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Re: [RangeVoting] Re: Direct Representation

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  • Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
    You are obviously getting it, Brian. Congratulations. Seriously, a lot of people can t do that so quickly. ... Indeed. It appears to have the possibility of
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 14, 2013
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      You are obviously getting it, Brian. Congratulations. Seriously, a
      lot of people can't do that so quickly.

      At 11:06 AM 6/14/2013, Brian Goldman wrote:
      >Your conclusions about the problem of "integer" power is exactly what drew
      >me to DR as well. But now that I understand Asset voting better, I think
      >it may be a simpler solution to the problem.

      Indeed. It appears to have the possibility of solving a much larger
      problem, the problem of scale in democracy, the gap between the
      general population and the deliberative center. Asset creates an
      *intermediate structure* that, in one direction, feeds the center
      (and creates it), and that, in the other direction, *explains* the
      center to the population. I see Asset as potentially "vanishing" the
      general sense of alienation from government that people feel.

      >"We might set the maximum ... and .... minimum ... So delegates would have
      >roughly the same level of support,"
      >This was my intent behind quorum and district use as well, although I fear
      >your limits would be so high as to bar entry to less commonly held (but
      >still significant) political views.

      *No* political views are excluded from the electoral college in
      Asset, unless they are radically isolated and no holder of the view
      is willing or able to become a public voter, i.e., to register and
      collect votes as an elector.

      Some views will not be represented in the elected Assembly, the
      collection of "seats." Those who hold those views will have the
      opportunity of knowing exactly *why* the views are not passed on.
      They may have supported electors who could not convince their
      supported seats to advance the views. Further, where direct voting by
      electors is allowed, those electors with the rejected views can still
      vote. *One elector,* representing *one person* -- presumably himself
      or herself -- can cast a vote opposing some action, and that vote
      would be recorded and reported.

      "I was the only elector to oppose the XXX war. Yeah, some people
      yelled at me, but we have a total respect for democracy here, and,
      the way things turned out, I was elected to the Assembly next round.
      It was the last time I'll accept that! Too much work. I'd rather go
      fishing. Still, it was a great opportunity to see how it all works,
      and to help with this and that decision; the staff was great, and the
      pay was decent! I can't imagine the old days when most people weren't
      represented, and when every legislator was sweating being re-elected,
      having to look for money to campaign, what a nightmare! I'll continue
      to serve as an elector until they are wheeling me away, because I can
      still go fishing whenever I like. I have a great friendship with the
      seat I transfer my votes to, in fact, we are going fishing tomorrow."

      >"Transfers would occur just like under STV, but only the surplus above the
      >maximum would be transferred"
      >I could see some confusion here. Consider a case where half the votes for
      >X are X > Y > Z and the other half are X > Z > Y. If X got a surplus of
      >votes, where does the surplus go? This is why I like the Asset form of
      >transfer (where the candidates decide where the excess goes). It gives the
      >power to your favorite candidate to decide who she thinks will best help
      >further your shared agenda.

      No, the transfers are as in certain forms of STV. The difference with
      vote-for-one Asset and STV is that transfers are controlled by the
      elector ("candidate") not the ballot. Asset can be used with STV, it
      was invented for that, particularly to serve voters who only know
      their favorite, to avoid ballot exhaustion. However, once the power
      of Asset is realized, it is no longer necessary and possibly
      counterproductive to use an STV ballot. Instead, to avoid spoiled
      votes, I have suggested that overvotes be handled by fractionating
      the vote, thus creating a kind of virtual committee. That *dilutes*
      representation, but it's better, much better, than tossing the
      ballot. That method was called FAAV. Fractional Approval Asset
      Voting. It's a simplified version of Smith's original Asset voting.
      He's a mathematician and had no concept of the representational
      issues, he was purely looking at Baysian regret. So his system
      allowed fractional votes, being rational numbers in the range of 0-1,
      with the restriction that they sum to 1. FAAV simplified that by
      dividing up the vote to accomplish that.

      I think that such multiple votes will be, in a mature Asset system, a
      small percentage. Some voters might see an advantage to deliberately
      doing it, but, remember, *it's only one vote.*

      >"An area might be former a natural district, where all the residents
      >identify it as "their" area"
      >Conceptually, Asset voting allows voters to form these natural districts
      >themselves by voting for a candidate from "their" area who shares their
      >opinion on what is best for that area. As such, candidates will get votes
      >in this manner directly proportional to the size of that area and how many
      >people agree with them from that area. When it comes time for asset
      >negotiation, they will either join the legislature, transferring excess
      >votes to other candidates likely to help them in the legislature, or they
      >will use their assets to ensure someone who does join the legislature is
      >there to represent their constituents.

      *Whatever they choose.* Asset creates *unconditional representation*
      in the full process, based on unconstrained choice, beyond natural
      consequences. Some level of strategy is required, on the part of
      electors. But it's minimal, and is purely collaborative.

      In what I'd consider a "full-blown" Asset implementation, all
      electors would be able, in person or over the internet, to vote on
      motions before the legislature. They are public voters, registered
      and known, and those votes would be public, as are the votes of
      seats. When an elector votes directly it would, in theory, deprecate
      the voting power of the seat or seats holding their votes, but I
      expect that this would only rarely flip a result. (They would vote in
      person from a few terminals set up for such use, they would log in
      and vote, or they might vote from a smartphone. Or from home or
      elsewhere over the internet, logged in to a secure server. Because
      this is public, this is *not* like most internet voting proposals,
      which have severe security problems.)

      This is the key, and revolutionary, concept here: a hybrid democracy
      has been set up, combining features of direct and representative
      democracy. Deliberation, where there can be a severe noise problem if
      there is wide participation, is restricted to elected seats. That is,
      only seats have a right to enter motions, to second motions, and to
      possibly to vote on certain process motions (which are routinely
      handled, sometimes, even by a chair saying "absent objection, ....")
      No, Joe from Bearbutt, Remote Province, cannot object as an elector,
      over the internet, even if watching the whole proceedings. *However*,
      any enumerated motion, where, in modern assemblies, voting is often
      by machine, i.e., some terminal, could be open to wide voting. That
      would definitely include any substantive motion.

      I've mentioned that I think this would only rarely flip a result,
      because most seats already will represent their electors quite well.
      Rather, this simply completes the connection and allows for electors
      with small-minority views, differing from each other, to still
      collaborate on creating seat who might represent different views,
      without needing to cover *every position.* Essentially, TAANSTAFL. If
      you still want to stand for a small-minority position, fine! But you
      will have to *pay attention* and know when an important vote is coming up.

      The goal of Asset, then, it that *everyone is represented.*

      An Assembly has the right to protect itself. It can reject specific
      seats, probably by a supermajority. Every time it does that, it would
      place the goal of full representation at risk, so there had better be
      a good reason! Seats will need to follow Assembly rules, or risk
      ejection. Note that with full-on Asset, ejection does *not*
      disempower the electors who voted for that seat, they may still vote.
      And electors can vote on the issue of ejection, I'd assume. That is a
      *very substantial* motion.

      There is one kind of issue on which electors could not vote. Those
      are what are called "national security" issues, or other issues where
      confidentiality is crucial. I'm not going to address that fully, and
      a fully PR assembly raises more questions about this than a 2-party
      assembly. Suffice it to say that the legitimate needs for secrecy of
      some sessions can be addressed without doing violence to the
      principle of full representation.

      I want it to be noticed that I am not attempting to bind the
      Assembly. An Asset Assembly has the full right to create its own
      rules, and elector-voting, I'd assume, would be implemented when the
      Assembly was ready to do it.

      Once those in government see what a difference it makes that the
      public is *fully on-board,* and fully trusts the government, because
      it has become trustworthy-by-design, they will want to complete the
      process, only making sure not to do harm.

      Standard deliberative process actually covers most of this.

      And by the way, there would still be "officer" elections,
      single-winner. But Asset makes a full parliamentary system possible.
      Officers, then, are *hired.* And can be fired at any time. All it
      takes is a majority vote in the Assembly. So Asset, with a single
      ballot, generally vote-for-one, can cover the *entire structure of
      government at a geographical level.* (I'm leaving out the judicial
      branch, a separate issue, I really mean the legislative and executive
      branches.)
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