DMP for Canada?

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Warren D Smith

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Oct 11, 2018, 10:59:41 AM10/11/18
to Keith Edmonds, electionscience, sm...@ualberta.ca
Keith Edmonds wanted opinions about DMP,
which is a suggested voting method for BC (British Columbia) Canada,
described here:
https://dmpforcanada.com/

The acronym perhaps is a bit unfortunate -- "Dump Canada" !?
But never mind that :)

I had earlier discussed the history of voting-reform attempts
in Canada here
https://rangevoting.org/CanadaVoteHistory.html
The DMP page says PEI in 2016 adopted MMP (Mixed member proportional),
along the way considering other systems including DMP -- which I did
not know -- my Canada history
evidently is out of date and only knew about an earlier 2005 failed
PEI voting reform attempt.

The DMP page says DMP was invented by Sean Graham in 2013.
The web pages
http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/faculty/sean_graham/
https://botany.ubc.ca/people/sean-graham
identify a PhD botanist named "Sean W. Graham" at the University of Alberta,
but it is not clear to me whether that Sean Graham has anything to do with the
Sean Graham who invented DMP.

1. DMP uses simple FPTP-style ballots.
Each riding (i.e. district) elects 2 MPs (not 1) and hence
will be twice its old population. (Exactly twice, if number of old
ridings was even.
Otherwise approximately twice. I presume it is intended that all ridings be
equipopulous, or very nearly, although the DMP page did not
actually say so explicitly.)

2. In each district, each party can run either 1 or 2 candidates,
in the latter case as a conjoined team containing one
"senior" and one "junior." (The "senior" is the one listed first.
These ordered teams act like a micro-sized version of a "party list.")
Apparently "independent" is for this purpose regarded as a pseudo-party,
and the DMP description unfortunately did not say what to do if 2 or more
independents wanted to enter the race.

3. Each voter marks a single "X" on the ballot for the candidate, or
2-candidate
conjoined team (presumably the one they "support most," albeit exactly
what that
should mean to them is not tremendously obvious).

4. Whichever candidate or 2-team gets the most X's, wins that riding's
first seat
(for the team's senior, if it is a team).

5. We then go to a second counting round. In it, all junior members
of teams are eliminated and their votes transfer to their teammate, EXCEPT
that if the first seat was won by a team, then that team's junior stays
in the race, and with a vote count equal to half of his team's count.

[Now at this point, you might naively have expected the DMP rules to
elect the guy with the most votes to the 2nd seat, and you might have
criticized DMP by claiming that according to some STV-like philosophy,
the junior member of the first-seat-winning team should NOT have gotten
half its votes, but rather, e.g, his team's number of votes MINUS the 2nd-top
vote count? But no: that all is NOT how DMP works, so forget that.]

6. Next, DMP eliminates anybody with fewer than 5% of the then-remaining votes.
[And I presume if everybody got below 5%, then everybody besides the
top vote-getter is
eliminated (?), but the DMP rules did not actually say that explicitly.]

7. Next, DMP elects the top independent if he got the most, or 2nd-most votes.
Note, this rule is asymmetric and "unfair" in the sense it treats independents
differently than party-candidates. That is a highly unusual innovation.
Even more unusually, this unfairness actually favors the independents.
(Usually, unfair election systems have disfavored independents.)
While the DMP system as a whole may not actually help independents --
see the very
next rule -- certainly this particular DMP rule does.

8. Otherwise, DMP eliminates all independents. (And this rule unfairly hurts
independents!)

9. Next, DMP eliminates everybody besides the top 3 vote-getters in that riding.

10. Now, the entire province, or perhaps even country, is considered.
Each party has some already-attained seat-count in that province,
i.e. considering the first-seats only.
Each party also has some province-wide vote-count.
Based on the party vote-counts, we work out its "ideal" seat counts
(intended to yield the same proportion of party-seats, as votes, where
by "party"
seats I mean the seats not already claimed by independents).
When computing these ideal seat counts, the DMP page seems
to indicate that in some manner these are rounded off to integers.
The DMP rules I saw left this rounding off method unspecified -- but
would need to actually specify something! The DMP page does not
specify it, but pretends it has.

11. That party's ideal seat count MINUS its actual seat count elected so far,
is its "seat deficit."
[I presume, although the DMP page does not actually say so explicitly,
that negative seat deficits -- for parties who already won more
than their ideal seat count -- are changed to zero?]

12. Next, comes the final stage.
At this point the DMP rule description suddenly gets incredibly vague
and unclear.
At the final crux stage, DMP wants to elect the 2nd seats in each district
(aside from districts where that 2nd seat already was won by an independent)
in some way that
(1) makes parties with bigger deficits more likely to win (so we
get PR = proportional representation, or anyhow get closer to PR), and also
(2) makes candidates with bigger vote counts more likely to win.
Those are both good goals, and there are plenty of ways to try to
satisfy those two goals, but you have to CHOOSE a precise method.
Instead, the DMP page just acts as though those goals ARE a method,
which is bullshit.

There are goals, and there are methods to achieve those goals. You
actually have to specify the method. DMP does not, then pretends it has.

==========

OK, so what do I think of the DMP idea?
Well, first of all, most obviously, it is a lie and a cheat -- it is
pretending to be a voting method, but is not and will not really be
one until the unspecified rules are actually specified.

Therefore let me invent some suggestions to fill the gap and thereby convert DMP
into a genuine voting method so that we can actually have something concrete
to think about. My suggestions below may or may not be the best
possible ones, and may or may not be what Sean Graham would
have wanted -- but at least they are something concrete.

WDS GAP-FILL #1:
Any number of independents are allowed to enter the race, and they
also are allowed to enter as 2-man teams if both agree to be a team.

An alternative idea would be
1': Same, but forbid team-hood for independents.

WDS GAP-FILL #2:
There is no "rounding off" and no deficit-zeroing either.
That is, the ideal seat count for a party, and
also consequently its seat-deficit, are allowed to be fractions (and
seat-deficits are allowed to be negative), and are not
demanded to be whole numbers.
Note however that (as a lemma) the sum of all the deficits is always
going to be nonnegative. Also note that by having negative and
fractional values we enable
seeking the best still-attainable approximation to PR.

WDS GAP-FILL #3:
The open seats are filled as follows.
A. find the still-alive candidate (in all ridings) with the most votes.
If his party has a positive deficit, then elect him (and decrease that
deficit by 1).
B. take him off the "live" list.
C. keep going until all open seats are filled.

3': Here a different possible gap-fill (not equivalent) would be
A. find the party with the greatest deficit.
B. Among its still-live candidates, find the one with the most votes.
C. elect him (and decrease that party-deficit by 1,
and take him off the "live" list).
D. keep going until all open seats are filled.

3'': Yet another possible gap-fill (not equivalent) would be
A. find the still-alive candidate (in all ridings) with the most
vote-margin above
his top rival. If his party has a positive deficit, then elect him (and
decrease that deficit by 1).
B. take him off the "live" list.
C. keep going until all open seats are filled.

3''': there are other ideas possible too...

=====

OK, so now what do we think of DMP (with gaps filled)?
Well, I consider it "ad hoc" and something of a "kludge" rather
than systematically constructed. That is, it includes some
unfair and goofy rules, plus some arbitrary thresholds like "5%"
and "top 3" which hopefully were chosen near-optimally for Canada, but
it is hard to know that -- perhaps actually the best values are quite different
from what Graham thinks they are -- and also perhaps the optimum
values for Canada are not the same as the optimum values for Pakistan.

This ad hockery is not necessarily a bad thing. In particular the value "2"
for the number of MPs in a district, might be best possible.

The DMP page claims these advantages (slightly edited):
* Keeps the simple ballot design of Canada’s Single Member Plurality
electoral system,
* Eliminates the need for long party lists,
* Retains a degree of local representation and accountability,
* Accommodates rural communities by providing the benefits of
proportional representation without creating enormous districts.

Those all sound plausible to me. I also think
* DMP looks like it could have a pretty high level of immunity
to something I call "targeted killing" strategic voting.

On the other hand:

* DMP by insisting on "mark one X" ballots sacrifices the greater
expressivity possible
with ratings-style ballots (e.g. for range voting).
* DMP's asymmetric treatments of independents versus parties is
worrying, although
it still might be better than many rival schemes in practice.
* The 5% threshold causes a party that gets 5% of the countrywide vote,
possibly to get zero seats, thus killing small parties (that otherwise
might have been
able to grow and prosper over many years) in infancy.
* Meanwhile the "religious cult wacko" party which happens to have its
cult headquarters in Bethlehem, wins Bethlehem's seat (but cannot win any other
seats in the country) even though only getting 1% nationwide. This contrast
is intended to illustrate the notion that DMP may unfairly hurt
parties like the Greens which have widely distributed fairly uniform support,
by comparison to parties like a religious cult that have less support, but it is
geographically nonuniform.

It would be possible to eliminate much of DMP's ad hockery and unfairness
by regarding the independents as a pseudo-party province-wide and/or
country-wide,
then treating them the same as any other party. This might seem a bit odd since
some independents will be very different from others (much more unlike
than same-party members usually are) but does that necessarily matter?
Well, I think this alternative would have both advantages and
disadvantages, but
suspect the advantages would outweigh the disadvantages.
Disadvantage: some popular independent could "drag" some
wacko ones up via his "coat tails."
Advantages: superior simplicity, superior(?) fairness, less apparent-randomness,
and that coattail-dragging helps to cancel out unfair problems
inherently suffered by all independents in Canada.

=========

The following page by me is relevant to Canada...:
https://rangevoting.org/CanadaOverview.html

---
Warren D. Smith
http://RangeVoting.org <-- add your endorsement (by clicking
"endorse" as 1st step)

Jack Santucci

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Oct 11, 2018, 11:05:45 AM10/11/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com, keith....@alumni.ubc.ca, sm...@ualberta.ca
Graham is a former math student at UAlberta, as noted here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual-member_proportional_representation. He tweets from @sean_gra.

I share your intuitive concern about precise rules for filling the second seat in any M=2 district. But it's not uncommon to leave details like that to the legislature or some other authority.

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Keith Edmonds

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Oct 11, 2018, 6:06:27 PM10/11/18
to jack.s...@gmail.com, electio...@googlegroups.com, sm...@ualberta.ca
Hi Warren Thanks for following up on this.
And Jack, Good to meet you.

I am not wild about this system mainly because it does not solve the
vote splitting issue since it still uses a simple plurality vote.
However, I think it is better than the other options. STV because of
the monotonicity issue and the confusion around the handling of
surplus votes. MMP because it makes party voting more explicit. Also,
DMP only doubles riding sizes which still keeps a reasonable amount of
regional representation.

I think the best way to fill second seats is that listed on the
webpage here. https://dmpforcanada.com/how-it-works/ What I like about
the system is that it gives parties no choice in how to fill the
second seat aside from the order of their two candidates. This is a
lateral movement since right now parties are already the gatekeepers
since independents hardly ever win. The method listed seems to favor
the actual runner up in each district. When I first heard about this
system I thought the runner up was always taken which would improve
but not optimize the PR. As it turns out it is actually intended to be
sort of a version of MMP but with the list being derived from regions
and ranked by how well they did in the riding. I like the theory but I
think it is incomplete and ad hoc. The coat tail riding is not great
either.

Warren, your comment "DMP by insisting on "mark one X" ballots
sacrifices the greater expressivity possible with ratings-style
ballots (e.g. for range voting)." I have been thinking about how to
modify this to work with approval or score. The issue is that it is
hard to establish what would be the desired number of seats to achieve
PR. PR is really only calculable in a system where there is one vote
per person. Unless you have a method for how this is calculated I am
stuck.

I am speaking with the heads of the "No BC PR" team tonight
https://nobcprorep.ca/about-us. I still think I will vote no change
but am kinda on the fence. Anyway, they are looking for people to
review DMP if either of you are interested in doing something formal
and on the record I can pass along your contact. They likely only want
to hear from you if you think DMP is a net negative relative to single
member plurality. That is what I am on the fence on.

Thanks,
Keith

Keith Edmonds

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Oct 11, 2018, 7:16:09 PM10/11/18
to sm...@ualberta.ca, jack.s...@gmail.com, electio...@googlegroups.com
Hi Sean,

I had not realized you were on this thread. I do have a few design
questions for you. I think I have a pretty good understanding of the
system but just want to understand some of your motivations. I'll call
you in a few minutes.

Thanks,
Keith
On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 3:48 PM Sean Graham <sm...@ualberta.ca> wrote:
>
> Hi Keith,
>
> I have only had a chance to skim this thread, but there are definitely a few misunderstandings.
>
> If it is important for you to clear this up before your call tonight, feel free to call me. I’ll be available in about half an hour.
>
> Sean
>
> 780-370-2471

Warren D Smith

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Oct 11, 2018, 11:08:13 PM10/11/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com, sm...@ualberta.ca, Keith Edmonds
On 10/11/18, Keith Edmonds <keith....@alumni.ubc.ca> wrote:
> Hi Warren Thanks for following up on this.
> And Jack, Good to meet you.
>
> I am not wild about this system mainly because it does not solve the
> vote splitting issue since it still uses a simple plurality vote.

--related: the "cloning" issue, and the "favorite betrayal" issue.
However, DMP does ameliorate all those problems in a somewhat ad hoc
and imperfect, but nevertheless plausibly fairly effective, way.

> However, I think it is better than the other options. STV because of
> the monotonicity issue and the confusion around the handling of
> surplus votes. MMP because it makes party voting more explicit. Also,
> DMP only doubles riding sizes which still keeps a reasonable amount of
> regional representation.
>
> I think the best way to fill second seats is that listed on the
> webpage here. https://dmpforcanada.com/how-it-works/

--AHA! This, apparently hidden (?!), page gives the description
that was missing from the DMP page
I'd been reading. Or at least goes in that direction.

And also, it cites a "full report" on DMP, available here:
https://dmpforcanada.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/dmp-report-updated-april-4-2016.pdf
which is about 82 pages long.

> What I like about
> the system is that it gives parties no choice in how to fill the
> second seat aside from the order of their two candidates. This is a
> lateral movement since right now parties are already the gatekeepers
> since independents hardly ever win. The method listed seems to favor
> the actual runner up in each district. When I first heard about this
> system I thought the runner up was always taken which would improve
> but not optimize the PR. As it turns out it is actually intended to be
> sort of a version of MMP but with the list being derived from regions
> and ranked by how well they did in the riding. I like the theory but I
> think it is incomplete and ad hoc. The coat tail riding is not great
> either.
>
> Warren, your comment "DMP by insisting on "mark one X" ballots
> sacrifices the greater expressivity possible with ratings-style
> ballots (e.g. for range voting)." I have been thinking about how to
> modify this to work with approval or score. The issue is that it is
> hard to establish what would be the desired number of seats to achieve
> PR. PR is really only calculable in a system where there is one vote
> per person. Unless you have a method for how this is calculated I am
> stuck.

--well, some of my proposals from
https://rangevoting.org/CanadaOverview.html
had basically worked as follows:

STEP 1. elect one MP from each riding using range voting.
(I.e. same system as Canada has now, only range voting not plurality voting.)

STEP 2. "top up" the parliament seats to obtain (or get closer to)
party proportionality.
This I do using a 2-level districting scheme where there are "ridings"
and there are "regions" (which are larger), each region consisting of
some fixed number of ridings.
The regions also get MP-seats, but theirs are elected using a PR
multiwinner system, specifically one system I had in mind was
"harmonic voting" which still employs range-voting-style ballots (same
type as the riding MP ballots). The top-up winners in each region are
chosen in such a way as to maximize that region's "harmonic quality
score" --
where it is a known math theorem that this maximization automatically
causes PR.

What are the advantages of my kind of scheme above, versus DMP?

A. With DMP you had to have exactly 2 seats per riding. While 2 was probably
the optimal choice given that it had to be an integer 1,2,3,4,.... and
1 was going to be forbidden if DMP wanted to hope for PR... probably
2 would NOT have been the optimal choice if it were possible to have
fractional MP-counts such as "1.4." The point
of the region/riding 2-level districting scheme is that we can TUNE
this and actually achieve 1.4 or whatever we think the optimum is. In
fact I think 1.4 is approximately optimal since
just enough to usually achieve PR, but not more, so we enjoy maximum
local accountability.

B. Harmonic voting is a way to achieve PR that does NOT NEED to involve
explicit party identifications/labels. DMP needs parties so it can
use "party list" concepts
to achieve PR. Harmonic voting would still achieve PR theorems even
if no parties even existed. This also allows treating independents on
the same footing as party candidates without (disgusting) unfairness
built in, and without need for disgusting laws that "nobody is allowed
to switch parties" and the like (often felt needed in PR party-list
countries to prevent people "gaming the system").

C. Both range voting (single winner) and harmonic voting (multiwinner
PR) systems
use ratings-style "score all candidates" ballots. This obtains more info
from each voter (for voters who want to provide it) and allows
better-quality winners,
better-quality PR, and better capability to avoid problems like "vote splitting"
and "cloning" issues (which, at least at first order, no longer even exist).

> I am speaking with the heads of the "No BC PR" team tonight
> https://nobcprorep.ca/about-us. I still think I will vote no change
> but am kinda on the fence. Anyway, they are looking for people to
> review DMP if either of you are interested in doing something formal
> and on the record I can pass along your contact. They likely only want
> to hear from you if you think DMP is a net negative relative to single
> member plurality. That is what I am on the fence on.

--well I haven't thought a great deal about DMP, and have been almost
unexposed to everybody in BC's thinking on it, but my net first guess
impression
is it likely is superior to the present single-member plurality
system. It certainly
is more complicated, though.

My proposal outlined above is simpler than DMP at least in the sense
its description
is a lot shorter. And it also likely is superior in terms of the
governments it outputs.

Keith Edmonds

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Oct 12, 2018, 1:16:08 AM10/12/18
to Warren D Smith, electio...@googlegroups.com, sm...@ualberta.ca
Hi Warren,

I guess I should have sent you the link directly to the description
not the homepage.

Anyway, what do you mean by "My proposal outlined above"? If you mean
alterations to DMP I am sure Sean would hear you out if you summarized
them in context of his description I sent in the last link.

If you mean the two level system with Harmonic Voting I am going to
have to disagree with you that the description is shorter. I would
totally be in favour of harmonic voting but I think that it is too
complex for 99% of people to understand without reading a book. The
two level thing is actually likely how the MMP would be implemented in
the BC election. Local ridings with Single Member Plurality and party
lists derived from party votes in the region.

The system proposed in my paper I sent you the other day is in the
same class of systems as Harmonic Voting but imposes a very reasonable
constraint I called "vote unitarity". Not only does it add to the
sense of fairness but it allows the utility/quality function to be
maximised procedurally in the same number of steps as the number of
winners. Since I don't like the loss of accountability I do the same
thing that Byron did with his Local PR. This system can be explained
about as simply as Single Transferable Vote so I think it is
sufficiently simple. I think any system that involves a maximization
is not going to get accepted. Voters want votes to be counted in some
sort of procedural manner.

Thanks,
Keith

Warren D Smith

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Oct 12, 2018, 7:54:34 AM10/12/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com, sm...@ualberta.ca
> Anyway, what do you mean by "My proposal outlined above"?
> If you mean the two level system with Harmonic Voting I am going to
> have to disagree with you that the description is shorter.

--well, I was somewhat surprised myself that the description
is shorter, but it is. Go to
https://rangevoting.org/CanadaOverview.html#IIC1
to find the description, which is only 1 paragraph long,
plus there is a second paragraph (hyperlinked to it) to describe
score voting.

However: a big reason the description is concise is that
it includes a formula involving sum notation, which compresses
quite a lot into one formula thanks to the power of mathematical notation...
which unfortunately a lot of "average Joe" readers would be allergic to.

And yes, I think I agree with you that an MMP-ish voting
scheme could also be devised using a 2-level districting scheme,
which would be quite similar to the scheme I just mentioned, but
using as its PR top-up component, not "harmonic voting" but rather
something based on "party lists." That would have the advantage
of greater simplicity for people allergic to math -- but all the disadvantages
incurred by party lists necessarily involving parties!
In my classification I was calling this class of
schemes "II(C)3" and you can read a specific concise concrete
proposal of this form here:
https://rangevoting.org/CanadaOverview.html#IIC3
with a more detailed page on it here:
https://rangevoting.org/CanadaSA6.html
But that particular proposal does not involve a 2-level districting
scheme, it uses
ridings only (1-level) and also I am a bit suspicious of it because
the top-up elections
might be highly affected by "nonrandom noise" arising from the natures
of the races in
each individual riding being different. Hence in point 4 of the
"discussion" afterwards, I had
mentioned a 2-level variant, albeit rather non-concretely. This
discussion then
delved into a number of advantages and problems with this kind of scheme.

Warren D Smith

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Oct 12, 2018, 8:06:04 AM10/12/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com, sm...@ualberta.ca
Also, the class of schemes I called "II(C)2"
which involve "asset voting" as the PR top-up method, are
very simple, including for math-allergic people.
(Harmonic voting top-up involves math. Party-list top-up involves parties.
Asset involves neither and is simpler too.)

One such had been described here:
https://rangevoting.org/ScoreAssetHybrid.html

Warren D Smith

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Oct 14, 2018, 9:47:47 AM10/14/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com
from the "DMP FAQ" https://dmpforcanada.com/faq/ :

1. Is DMP a proportional electoral system?
Yes. DMP is a fully proportional electoral system. That means if Party
A receives 40% of the vote, it will receive approximately 40% of the
seats.

--Sorry, based on the description of DMP's rules
in the DMP home page's video, this is simply a flat out lie.

--and since Sean Graham has complained about my lack of "respect"...
let me say: I do not have a lot of respect for people
who lie to the Canadian public. I don't like either intentional
lies or unintentional errors... but lies intended to
be swallowed by a million people, presumably are a million times
worse than lies to just one person.

Warren D Smith

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Oct 14, 2018, 10:06:54 AM10/14/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com
https://dmpforcanada.com/canadian-federal-elections/

contains the results of computer simulations of DMP in action for Canada.
The pie charts there indicate that DMP is tremendously proportional
producing seat-fractions incredibly close to the parties' vote-fractions,
generally within 1%.

But unfortunately, essentially zero explanation is given there of how
the simulations
operated, and no downloadable code, downloadable data etc. is provided.

And I find the results hard a priori to believe.
I'm willing to believe DMP does decently well in practice at providing
proportionality
despite not actually meeting the math criteria for being a proportional system.
But this tremendous accuracy is very hard for me to believe is real.
I would think statistical fluctuations vis-a-vis
roundoff effects should considerably exceed 1%.
Well for example, the Canadian parliament has 338 House and 105 Senate members
according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_Canada .
We have squareroot(383)=19.6=5% of the House.
So the typical statistical fluctuations if you just picked house
members at random
from the correct distribution, would be >2.5%.
Given that Canada's voters are nonuniformly distributed (more liberals in this
district than that) we expect "random" effects probably
including some systematic biases.

So... I'm suspicious.
But if we do blindly trust these simulations, then
DMP is very impressively proportional in practice despite
counterexamples existing
on paper showing it can deliver highly disproportional parliaments; and
this would seem quite adequate to overcome worries on that score,
for practical purposes.

Warren D Smith

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Oct 14, 2018, 10:16:04 AM10/14/18
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>Well for example, the Canadian parliament has 338 House and 105 Senate members
according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_Canada .
We have squareroot(383)=19.6=5% of the House.
So the typical statistical fluctuations if you just picked house
members at random
from the correct distribution, would be >2.5%.

--CORRECTION OF TYPO:
squareroot(338)=18.4=5.4% of the House.
So the typical statistical fluctuations if you just picked house
members at random
from the correct distribution, would be >2.7%.

Warren D Smith

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Oct 14, 2018, 10:42:18 AM10/14/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com
To make analogy about why I am suspicious,
the famous biologist/monk Gregor Mendel, who discovered the
laws of genetics by experimenting with breeding pea plants,
appears to have faked his data.

The problem seems to have been that Mendel figured out
what the laws should be from his data -- mostly correctly, although
there were some fine points he did not understand -- and
then "improved" his data by faking some of it, to make the agreement
with his theory become better.

Many decades after Mendel, his data was re-examined by
statistician Ronald A. Fisher.
Fisher did a chi-squared test finding that the chance that Mendel's
data should have agreed less well with his theory than it did (just due
to statistical fluctuations), was 0.99993.

Further, on the fine points Mendel got wrong, his data agreed a lot
better with his
somewhat-incorrect theory than with what is now believed to be the
correct theory.

So the great Hero of Biology Mendel, was almost certainly in part a faker.
(Although: This is nowhere near as bad as, say, Sigmund Freud, who simply was a
flat out liar and con man who, e.g, just invented fake patients entirely from
his imagination to buttress his bullshit, while meanwhile trying to
pretend others
did not exist, etc. As a result Freud became the most cited
"scientist" in his field and god knows how many thousands of lives ultimately
were damaged or destroyed by the consequences.)

So anyhow, I'm not necessarily saying anything is wrong with the DMP
Canada/computer simulations I saw on that DMP web page -- I do not have
enough understanding to do so (and that web page simply leaves everything
unexplained causing it to be impossible for me to have enough
understanding) -- but I am saying: it smells suspicious,
analogously to Mendel, and I wish that page had provided
something to alleviate my suspicions.

William Waugh

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Oct 14, 2018, 12:35:02 PM10/14/18
to The Center for Election Science
If Canada wants PR, why would any other system be better for them than Choice of Representation? The citizen chooses his representative, and that person votes on legislation with the weight of the count of her choosers. One objection I anticipate hearing coming back is that there is not room enough for millions of legislators in the legislative chamber and that there isn't time enough for them to debate. Two answers. Most debate happens in committee, and less-popular members could vote from home via wires or radio and perhaps most of the time not be able to debate in the context of the whole legislature (there could be some rotating privileges in that regard). Choice of Representation (CoR) is much simpler to explain than other PR systems, and it provides arguably the right amount of local focus, since a citizen would have the freedom to choose a local representative if the local concerns were the most important to that citizen. Other PR schemes are not only more complex but arguably less representative, as they offer less control to the typical citizen.

NoIRV

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Oct 14, 2018, 5:27:36 PM10/14/18
to The Center for Election Science
On Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 12:35:02 PM UTC-4, William Waugh wrote:
> If Canada wants PR, why would any other system be better for them than Choice of Representation? The citizen chooses his representative, and that person votes on legislation with the weight of the count of her choosers. One objection I anticipate hearing coming back is that there is not room enough for millions of legislators in the legislative chamber and that there isn't time enough for them to debate. Two answers. Most debate happens in committee, and less-popular members could vote from home via wires or radio and perhaps most of the time not be able to debate in the context of the whole legislature (there could be some rotating privileges in that regard). Choice of Representation (CoR) is much simpler to explain than other PR systems, and it provides arguably the right amount of local focus, since a citizen would have the freedom to choose a local representative if the local concerns were the most important to that citizen. Other PR schemes are not only more complex but arguably less representative, as they offer less control to the typical citizen.

In that case you have direct democracy. Which is impractical as there are as many security risks as there are people involved times some constant C that I am sure is greater than 1.

There is, was, and for the foreseeable future will be reasons why we have representatives. Your idea destroys this.
Just use asset voting which is like that but limits the number of reps. If you hate the droop quota, then we could probably get away with a mandate that all candidates except the final seat must have a hare-quota of votes.

But the count must be finalized before the negotiations begin. Candidates will try to +1 each other, you know.

Warren D Smith

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Oct 14, 2018, 5:32:22 PM10/14/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com
Been reading the 82-page DMP report some more.

Its description of the rules of the DMP system, are
massively different from my description of the rules of
the DMP system!
The source of the discrepancy was I basically copied my
rules from the DMP front page's
https://dmpforcanada.com/ ,
mainly the video it provided in place of any written rules description.

So: I conclude that video was near-total garbage, or
the 82-page report DMP definition is near-total garbage --
I do not know which -- all
I know is, they massively conflict.
For example the word "eliminate" does not even occur in
the 82-page report, but did occur in the video to explain the
elimination step.

I had systematically copied my DMP rules mainly from that video with
use of pause-button a lot to make sure I was
following every single detail.

So, I am pretty disgusted. But this perhaps explains Sean Graham's
reaction, to some extent anyhow.

I think Canada's voters are virtually guaranteed to be deluded re DMP
and will have little or no idea what they are voting on.
This is outrageous.

NoIRV

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Oct 14, 2018, 5:48:25 PM10/14/18
to The Center for Election Science
I think one problem is people are less likely to change if you use strong words like "lie" and "cheat" and swear words. As much as "respect" may be overrated, it can make people more likely to listen to.


https://forum.electionscience.org/

Warren D Smith

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Oct 14, 2018, 5:55:41 PM10/14/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com
What seems to be happening in BC Canada is, they will have a choice of 4 systems
and the one you just mentioned is not one of them. Perhaps it could
have been one of them, but you or somebody would have had to submit it
in written form thru a longish process quite a long time ago.
Which didn't happen.

Markus Schulze

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Oct 15, 2018, 2:21:12 PM10/15/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com
Hallo,

> I think Canada's voters are virtually guaranteed to be
> deluded re DMP and will have little or no idea what they
> are voting on. This is outrageous.

When we discuss the precise definition for DMP
for the upcoming electoral reform referendum in
British Columbia, then the definitions in the
legal texts are relevant. The "Electoral Reform
Referendum 2018 Regulation" only says:

> "Dual Member Proportional (DMP)" means the Dual Member
> Proportional (DMP) voting system described in the report
> titled "How We Vote: 2018 Electoral Reform Referendum
> Report and Recommendations of the Attorney General"
> dated May 30, 2018;

Here is the regulation:

http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/crbc/crbc/125_2018

Here is the mentioned report:

https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/271/2018/05/How-We-Vote-2018-Electoral-Reform-Referendum-Report-and-Recommendations-of-the-Attorney-General.pdf

Markus Schulze

Warren D Smith

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Oct 15, 2018, 3:01:38 PM10/15/18
to electio...@googlegroups.com
--thanks, but this seems to make the situation even worse.
I do not see "rules for DMP" in that report.
The closest thing to it I see are A and B below:

(A on page 57)
Dual Member Proportional (DMP)
Dual Member Proportional is a proportional voting system in which most
of the province’s
existing single-member electoral district would be amalgamated with a
second neighbouring
district to create two-member districts. The largest rural districts
could remain unchanged as
single-member districts.
Parties nominate up to two candidates per electoral district who
appear on the ballot in an order
determined by the party. Voters cast a single vote for the pair of
candidates of the political party
of their choice. Seats are won in two ways:
 The first seats are won by the first candidates of the party that
receives the most votes in
each electoral district, similar to FPTP;
 The second seats are allocated based on province-wide voting results
and the individual
district results.
Discussion and Recommendations
58 How We Vote: 2018 Electoral Reform Referendum Report and
Recommendations of the Attorney General
The process for allocating the second seat in the electoral districts
provides an overall result that
is proportional province-wide:
 The total number of seats each party should win is determined based
on the parties’ shares
of the province-wide vote;
 The number of first district seats each party has won is subtracted
from that total, leaving
the number of second district seats each party should be allocated;
 The second district seats are allocated to each party based on the
strength of their
performance in each district


(B on page 68)
 Total number of MLAs: between the current 87 and a maximum of 95.
 Electoral districts in urban and semi-urban areas of the province to
be amalgamated into
two-member districts. The geographically largest electoral districts
in rural areas to remain
single-member districts. Electoral Boundaries Commission to decide
which districts become
two-member and which remain single-member.
 Ballot design: voters cast a single vote for a political party’s candidate(s).
 Votes in single-member districts count towards determining provincial results.
 A political party must receive at least 5% of the province-wide vote
to be eligible to receive
the second seat in any district.
 Parties can have up to two candidates on the ballot in a district.
Parties must indicate which
candidate is first and which is second.
 Independent candidates who:
 place first in an electoral district win the first seat in that district; and
 place second in an electoral district win the second seat in that
district, and the district is
removed from the remainder of the second-seat allocation process.
 Vacancies in a district filled by FPTP


Sorry, based on A and B above, I still
do not know what the rules of the DMP system are.

parker friedland

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Nov 13, 2018, 2:21:53 AM11/13/18
to The Center for Election Science
> I'm willing to believe DMP does decently well in practice at providing
> proportionality
> despite not actually meeting the math criteria for being a proportional system.

MMP doesn't meat the proportional math criteria either. Nether does RUP. Infact, out of the three, I have the highest hopes that DMP will produce the most proportional outcomes.

My reasoning (copied from a previous post I made in a different thread):

> Duel member rep also uses these extra balancing seats just like MMP however it makes sure that the extra balancing seats are elected from constituencies that closely match those original districts. For example, if you need to elect 10 extra NDP seats, 20 extra LIB seats and 30 extra Green seats, MMP would just elect those extra 'balancing' seats by looking at each of those party's lists and electing the first 10 NDP candidates on the NDP list, the first 20 LIB candidates on the LIB seat, and the first 30 Green candidates on the Green list. DMP on the other hand picks 10 NDPs from constituencies where the NDP lost but still got a lot of votes (or did so well that that constituency deserves to be represented by 2 NDPs), and the same with the other parties. What DMP tries to do is make it so each constituency's second winners matches how those constituancies voted as closely as possible while still maintaining proportionality such that each party still gets a number of seats proportional to the number of voters that voted for them. I'm not a huge fan of party list voting so I think that this is definitely an improvement over normal MMP. The problem with DMP is it's added complexity in comparison to MMP so while I prefer DMP, it is probably going to be the underdog in this referendum.

> The the main problem with all of these options is that they are all based off of MMP, which I'm not a fan of. I'm not a fan of MMP for two main reasons: 2 party domination and potential for strategic voting.

> To address my first problem with MMP: because a large portion of the seats are still elected with FPTP, most of the parliament will still be controlled by 2 dominant political parties. (ex: New Zealand: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Parliament#/media/File%3ANew_Zealand_House_of_Representatives_-_Layout_Chart.svg) and the more seats there are that are elected by FPTP in proportion to the number of 'balancing' seats, the worse this domination becomes. This problem with MMP can be fixed by switching to a better voting method such as approval, score, STAR, or at the very least IRV for the constituency seats, but with the exception of BC's rural/urban proposal, BC seems set on having MMP with all FPTP constituency seats. I'm guessing that under MMP, this ratio will unfortunately likely be 2 FPTP seats to 1 balancing seat in BC because BC's PR report recommended that at least 60% of the seats should be elected under FPTP and in the Prince Edward Islanders's non-binding PR referendum, the MMP proposal had a ratio was 2 to 1. In DMP however, the ratio is forced to be 1 to 1, which is just another reason I have for wanting DMP to win instead of MMP.

> The second problem I have with MMP is it's maintainability to strategic voting. I've explained this point in Sightline's comment section on this article: http://www.sightline.org/2017/06/19/this-is-how-new-zealand-fixed-its-voting-system/ but to summarize, voters can game by voting for dominant parties like they would under FPTP for the constituency seats and voting for a different party for the balancing seats so the party they vote for for the balancing seats is not penalized for the number of seats the dominant party ideologically similar to them won in the FPTP
constituencies. When all voters do this, the election devolves into a FPTP PR hybrid where x% of the seats are elected by FPTP and y% are elected by PR. To prevent this from happening, countries that use MMP have extremely high bars 3rd parties need to pass in order to win balancing seats, such as requiring that the party gets at least 5% of the balancing seat vote and win at least one constituency seat so they can't just run candidates for 1 part of the election without also running candidates in the other part. However these fixes further promote 2 party domination which is my first problem with MMP. In the comments section of the sight line article, I also offered a possible solution which is to bind voter's constituency votes to their 'balance' votes, and DMP does this, which is yet another reason why I prefer DMP to MMP, however binding these votes together has the potential to encourage voters who were going to strategically vote for a dominate party in their own constituency to also vote for their party for the balancing seats. But as long as there are enough balancing seats to ensure proportionality, voters shouldn't have to think about voting strategically for their constituancy seat in the first place.

> My biggest concern with the rual urban proposal is MMP problem #2. We can all agree that it would be really unfair to just elect urban
progressive constituency seats proportionality while electing rural conservative seats majoritarianly because that would mean that conservatives are complicated for under preforming in urban BC but progressives are not also concatenated for under preforming in rural BC. The logic behind the rural/urban proposal is that that wont be an issue if you just add some balancing seats. However, if the liberals encourage the conservatives to vote for a different conservative party for the balancing seats, then so much for MMP complicating for the unfair advantage the urban/rural PR/FPTP combination sets up.

> So if I lived in BC and was going to vote honestly, my vote would be:
> 1. DMP
> 2. MMP
> 3. Rural Urban

> However, strategically, DMP is probably the underdog. Because MMP has a better chance at beating Rural Urban in a head to head match then DMP does because of it's simplicity, if I lived in BC, I might also consider voting:
> 1. MMP
> 2. DMP
> 3. Rural Urban

How I see it is that tying the constituency votes to the more honest balancing seat votes will increase the honesty of the constituency votes thus reducing the forms of MMP strategic voting that I described. However you could also make the reverse argument that tying the two votes together will tie the balancing seat votes to the more strategic constituency votes and thus increase strategic voting among the balancing seats. However the latter form of strategic voting doesn't worry me as much as the former because it is a lot harder to pull off correctly (the former is easy, if you are a lefty just vote for the Green party for the balancing seats, and vote for the NDP for the constituency seats).

What makes RUP worse is that at least MMP is fair in that it allows both sides to strategicly vote NDP or BC_LIB for constituency seats and Green or Conservative for PR seats. With RUP, some rural voters will be able to strategic vote BC_LIB for constituency seats and Conservative for party seats, but urban voters wont be able to counter it because even if the same amount of urban voters vote NDP for constituency seats and Green for PR seats, their constituency seats are already PR because they have STV constituency seats, which means that Greens, BC_LIBs, Conservatives, and other parties, may also win seats in their district which means that the NDP party will not be as over-compensated (to the point where PR seats can't make up the difference) as the BC_LIBs would be. One of the reasons why parties don't always tell their supporters to vote strategically is because the opposite side can usually counter it by voting strategically in the opposite detection, but with RUP, this wouldn't be the case.
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