was eliminated, not because it didn't work, but because it did, and
that's obvious from the history. (In some elections under some
conditions, there was still majority failure, but that was not actually
a poor result from the system, but a characteristic of some primary
elections. A version of Bucklin that was actually two-round if needed
would have addressed this.

And then there are score systems, which allow maximum voting
flexibility. It is now possible to design voting systems that are vast
improvements over those in use. The system I mention above as designed
in the 1880s would transform representative democracy, making party
affiliation unnecessary, probably removing the corrosive influence of
money in elections (because it does not waste any votes and you can vote
for your favorite, period, no assessment of "viability" being necessary)
... but who actually cares about real democracy?

Very few.

Advanced voting systems can and should be implemented in NGOs, because
until people have experience with them, they won't have a snowball's
chance in hell of being implemented in public elections.
Post by Sennet Williams
Sorry I don't get online much, but everyone should know that RCV is
getting a LOT of good publicity.
1-Maine just had the first statewide IRV election in U.S. history.
2-since then, there have been op-ed(s?) in the NYT calling for RCV
nationwide
3-London Breed has just become the first african american female mayor
of SF: thanks to RCV.
4-Jesse Arreguin is the first latino mayor of Berkeley, thanks to RCV.
5-Jean Quan was the first asian mayor of Oakland, thanks to RCV.
6-Libby Schaaf, Oakland's new mayor, was elected thanks to RCV.
If you want to pay attention, IRV/RCV/ranked pairs are inevitably the
future, that is why  I don't understand this craziness discussing
outdated election "systems."
-Thanks for reading
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Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
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