Perfect Representative Democracy: Single-Winner Score Voting vs. Multi-Winner PR

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Jan 23, 2016, 8:33:57 AM1/23/16
to The Center for Election Science

Perfect Representative Democracy:

Single-Winner Score Voting vs. Multi-Winner PR


In a perfect representative democracy, the laws being written, passed, and repealed by The Legislature at any given juncture perfectly match the laws The People (the entire electorate) would write, pass, and repeal themselves if given the opportunity.


Therefore, to evaluate the efficacy of any representative democracy (whether with single-winner or multi-winner districts, a single elected dictator vs. multiple branches of government, etc.) we must compare, in aggregate, the Bayesian Regret between what The People want their government to do and what their government actually does.


To begin to do this, I propose creating a simple scenario involving 5 bill options: A, B, C, D, and E. (I understand this is not how government actually works, as bills are of course drafted and revised in committees before being brought to the floor for a yes or no vote; but I think this example may serve to illuminate the underlying complexity of modeling Bayesian Regret for other types of political systems beyond Single Winner districts.)


If proposed to the electorate directly in a referendum using a utility-based voting method (in this case, Score Voting)—and, just for the sake of this model, assuming totally sincere voters—the bill that was passed would be indicative of The Will of the People.


Now, zoom out and have that same electorate vote for representatives. What form of government (Single-Winner dictator, President/House/Senate, etc.) plus voting method (Single-Winner Score Voting, Multi-Winner Proportional [Reweighted] Score Voting, etc.) would best effectuate this same outcome? That is, if you were asked to start a representative democracy from scratch, how would you propose to best effectuate The Will of the People on any given piece of legislation? And can you mathematically prove that one cumulative approach is superior to another (as Warren has with his original Single-Winner Bayesian Regret charts)?

Warren D Smith

Jan 23, 2016, 10:45:32 AM1/23/16
which sounds similar to what you were saying.

Warren D. Smith <-- add your endorsement (by clicking
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Jan 25, 2016, 7:19:13 AM1/25/16
to The Center for Election Science
Excellent, Warren! Yes, we are on the exact same page. And still no one has done this?

Warren D Smith

Jan 25, 2016, 10:06:29 AM1/25/16
you are correct nobody has done it yet.

But I presently am working on programing several multiwinner voting methods
(only ones using approval-style ballots, for now) which will be a step in
that direction, I guess.

Jan 26, 2016, 8:40:22 AM1/26/16
to The Center for Election Science
That is excellent. With burgeoning 'democracies' springing up across the world in the 21st century, we'll need all the evidence we can get for why one form of government is superior to another, etc.
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