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S2000magician
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Yorba Linda, CA
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A comment in another thread got me thinking about voting.

(No, I won't mention which other thread.)

The comment advocated the one person, one vote approach.

I recall reading an interesting analysis of various voting systems, and one that struck me as having considerable merit was one person, many votes, one candidate each. So if there were five candidates all of whom you liked (or, at least, could tolerate), you could cast five votes: one for each of those five candidates.

It strikes me that such a system at least has the potential for electing more centrist candidates: people on each extreme might prefer the candidates on the same extreme, but might be able to tolerate less extreme candidates, and wouldn't cast any votes for candidates at the other extreme: centrist candidates might get (possibly grudging) support from both sides.

What do y'all think? Is it time to overhaul the one person, one vote idea?
Slim King
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I'm just trying to keep it ONE CITIZEN ONE VOTE.......Tens of thousands of illegal aliens vote here in Florida. They make up 6% of our population. You want them voting 5 times? ..... Just kidding...
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
landmark
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Quote:
On Feb 15, 2015, S2000magician wrote:
A comment in another thread got me thinking about voting.

(No, I won't mention which other thread.)

The comment advocated the one person, one vote approach.

I recall reading an interesting analysis of various voting systems, and one that struck me as having considerable merit was one person, many votes, one candidate each. So if there were five candidates all of whom you liked (or, at least, could tolerate), you could cast five votes: one for each of those five candidates.

It strikes me that such a system at least has the potential for electing more centrist candidates: people on each extreme might prefer the candidates on the same extreme, but might be able to tolerate less extreme candidates, and wouldn't cast any votes for candidates at the other extreme: centrist candidates might get (possibly grudging) support from both sides.

What do y'all think? Is it time to overhaul the one person, one vote idea?

Bill, yes there are some interesting arrangements that have been thought about pretty seriously, and the mathematics of them would probably intrigue you. One person, one vote doesn't necessarily mean one person, one candidate vote. What it means is that no one person gets to have more influence than another in a voting scheme. In any voting scheme we hope that the vote somehow captures "the will of the electorate" in the best possible way. But it is not intuitively obvious how to make this happen when there are more than two candidates. There are a lot of alternative schemes aside from a straight yes/no plurality count.

For example, I am part of a play-reading group, and it was time to select a new play to read. We made our decision by voting the following way: everyone may vote for three candidates--the first choice gets 3 points, the second choice gets 2 points and the third gets 1 point. The winner is the play that gets the most number of points. Now in this kind of voting it may be that no one gets their first choice; but it increases the likelihood that the final choice will be no worse than everyone's third choice. That makes for a happier play-reading group.

Here's a nice introduction to the subject for the general reader: http://www.ctl.ua.edu/math103/Voting/mathemat.htm
TonyB2009
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Ireland uses a system called proportional representation. You vote for as many of the candidates as you like, ranking your vote from one down. And each electoral area elects between three and five representatives. If someone gets elected on first preference votes, great. If not, they go to second preference votes, then down to third, etc, until all the seats are filled. It is a bit complex, but the result is that minor parties tend to get at least a few elected each time. Rather than being dominated by two or three powerful parties, we end up with the powerful parties having a large representation, but the minor parties also being represented to act as a counterbalance to the large parties. It produces a fairer result.

One man one vote is used in the UK, and we all marvel that such a sophisticated country uses such a primitive system.
tommy
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What a wonderful piece of nonsense.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
rockwall
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Quote:
On Feb 15, 2015, tommy wrote:
What a wonderful piece of nonsense.


Which part? Sophisticated country or primitive system? Smile
tommy
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I find no considerable merit in backing every horse the next race anyway.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
landmark
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Arbitrage?
Slim King
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Only those effected by the vote should vote??????How about only land owners vote? Or how about only those who pay taxes can vote?
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Magnus Eisengrim
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S2000, you might want to check this book out.

Image


From the Introduction:

Quote:
1.1. INTRODUCTION

It may come as a surprise to some that there is a science of elections, whose provenance can be traced back to the Marquis de Condorcet in eighteenth-century France, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) in nineteenth-century England, and Kenneth Arrow in twentieth-century America. Since Arrow published his seminal book, Social Choice and Individual Values, more than fifty years ago (Arrow, 1951, 1963)—for which in large part he received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1972—there have been thousands of articles and hundreds of books published on everything from the mathematical properties of voting systems to empirical tests of the propensity of different systems to elect centrist candidates.1

The 2000 U.S. presidential election highlighted, among other things, the frailties of voting machines and the seeming arbitrariness of such venerable U.S. institutions as the Electoral College and the Supreme Court. Political commentary has focused on these aspects but given very little attention to alternative voting systems, about which the science of elections has much to say.

Several alternative systems for electing a single winner have been shown to be far superior to plurality voting (PV)—the most common voting system used in the United States as well as in many other places—in terms of a number of criteria. PV, which allows citizens to vote for only one candidate, suffers from a dismaying flaw. In any race with more than two candidates, PV may elect the candidate least acceptable to the majority of voters. This frequently happens in a three-way contest, when the majority splits its votes between two centrist candidates, enabling a candidate on the left or right to defeat both centrists. PV also forces minor-party candidates into the role of spoilers, as was demonstrated in the 2000 presidential election with the candidacy of Ralph Nader. Nader received only 2.7 percent of the pop ular vote, but this percentage was decisive in an extremely close contest between the two major-party candidates.

Of the alternatives to PV, I recommend approval voting (AV), on both practical and theoretical grounds, in single-winner elections. Proposed inde pendently by several analysts in the 1970s (Brams and Fishburn, 1983, 2007, ch. 1), AV is a voting procedure in which voters can vote for, or approve of, as many candidates as they wish in multicandidate elections—that is, elections with more than two candidates. Each approved candidate receives one vote, and the candidate with the most votes wins.

The candidate with the most votes need not win in an election. Merrill and Nagel (1987) make the useful distinction between a balloting method, which describes how voters can legally vote (e.g., for one candidate or for more than one), and a decision rule that determines a winner (e.g., the candidate with a plurality wins, or the candidate preferred to all others in pairwise comparisons wins). For convenience, I use the shorthand of AV to mean approval balloting with a plurality decision rule, but I consider other ways of aggregating approval votes later.

In the United States, the case for AV seems particularly strong in primary and nonpartisan elections, which often draw large fields of candidates. Here are some commonsensical arguments for AV that have been made:

1. It gives voters more flexible options. They can do exactly what they can under PV—vote for a single favorite—but if they have no strong preference for one candidate, they can express this fact by voting for all candidates they fi nd acceptable. In addition, if a voter’s most preferred candidate has little chance of winning, that voter can vote for both a first choice and a more viable candidate without worrying about wasting his or her vote on the less pop ular candidate.

2. It helps elect the strongest candidate. Today the candidate supported by the largest minority often wins, or at least makes the runoff if there is one. Under AV, by contrast, the candidate with the greatest overall support will generally win. In particular, Condorcet winners, who can defeat every other candidate in separate pairwise contests, almost always win under AV, whereas under PV they often lose because they split the vote with one or more other centrist candidates.

3. It will reduce negative campaigning. AV induces candidates to try to mirror the views of a majority of voters, not just cater to minorities whose voters could give them a slight edge in a crowded plurality contest. It is thus likely to cut down on negative campaigning, because candidates will have an incentive to try to broaden their appeals by reaching out for approval to voters who might have a different fi rst choice. Lambasting such a choice would risk alienating this candidate’s supporters and losing their approval.

4. It will increase voter turnout. By being better able to express their preferences, voters are more likely to vote in the first place. Voters who think they might be wasting their votes, or who cannot decide which of several candidates best represents their views, will not have to despair about making a choice. By not being forced to make a single—perhaps arbitrary—choice, they will feel that the election system allows them to be more honest, which will make voting more meaningful and encourage greater participation in elections.

5. It will give minority candidates their proper due. Minority candidates will not suffer under AV: their supporters will not be torn away simply because there is another candidate who, though less appealing to them, is generally considered a stronger contender. Because AV allows these supporters to vote for both candidates, they will not be tempted to desert the one who is weak in the polls, as under PV. Hence, minority candidates will receive their true level of support under AV, even if they cannot win. This will make election returns a better reflection of the overall acceptability of candidates, relatively undistorted by insincere or strategic voting, which is important information often denied to voters today.

6. It is eminently practicable. Unlike more complicated ranking systems, which suffer from a variety of theoretical as well as practical defects, AV is simple for voters to understand and use. Although more votes must be tallied under AV than under PV, AV can readily be implemented on existing voting machines. Because AV does not violate any state constitutions in the United States (or, for that matter, the constitutions of most countries in the world), it requires only an ordinary statute to enact.

Voting systems that involve ranking candidates may appear, at fi rst blush, more appealing than AV. One, the Borda count, awards points to candidates according to their ranking. Another is the Hare system of single transferable vote (STV)—with variants called the “alternative vote” and “instant runoff ”— in which candidates receiving the fewest first-choice votes are progressively eliminated. Their votes are transferred to second choices—and lower choices if necessary—until one candidate emerges with a majority of voters.

Compared with AV, these systems have serious drawbacks. The Borda count fosters “insincere voting” (for example, ranking a second choice at the bottom if that candidate is considered the strongest threat to one’s top choice) and is also vulnerable to “irrelevant candidates” who cannot win but can affect the outcome. STV may eliminate a centrist candidate early and thereby elect one less acceptable to the majority. It also suffers from “nonmonotonicity,” in which voters, by raising the ranking of a candidate, may actually cause that candidate to lose—just the opposite of what one would want to happen. I give examples of these drawbacks in the appendix to chapter 2.

As cherished a principle as “one person, one vote” is in single-winner elections, democracies, I believe, can benefit more from the alternative principle of “one candidate, one vote,” whereby voters make judgments about whether each candidate on the ballot is acceptable or not. The latter principle makes the tie-in of a vote not to the voter but rather to the candidates, which is arguably more egalitarian than artificially restricting voters to casting only one vote in multicandidate races. This principle also affords voters an opportunity to express their intensities of preference by approving of, for example, all candidates except one they might despise.

Although AV encourages sincere voting, it does not altogether eliminate strategic calculations. Because approval of a less-preferred candidate can hurt a more-preferred approved candidate, the voter is still faced with the decision of where to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable candidates. A rational voter will vote for a second choice if his or her first choice appears to be a long shot—as indicated, for example, by polls—but the voter’s calculus and its effects on outcomes is not yet well understood for either AV or other voting procedures.

While AV is a strikingly simple election reform for fi nding consensus choices in single-winner elections, in elections with more than one winner— such as for a council or a legislature—AV would not be desirable if the goal is to mirror a diversity of views, especially of minorities; for this purpose, other voting systems should be considered, as I will discuss in later chapters.

On the other hand, minorities may derive indirect benefit from AV in single-winner elections, because mainstream candidates, in order to win, will be forced to reach out to minority voters for the approval they (the mainstream candidates) need in order to win. Put another way, these candidates must seek the consent of minority voters to be the most approved, or consensus, choices. While promoting majoritarian candidates, therefore, AV induces them to be responsive to minority views.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
guyjr
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