There's a Word for That

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GinSlinger
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There's a Word for That

Post by GinSlinger » 08 Dec 2011, 07:37

I coulda sworn there was a thread for words one can't think of, but ten minutes of "Searching" produced nothing.

What is the voting system called where a voter is given a number of votes (perhaps equal to the number of races) to distribute as they see fit across the entire ballot? For example, say there are 20 races and a voter is given 20 votes. They can spend all their votes on a single race (most would probably opt for the presidency every four years), or distribute them one vote per race, or some combination.

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Kolohe » 08 Dec 2011, 07:47

when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by GinSlinger » 08 Dec 2011, 07:52

It's superficially similar to cumulative, but it's not cumulative. I did check there first, but didn't see it, though may have missed it . . . .

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Warren » 08 Dec 2011, 08:07

I've never heard of that before. I can see advantages. Your average voter would spend all his votes on top of the ticket, as they neither know nor care who's running for State Rep. That should provide an opportunity for non-establishment candidates to win lesser office.
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Jadagul
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Jadagul » 08 Dec 2011, 08:23

I dunno. Seems the same factor might make capture by special interests even easier than it already is.

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Warren » 08 Dec 2011, 09:22

Jadagul wrote:I dunno. Seems the same factor might make capture by special interests even easier than it already is.
You mean like "When will the government stop pandering to the special interests and finally do something for the teachers?". What's so special about "special interests"? And what do you mean by "capture". And how does that work in this case? Will the Lint Pickers Local 217 all ban together to get their guy on the city council? And is that really more influence than they have now?

I think in terms of "establishment" over "special interests". This system would at first glance seem to afford greater anti-establishment influence.
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Mo » 08 Dec 2011, 09:33

Warren wrote:You mean like "When will the government stop pandering to the special interests and finally do something for the teachers?". What's so special about "special interests"? And what do you mean by "capture". And how does that work in this case? Will the Lint Pickers Local 217 all ban together to get their guy on the city council? And is that really more influence than they have now?

I think in terms of "establishment" over "special interests". This system would at first glance seem to afford greater anti-establishment influence.
Last I checked, teachers unions were special interests. "Special interests" had a greater influence in the late 19th and early 20th century than they do now, by a long shot. Did you sleep through the whole machine politics portion of history?
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Warren » 08 Dec 2011, 09:47

Mo wrote:
Warren wrote:You mean like "When will the government stop pandering to the special interests and finally do something for the teachers?". What's so special about "special interests"? And what do you mean by "capture". And how does that work in this case? Will the Lint Pickers Local 217 all ban together to get their guy on the city council? And is that really more influence than they have now?

I think in terms of "establishment" over "special interests". This system would at first glance seem to afford greater anti-establishment influence.
Last I checked, teachers unions were special interests. "Special interests" had a greater influence in the late 19th and early 20th century than they do now, by a long shot. Did you sleep through the whole machine politics portion of history?
Either you didn't understand what I wrote, or I don't see your point. Special interests are just interests. The modifier "special" is used to denote "other than mine". I grew up on the south side of Chicago (it wasn't bad at all) in the Richard J Daley era. So I have some notion of machine politics.

But that's all besides the point. What are you saying about this system of "you have x votes and you can distribute them any way you like across the ballot"? Would it bring back the machine? I don't think so.
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Highway » 08 Dec 2011, 10:04

Seems to me that a system like that wouldn't work unless you set a threshold for being elected to an office, not just a "Had the highest percentage of votes in that race". You'd end up with a lot of people who got voted in with no support, just everyone spent all their votes on the one race that was important to them.
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Sandy » 08 Dec 2011, 10:58

I know in consultanty circles, such a thing is called "dot voting" in that, as an aid to discovering priorities, you put a number of options on the board, hand people a number of stickers, and then allow them to put them on the board as they see fit--either all on one, across the board, or however.

And then they bitch about what they all decided when they discover they're really conservative and boring.
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 08 Dec 2011, 11:29

The philosophy of voting systems. (I take from this article the conclusion that voting is not only pointless, it may well be harmful.)

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by fyodor » 08 Dec 2011, 11:40

It would be utterly absurd to determine the number of votes one got based on the number of races on one's ballot since that would obviously vary radically by voting district. (Imagine the incentive to have more offices in cotention in each district!) But even if you could somehow standardize that number, I have a hard time imagining anyone having the stomach for a system where you can forfeit your vote for dog catcher in order to have an extra vote for Most Poweful Man In World.
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Mo » 08 Dec 2011, 11:44

fyodor wrote:It would be utterly absurd to determine the number of votes one got based on the number of races on one's ballot since that would obviously vary radically by voting district. (Imagine the incentive to have more offices in cotention in each district!) But even if you could somehow standardize that number, I have a hard time imagining anyone having the stomach for a system where you can forfeit your vote for dog catcher in order to have an extra vote for Most Poweful Man In World.
I would bet that in a lot of states (CA, NY, TX, UT etc.) quite a few people would pull their votes for the big guy and plow more votes into city council or state senate because the outcome is largely a foregone solution.
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by fyodor » 08 Dec 2011, 11:54

Mo wrote:
fyodor wrote:It would be utterly absurd to determine the number of votes one got based on the number of races on one's ballot since that would obviously vary radically by voting district. (Imagine the incentive to have more offices in cotention in each district!) But even if you could somehow standardize that number, I have a hard time imagining anyone having the stomach for a system where you can forfeit your vote for dog catcher in order to have an extra vote for Most Poweful Man In World.
I would bet that in a lot of states (CA, NY, TX, UT etc.) quite a few people would pull their votes for the big guy and plow more votes into city council or state senate because the outcome is largely a foregone solution.
You're saying in non-swing states, where the outcome is, ostensibly, a given? Which states these are can change from year to year, so I'm not sure if that's your point when you list specific states like that. Assuming that's your point, if enough people pull their votes from pres, then the outcome in their state might become a lot less given, right? I'm not sure how that would play out, it could become 11 dimensional game theory with more intense attention than ever given to the polls. All the more reason I think people could never stomach such a thing. Good point, though, that it could swing either way.

EDITED two words
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Mo » 08 Dec 2011, 11:59

fyodor wrote:You're saying in non-swing states, where the outcome is, ostensibly, a given? Which states these are can change from year to year, so I'm not sure if that's your point when you list specific states like that. Assuming that's your point, if enough people pull their votes from pres, then the outcome in their state might become a lot less given, right? I'm not sure how that would play out, it could become 11 dimensional game theory with more intense attention than ever given to the polls. All the more reason I think people could never stomach such a thing. Good point, though, that it could swing either way.

EDITED two words

Correct on the first question. And I disagree that they change periodically. Massachusetts has been liberal for my entire life, as has Utah been conservative. You're right their's some complex game theory. Though the hard core partisans on both sides would make up for changes around the middle. The interesting thing is that it will take into account intensity of desire. Even if I was in a swing state, I couldn't care less on Romney vs. Obama.
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by fyodor » 08 Dec 2011, 12:08

Mo wrote:
fyodor wrote:You're saying in non-swing states, where the outcome is, ostensibly, a given? Which states these are can change from year to year, so I'm not sure if that's your point when you list specific states like that. Assuming that's your point, if enough people pull their votes from pres, then the outcome in their state might become a lot less given, right? I'm not sure how that would play out, it could become 11 dimensional game theory with more intense attention than ever given to the polls. All the more reason I think people could never stomach such a thing. Good point, though, that it could swing either way.

EDITED two words

Correct on the first question. And I disagree that they change periodically. Massachusetts has been liberal for my entire life, as has Utah been conservative. You're right their's some complex game theory. Though the hard core partisans on both sides would make up for changes around the middle. The interesting thing is that it will take into account intensity of desire. Even if I was in a swing state, I couldn't care less on Romney vs. Obama.
Yeah, it would be "interesting" all right, especially the "complex game theory" part. That doesn't make it desirable and it sure as hell doesn't make it feasible.

ETA: Y'know, I realize all alternate voting systems are long shots, and I'm usually the first to say that you gotta start somewhere and thus the longshotedness of any proposed preferred way of doing things should not automatically disqualify it from even being discussed. I just thnk this is rather beyond the pale in that category.
Last edited by fyodor on 08 Dec 2011, 12:30, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by JasonL » 08 Dec 2011, 12:30

I think the answer to this query for the right word, and perhaps every other similar query, is "barzunian". Let it be so.

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Hugh Akston » 08 Dec 2011, 16:02

JasonL wrote:I think the answer to this query for the right word, and perhaps every other similar query, is "barzunian". Let it be so.
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by GinSlinger » 08 Dec 2011, 16:53

I;m still working through all this in my head. It's related to the People's Party platform vote, as I have an unusual read on it, that I really think is the right read. It does have to do with preferences being ordinal and whatnot, and so then I was thinking "what can we do with that?" Then I started thinking about what I was calling in my head "auction voting" (which was terribly complex and time consuming . . .), and then, this. It's wrapped up in what my MA advisor called the [GinSlinger] rule of accidental history.

As an aside, I'm going to be applying for an IHS fellowship (shhhh! don't tell my department) and was wondering if anyone has any experience with them they'd be willing to share.

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Jadagul » 08 Dec 2011, 17:44

Warren wrote:
Mo wrote:
Warren wrote:You mean like "When will the government stop pandering to the special interests and finally do something for the teachers?". What's so special about "special interests"? And what do you mean by "capture". And how does that work in this case? Will the Lint Pickers Local 217 all ban together to get their guy on the city council? And is that really more influence than they have now?

I think in terms of "establishment" over "special interests". This system would at first glance seem to afford greater anti-establishment influence.
Last I checked, teachers unions were special interests. "Special interests" had a greater influence in the late 19th and early 20th century than they do now, by a long shot. Did you sleep through the whole machine politics portion of history?
Either you didn't understand what I wrote, or I don't see your point. Special interests are just interests. The modifier "special" is used to denote "other than mine". I grew up on the south side of Chicago (it wasn't bad at all) in the Richard J Daley era. So I have some notion of machine politics.

But that's all besides the point. What are you saying about this system of "you have x votes and you can distribute them any way you like across the ballot"? Would it bring back the machine? I don't think so.
That if you're right and most people just go vote for the top of the ticket--which I suspect you are--there's a lot of room for some concentrated interest to coordinate on, say, spending all their votes on the school board. It makes it way easier for a particular interest group to get wildly outsized influence over some races by giving up on other races they don't care about, and we already have a problem with interest groups getting wildly outsized influence over races they care about and no one else does; I'm not sure why we'd want to accentuate that.

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by GinSlinger » 08 Dec 2011, 17:53

Jadagul wrote: That if you're right and most people just go vote for the top of the ticket--which I suspect you are--there's a lot of room for some concentrated interest to coordinate on, say, spending all their votes on the school board. It makes it way easier for a particular interest group to get wildly outsized influence over some races by giving up on other races they don't care about, and we already have a problem with interest groups getting wildly outsized influence over races they care about and no one else does; I'm not sure why we'd want to accentuate that.
Why is this, necessarily, a problem? There's something wrong with revealing preferences?

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by Jadagul » 08 Dec 2011, 18:07

Uh...because democracies naturally have a problem with concentrated interests overwhelming diffuse-but-greater interests (e.g. tarriffs, height restrictions, liquor licenses). Why would we build a system that seems almost designed to make that problem worse?

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by GinSlinger » 08 Dec 2011, 18:09

Jadagul wrote:Uh...because democracies naturally have a problem with concentrated interests overwhelming diffuse-but-greater interests (e.g. tarriffs, height restrictions, liquor licenses). Why would we build a system that seems almost designed to make that problem worse?
Given the binary of "have a problem" or "doesn't have a problem," how does one get worse than "has a problem"?

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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by thoreau » 08 Dec 2011, 18:43

GinSlinger wrote:I coulda sworn there was a thread for words one can't think of, but ten minutes of "Searching" produced nothing.

What is the voting system called where a voter is given a number of votes (perhaps equal to the number of races) to distribute as they see fit across the entire ballot? For example, say there are 20 races and a voter is given 20 votes. They can spend all their votes on a single race (most would probably opt for the presidency every four years), or distribute them one vote per race, or some combination.
I've not heard of this, and I'm very much a voting systems geek. I see from your post below that you already looked into cumulative voting. Do you know of places that have actually used this method?
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Re: There's a Word for That

Post by GinSlinger » 08 Dec 2011, 18:47

thoreau wrote:
GinSlinger wrote:I coulda sworn there was a thread for words one can't think of, but ten minutes of "Searching" produced nothing.

What is the voting system called where a voter is given a number of votes (perhaps equal to the number of races) to distribute as they see fit across the entire ballot? For example, say there are 20 races and a voter is given 20 votes. They can spend all their votes on a single race (most would probably opt for the presidency every four years), or distribute them one vote per race, or some combination.
I've not heard of this, and I'm very much a voting systems geek. I see from your post below that you already looked into cumulative voting. Do you know of places that have actually used this method?
No, it's based on a hypothetical. I just assumed all possible means of voting were covered. Speaking of that, I know there must be some literature on "skin in the game" style voting (pay per vote) somewhere. I'd be interested if you could point me to it, or provide the right words for a JSTOR or similar search.

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