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Thread: Range Voting: give voters what they want.

  1. #1
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    Default Range Voting: give voters what they want.

    Experimenting with democracy came up on the "out grown Town Meeting" thread, and I tossed "Range Voting" into the mix. Since it's a separate topic, I thought I'd start a new thread.

    If we're going to experiment with democracy, I'd love to try Range Voting. William Poundstone wrote an excellent book called "Gaming the Vote" that shows how our current "one man, one vote" method doesn't do a particularly good job of communicating what people want. Here's the lead from rangevoting.com.

    If you were trying to design the worst way to vote, you might:

    • Force voters to say the least possible amount – name just one candidate, and say nothing about how much you like or dislike any of the others.
    • Make it reward voters for not voting for whom they really want.
    • Make it operate, over time, in such a way as to diminish your number of choices to the minimum – only 2 (or 1, meaning no choice at all).
    • Make it easy for fraudsters to invalidate ballots ("overvoting").

    But wait! That's our voting system now!

    There's a better way: score voting (also known as "range voting").

    You've all seen score voting in action as the Olympic scoring system. Judges give the competitors scores and the highest average score wins. Similarly, in a score voting election, voters would give the candidates scores, and the one with the highest average would win.

    Score voting permits voters to express their opinions about any number of candidates (not just one). It eliminates the "spoiler," "wasted vote," and "candidate cloning" problems. All candidates compete on a level playing field, whether Democrat, Republican, Independent, or other. It's simple enough to run on all of today's voting machines.

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    Default Bees

    Yes, isn't this the technique that Bee's use to select hives that they have evolved to over millions of years?

  3. #3
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    Default

    But, of course, aren't those bees mysteriously dying off now?

    Seriously though, I read Gaming the Vote, too, (it's fascinating, and I recommend it). We figure that most of the time our system produces the right (meaning publicly desired) outcome, but it's amazing how often it actually doesn't.

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    Default What? Not the right result?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    But, of course, aren't those bees mysteriously dying off now?
    Yes but not due to hive selection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    We figure that most of the time our system produces the right (meaning publicly desired) outcome, but it's amazing how often it actually doesn't.
    It doesn't? But that can't possibly be true in my case?
    (Wait I've opened myself for this one now...)

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    Default

    You mean when you won, or when you lost? :-)

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    Default Your know, don't give me that....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    You mean when you won, or when you lost? :-)
    But of course you already know the answer to this question.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    But, of course, aren't those bees mysteriously dying off now?
    The "honey bee colony collapse syndrome" mystery has been solved: its the parasite Nosema ceranae :

    Rumors that this parasite is also responsible for "Town Center collapse syndrome" are untrue.

  8. #8
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    Smile Oh man... I really tried to contain myself!

    Rumors that this parasite is also responsible for "Town Center collapse syndrome" are untrue.
    That's correct. Recent studies have identified a different parasite tentatively called "bernsteinus davium" which is believed to have infected the project and caused it to die off. Researchers are working to see if there's some way to remove this parasite from public forums to prevent further decay.

    [shameless!!]

    On a separate note, I wonder if only one candidate was running for a seat if there would be a minimum threshold that they would have to surpass in order to "win"? This would enable people to negatively vote for a candidate who was running unopposed (not possible in the current scheme) by simply giving them a rating below the threshold. Do any structured elections use this methodology today?

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    Default Analog Voting Systems do exist now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Rosenblatt View Post
    On a separate note, I wonder if only one candidate was running for a seat if there would be a minimum threshold that they would have to surpass in order to "win"? This would enable people to negatively vote for a candidate who was running unopposed (not possible in the current scheme) by simply giving them a rating below the threshold. Do any structured elections use this methodology today?
    The closest thing to an 'analog' voting scheme is (in Massachusetts) known as the Pyramidal override vote (PDF attached) which allows one to vote on more than on level of funding with the largest funding level that wins declared the winner. One of the objections that I see is that anything more than a single 'one vote-one person' scheme on a sole item of decision would be perceived as being complicated and there are a cohort of people who will not accept it. Pyramidal is viewed as being too complicated. The communities who have tried it, have done it only once or rather sparingly.

    That being said, I think that 'analog' voting schemes are wonderful ideas and if the population would appreciate the benefits and cut through the complications then I would be all for it.

    Carl, your point about a minimum level is an interesting one. Perhaps if a sole candidate received a NET negative rating then he/she could be disqualified as a rule of the voting system. That seems like a fair metric in the scenario you laid out.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Sorry to play Mom here, but let's keep the personal stuff off the forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Rosenblatt View Post
    That's correct. Recent studies have identified a different parasite tentatively called "bernsteinus davium" which is believed to have infected the project and caused it to die off. Researchers are working to see if there's some way to remove this parasite from public forums to prevent further decay.

    [shameless!!]
    I don't want to stifle useful debate (which most of this is), but let's please debate issues, not personalities. Thanks.

    Kim Reichelt
    as Adminstrator

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    Default

    You're right Kim, I too, don't understand what Carl's doing.

    But back to voting. Range voting giving “highest average” winner. Must admit I can't get my head around what kind of winner that would give. Only joking, but “average”... “mediocre”?

    I do know that some places use “proportional representation voting” sometimes called “Instant Runoff” voting where you list the candidates in the order of your preference and there's a somewhat complicated way of counting the ballots. What it's supposed to do is “guarantee majority rule, while giving minority groups representation in proportion to their actual strength”.

    Cambridge uses such a system. They have a good web site about it all. http://www.cambridgema.gov/election/...esentation.cfm if you're interested.

    Have a nice day!

  12. #12
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    Default Sorry mom.

    In case you missed the nuance, I was attempting to respond to (yet another) shot by Mr. B at the Town Center project with a humorous retort. Apparently, the humor was lost. Thus the problem with blogs in general - there is no body language to interpret, no tone inflection to hear, and no ability to differentiate between snipe and smile.

    Anyhoo - the "highest average" simply means what it says (I'm sure you know this). If you vote for a candidate with a number from 1-10, it's entirely possible (although highly unlikely) that the "highest average" would be a 10. This would indicate that EVERYONE that voted for Mr. "X" thought he was a 10. Nadia did this in the Olympics a few years ago, so theoretically, it is possible. More than likely, you'll have averages in the 7-8 range, which, if the nearest competitor is in the 4-5 range would be a "solid thrashing". A much closer compared average would be similar to winning (losing) an election by a handful of votes.

    The more I think about it, the more I like it, and the more I wonder why this hasn't caught on more in the media. As long as you keep it simple, it's real easy to explain - especially in light of the customer satisfaction craze that's swept the country. Everyone and his uncle is filling in hundreds of surveys rating everything from flavor to on time delivery on a 1-10 scale, so it really shouldn't be a mystery how a system like this would work.

    In closing, remember that life is short, and if you take it too seriously, you'll probably feel as though it's much longer, but you won't enjoy it as much.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    But, of course, aren't those bees mysteriously dying off now?
    Salon.com considers the impact of pesticides.

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