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Roman
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05 Mar 2012, 9:05 am

Have anyone ever considered the following voting system. Each persion is allowed a TOTAL of one vote. But that one vote can be ''split'' between candidates. So a person can say, for example, that 1/2 of the vote goes to candidate 1, 1/4 goes to candidates 2 and 3, while candidate 4 doesn't get any vote. And thats just an example. A person is allowed to come up with his own way of ''spliting'' his vote however way he chooses. To make his job easier, the numbers he enters will be normalized by the mashine. So, for example, a person can put number 7 next to candidate 1, number 5 next to candidate 2 and number 2 next to candidate 3. Then mashine will automatically say that he gave 7/14=1/2 vote to candidate 1, 5/14 vote to candidate 2 and 2/14=1/7 vote to candidate 3.

I just think this way of voting would allow more accurate assessment of whom people really want to be elected. For example, suppose candidates A and B have nearly the same politics that people favor; on the other hand, candidate C has ''unfavored'' politics. Now, suppose that the politics of candidates A and B are so similar, that people who ''favor'' them have very hard time deciding whom to vote for. So they all decided to pick A instead of B because A is younger and has more energy. As a result, candidate C will do better in the election than candidat B. But that is not an accurate estemation of people's opinion: after all, if A wasn't running, then ALL of the votes for A would have gone to B and B would have won over C by substantial margin. Now, if we have the kind of voting I propose, this would never happen. In this case people would simply split their votes between A and B, hence we would get accurate picture that both A and B are doing better than C.

Now you might ask: wouldn't each individual person be deciding to give ''all'' of his vote to his top choice rather than spliting it, anyway? Well, not necesserely. If a person favors two candidates, he might want to ''cover all bases'' by making sure that if one of them is going to lose, the other would win. That would be a motivation in spliting vote. Or for exaple suppose one of the candidates is Hitler, so our foremost goal is to prevent Hitler from winning, while the choice between other candidates is secondary concern. Well, voting for just ONE person ''other htan Hitler'' might prove to be ineffective if it turns out that that ''one person'' obtained substantially less votes than Hitler did. Thus, the most effective strategy would be to split a vote between all candidates other than Hitler so that if one of them won't win the other will.

Now, of course, what I just said will vary greatly depending on people's awareness of public opinion and so forth. So in some situation people might, in fact, choose to give all of their vote to one person. But still, at least there has to be an option of spliting a vote if someone wants to do that.



ruveyn
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05 Mar 2012, 9:06 am

Look of Arrow's Theorem. All methods of voting when there are more than two alternatives are flawed.

ruveyn



nat4200
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05 Mar 2012, 9:30 am

Redacted



Last edited by nat4200 on 21 Apr 2012, 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

AstroGeek
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05 Mar 2012, 10:05 am

ruveyn wrote:
Look of Arrow's Theorem. All methods of voting when there are more than two alternatives are flawed.

ruveyn

True, but that doesn't mean that you can't improve on them though.



Roman
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05 Mar 2012, 10:57 am

nat4200 wrote:
A related idea is Preferential Voting / Instant-runoff voting [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_runoff_voting ] where a vote ranks the candidates in order of preference but that vote ultimately gets attributed to a single candidate, either getting the winner over the line to win the election or supporting the next most "popular" candidate.


Well instant-runoff voting is certainly ''better'' than the standard system, but still ''not as good'' as what I am suggesting. In particular, suppose your second choice is ''almost as good'' as the first choice, while the third choice is ''far worse''. This won't be reflected by merely listing them. On the other hand, with my system you will be able to reflect this: you will assign 0.41 to your first choice, 0.39 to your second choice, 0.2 to your third choice and 0 to the fourth one.



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05 Mar 2012, 11:16 am

i like the idea,

often one stand at a dilemma in the voting booth and this would eliminate much of that.


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05 Mar 2012, 11:45 am

Redacted



Last edited by nat4200 on 21 Apr 2012, 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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05 Mar 2012, 1:57 pm

Oodain wrote:
i like the idea,

often one stand at a dilemma in the voting booth and this would eliminate much of that.

At least you have proportional representation in Denmark. In Canada if you live in the wrong riding your vote is meaningless (we use the British style first-past-the-post system, so our current "majority" government received only 40% of the vote).



Roman
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05 Mar 2012, 2:06 pm

nat4200 wrote:
Yes, individual ballot card as per your suggestion could better codify an individual's preference, but at the expense of increased complexity and thus likely voter confusion,


I am not sure why you say voters will be confused. The only reason they would be is that anything ''new'' seems confusing. But that issue would go away once they get used to the new system of voting. The old system of voting also required time to get used to when it was first introduced.

nat4200 wrote:
invalid votes


What do you mean by this

nat4200 wrote:
and possible voting strategies (ie. not reflecting one's preferences but instead distorting these hoping to make the vote count more),


There is nothing wrong with voting strategies. When you make financial investment you also decide how to split money between different things you want to invest to. So this is in a sense a ''voter investment''. The essence of free country is that you can invest however you want, without anyone going behind you and asking ''do these reflect your true preferences". The ''strategy'' on the part of individuals goes hand in hand with free market economy which goes hand in hand with democracy in general.

nat4200 wrote:
What you have not done however is suggest how these individual preferences are counted up to getting a candidate. I presume the most voting points wins, but that still has problems. Say there are three candidates in a your election and when the "normalised" fractional scores are added up:

Candidate A has 38%
Candidate B has 27%
and Candidate C has 34%

While A has the most votes, 61% of the votes weren't for A, thus how "fair" is it to say that "A" wins?


The issue of ''what if everyone got less than 50% of vote" is present in standard voting procedure as well. I don't see how it is related to what I am proposing. [/quote]

nat4200 wrote:
What about say if A's voters all voted for A with 100% of their votes, but B supporters split their votes 60/40 with C, and C supporters split their votes 80/20 with B? (ie. neither B nor C supporters wanted A to win, and this preference was held by the 61% majority)


In this case it is completely fair that A wins, since A is better liked ''overall''. In fact this is the example when STANDARD procedure is ''wrong'' by making either B or C a winner instead of ''better liked'' candidate A. My procedure is better for the fact that it, in fact, allows A to win.



Roman
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05 Mar 2012, 2:10 pm

I just thought of a way to further improve the system of voting, so that you can also vote someone out, not just vote someone in. So each person can put either positive OR negative numbers next to each candidate. The normalization will be a division by sum of ABSOLUTE VALUES of the numbers a person put. Thus, if there are three candidates, and I put 5 next to A, 7 next to B and -15 next to C, then the normalization constant will be 5+7+15=27; thus, a candidate A will gain 5/27 points, candidate B will gain 7/27 points and candidate C will LOSE 15/27 points.



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05 Mar 2012, 2:20 pm

See, I'd rather lines of Don Julio shots with candidates names - just that if you vote for all candidates its only the first one you downed that counts. :)


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enrico_dandolo
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05 Mar 2012, 3:05 pm

You system is not optimal. There is no reason to divide one's vote. It decreases one's influence by dividing it. It is tactically inefficient, even though it might be more reprensative of what you think. If you want to vote against Hitler, the best thing to do is for everyone against him to unite and discuss beforehand and present as few possible candidates as possible against him, then to vote for that single person. That is basically what happened in the United States: there were no provisions for parties or such things in the constituion, but the mathematical consequences of their voting system made parties form and decide on one candidate for each tendency. What you propose would not change anything.

(Technically, it would favor the intelligent over the silly, because the intelligent would not split their vote, and the silly would, so I'm not wholly against it.)


The best system I know what the system use for the Venitian ducal elections. It would have to be modified if it were applied to a modern state with universal suffrage, but it is still a nice inspiration.

All members of the Great Council (a total in the thousands) would have a chance to be chosen, at random, amongst the 30 electors for the first round. When one member of a family was chosen, all his relatives would have to leave the room, and thus could not take part in that round. Of the 30, another random selection was done to bring it down to 9. Of the 9, the first 4 would give 5 names each, and the last 5 would give give 4 each, which would have to be approved by a majority of 7. Of these 40, another random selection would keep only 12, which chose another 25, random selection down to 9; the 9 chose 45 names, down to 11. Finally, the 11 chose 41 people, and the last 41 actually chose the doge. (Every time, the vote needed a varying supermajority; for the last round, there needed to be 25 out of 41.)

(More or less translated from Alvise Zorzi's Histoire de Venise, itself a translation from the Italian.)

This system avoided all influence from factions and eliminated the need for tactical voting. It was used for every election from 1268 to the fall of Venice, in 1797. It is, of course, very lenghty and complicated, but always brought forth the "best man for the job". However, the element of randomness allows to represent truly the population, without discrimination against minority opinions, but without their over-representation.

(I made nice graphs on that subject. If I find them, I'll post them.)



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05 Mar 2012, 3:52 pm

The system I like is sometimes called Range Voting. It could be a ballot where you give everyone a score instead of picking a single favorite.


The typical analogy for it is how you choose the best person in an Olympic contest. The judges don't just pick a single favorite they give every participant a score. The person with the highest average score wins.

I think Citizens at the ballot box should be able to act like the Olympics judges and use some kind of score system to declare the merit they see in each candidate. The candidate with the highest score should win.



Roman
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05 Mar 2012, 3:56 pm

VIDEODROME wrote:
The system I like is sometimes called Range Voting. It could be a ballot where you give everyone a score instead of picking a single favorite.


The typical analogy for it is how you choose the best person in an Olympic contest. The judges don't just pick a single favorite they give every participant a score. The person with the highest average score wins.

I think Citizens at the ballot box should be able to act like the Olympics judges and use some kind of score system to declare the merit they see in each candidate. The candidate with the highest score should win.


This is exactly what I have proposed in the original post. The only difference I htough of later on in one of my replies is that it should be possible to give both positive and negative scores. That way we can effectively vote out Hitler by giving him score -1 and everyone else score 0. But other than that, the idea of split votes I suggest is exactly what you just said about the jury. I didn't know that jury was using it I thought it was completely my idea. But yeah, if they do, that is what voters should do as well.



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05 Mar 2012, 4:06 pm

Yeah it did seem similar. I wasn't sure about the fraction of a vote versus declaring a score. This is fair because I sometimes wonder if people should all be able to score 1-10 or if the available points they can distribute to the candidates on their ballot should be limited somehow? I mean the way I worded it could a person just vote 10 for two of their favorites? So I guess either a split vote as you put it would work or if using a score system it might need to have the points limited.



Also one big thing I would be interested in is can we eliminate the Primary Election? If we can have a system that accommodates multiple candidates let's vote for everyone in the General Election.