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Stochastic voting system

The chad-less voting system.
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Voting systems tend to have several flaws relating to 'unfairness'.

Under many systems minorities get no say at all.
Sometimes small groups get the 'casting vote', effectively outweighing larger groups.
Similarly, tactical voting can be a strategy.

Wouldn't it be better to have a setup which did away with all of these?

I propose a system where the election term is divided up into small units (perhaps a week). For each of these mini-terms, for each seat a single vote is drawn. This elects the person for that position.

Benefits include:
every vote gives a real chance of election.
Tactical voting doesn't work
Vote counting is reduced to a simple cheat-spotting exercise; recounts are never required.
The parliamentary channel gets a new and exciting weekly show.

I would imagine that you would need to elect a leader (prime minister or president) with a separate draw. They would get to propose the things to be decided on in their mini-term.

Loris, Jun 09 2003

Alternative voting systems http://bcn.boulder....alvote/altvote.html
I took this link from 'Negative Votes'. It gives some flaws in real-world systems quite well. [Loris, Oct 04 2004]

Increased Entropy Government http://www.halfbake...ntropy_20Government
I think this is quite similar to my idea, except for the weekly election thing, which I don't see a reason for. [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004]


       Parliament would never be able to get anything done. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
DrCurry, Jun 09 2003

       I don't see how randomly picking government officials could leave us any worse off than the way we do it now.
ato_de, Jun 09 2003

       People are not randomly picked, the vote to pick the person is randomly picked.
I'd imagine you'd still have a nomination system, so there would still only be a few choices. In the UK at least there is a fee to cut out the time-wasters. (This is refunded if they get a certain number of votes).

       While the proposed system does have more 'breaking in' cost, I wouldn't be surprised if more things got done.
Loris, Jun 09 2003

       I like the randomness element of the idea, but it's otherwise extremely flawed as a mechanism to elect officials that actually represent the views of their constituency.
snarfyguy, Jun 09 2003

       In what way, Snarfyguy?
In the most recent presidential election in the USA the two main candidates got very similar numbers of votes. Approximately half of the voters don't get their views represented at all. In a stochastic system they would for about half the time.
(This simplifies things by ignoring politicians who had no realistic chance of winning, but the point holds nontheless)

       So I think it is demonstratably better than the American Way.
Loris, Jun 09 2003

       (Grossly simplified for clarity) Suppose 80% of voters favor candidate A while 20% favor candidate B. In a standard election, A will win. With the Loris system, there's a one in five chance that B will win.   

       The not-such-a-longshot outcome of B wining the election isn't fair to the overwhelming majority of voters.
snarfyguy, Jun 09 2003

       [snarf] //isn't fair// Why not? They had their 80% chance of winning.
Worldgineer, Jun 09 2003

       Aaah, but you're neglecting the division of each term up into many mini-terms, snarfyguy.   

       In your example candidate A would typically be in parliament for about four years out of a five year term, or rather around 120 weeks out of 150, if the government sat for 30 weeks a year.   

       Admittedly your milage may vary, but it'll all even out in the long run.
Loris, Jun 09 2003

       (On looking at Worldgineer's link to his idea*)   

       The 'Increased Entropy Government' does seem to be quite similar. Except that I think my name for it is better. :-)
So someone might want to mfd this I suppose. It all depends on whether you think my mini-term concept is important enough. I'd claim it is, basically for the reason snarfyguy demonstrated...

       *I did look for similar ideas first, honest.
Loris, Jun 09 2003

       // [snarf] //isn't fair// Why not? They had their 80% chance of winning //   

       Ha ha, yes, I like that, but in a standard election system, they would have had a 100% chance of winning and more voters would have had their say.   

       The means to protect against the 1% lunatic fringe victory issue (weekly elections) is perhaps mathematically sound, but doesn't account for real-world administrative and logistical issues.
snarfyguy, Jun 09 2003

       I'd say that the current system is less fair. In the current system the majority always has their say and the minority never does. This way everyone has the correct odds of having their say (not 100% chance if you're only 80% of the voters).   

       As for the weekly elections, I still don't see the point. Loris, please explain the advantage of the shortened terms.
Worldgineer, Jun 09 2003

       That's a lot of quickie Impeachments and Pardons.
thumbwax, Jun 09 2003

       I'd have thought it's to protect the commonweal from an unarguably dangerous administration (it wouldn't be around long enough to pursue its agenda very far). The flipside, of course, is that nothing really would get done, good or bad.   

       It would be good for moving companies in the capitol district.
snarfyguy, Jun 09 2003

       (Worldgineer) "As for the weekly elections, I still don't see the point. Loris, please explain the advantage of the shortened terms."   

       As snarfyguy describes, it means that the occasional rare vote doesn't get all the say for a long time.   

       How would the system work in practice? Let me expand:   

       In the UK there are currently around 650 members of parliament (MPs) each elected from a certain area. Between them all they vote in a prime minister (PM). Thus the majority party gets to choose the PM.   

       Under a stochastic system, the local election system could remain. (This is an advantage over proportional representation systems).
In any one week, there would be 650 MPs all elected on the basis of one vote. Because there are so many, the variations would be relatively small. Although if there were two evenly matched parties, then sometimes one would have overall control and sometimes the other.

       This would create what I think is a good way of deciding whether any bill should become law.   

       Of course we need some system of deciding will be considered, as well. I would propose a new stochastic vote of the MPs as necessary. Each person thus voted for could either propose something for consideration that week, or for the agenda up to, say, 3 months later. This would allow immediate response to important matters, and time for more complex bills to be drafted.   

       For all the positions which need a long-term manager, the house would elect someone to be responsible. They could potentially remain in office until someone proposed voting for that position again.
Loris, Jun 10 2003

       //Under a stochastic system, the local election system could remain. (This is an advantage over proportional representation systems).//   

       There are many different forms of PR, lots of which work on some kind of regional basis. The Single Transferable Vote relies on having multi-member constituencies and, in Ireland, each constituency returns between 3 and 5 TDs and is an identifiable geographic area.   

       I thought it would be a mechanism to cycle through a parliament - each week a different MP comes up for re-election. After 650 weeks, all 650 MPs have been re-elected and the cycle repeats itself. However, 650 is too many years, so each week would require 3 or 4 MPs to be re-elected.
PeterSilly, Jun 10 2003

       Problem with giving minority groups power is that this includes fascists, fundamentalists...and DOES lead to tactical voting (not that there's anything wrong with that).
git, Jun 10 2003

       This could be hilarious though. Imagine this was in place at the start of the Iraq conflict. The task force gets sent out, then recalled the next week, despatched again the next, recalled...
saker, Jun 10 2003

       Aaah, the messy subjects of proportional representation and tactical voting.   

       P.R. and the similar systems look on the surface like good voting systems, but many have some problems as demonstrated in the first link above.   

       A stochastic voting system on the other hand approximates over time what they try to achieve.
And is free from tactical voting. Why do I claim this?

       Tactical voting is where a group can change (increase) its share of electees by voting for people who they don't want to -or cannot- win.
In stochastic systems this will not work because whoever you vote for gains a 1/<total votes> chance of being elected at any point.

       I think your statement is a bit unfair, git. I don't think it is reasonable to equate all minority groups with evil.
Loris, Jun 10 2003


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