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Comments on Tuesday 5 October 2004:
I had just written several paragraphs of a rant about the best democratic system possible, combining Instant Runoff voting with proportional representation (not using Condorcet voting because, while that's the best for picking a single victor, it's not very good for combining with proportional representation). I was half way through explaining all the complicated mathematical intricacies of the system I envisioned, and then I thought "hm, Australia uses Instant Runoff, and has proportional representation in its senate - how does it do that?"

The answer is it does it exactly the insane complicated way I was about to propose and explain, which rather put a damper on my plan for being the origin of an insane complicated (but very fair) democratic system. It's described here in Appendix 1, in a way that I don't understand even though I just invented the same system for myself. That's how insane it is. Prerequisites for understanding include understanding Instant Runoff voting and Proportional Representation.

In conclusion, boo for being preempted, but hooray for Australia using the very political system I would propose, albeit only for its senate and not for its house of representatives where I would rather it be. And ha ha, silly retarded big-brother America, using stinky old First-past-the-Post plurality. Ten out of ten game-theorists, economic theorists or political theorists agree, plurality is shit. [22:22]

RavenBlack
Aha, a bit more poking around reveals that Australia's senate system is known as Single Transferable Vote (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote), though that doesn't fully describe it; if I read and recall the various things correctly it's Single Transferable Vote using a Droop Quota and fractional ballot reallocation.

It also turns out not to be quite the same as the system I had envisioned. Single Transferable Vote (as described by Wikipedia, anyway) can result in a horrible miscarriage if, for extreme example, everyone put the Bob Party as their second choice candidate. A lot of runoffs would go *through* the Bob votes, and the Bob Party would end up with no seats despite actually being quite popular. The system I envisioned was able to kick previously-run-off votes back into play under such circumstances, making it even more insanely procedurally complicated, but *better* because it wouldn't ignore the clearly deserving Bob Party.

Anet
"plurality is shit"

Agreed.

Kristen
Bob.
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