[ExI] elections again; was [Time Magazine: Person of the Year: Putin(!),my vote instead:Anna Politkovskaja]

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Dec 28 01:43:12 UTC 2007

> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org [mailto:extropy-chat-
> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of J. Andrew Rogers
> Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2007 4:48 PM
> To: ExI chat list
> Subject: Re: [ExI] elections again;was [Time Magazine: Person of the Year:
> Putin(!),my vote instead:Anna Politkovskaja]
> On Dec 27, 2007, at 4:01 PM, spike wrote:
> > Amara, Stefano, we discussed this topic at length in 2004, but I have
> > thoughts that contribute new material to the old discussion.  At
> > that time
> > we were thinking of ways to design a verifiably fair election.
> As a meta-comment, "fair elections" as most people would describe them
> are generally a hard problem, even if every vote is always counted
> correctly.  See: Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem, Duggan-Schwartz
> Theorem, and Arrow's Theorem (among others)... J. Andrew Rogers

Thanks J. Andrew, this I cheerfully recognize.  There is a lot of game
theory involved in national elections.  Paradoxes abound.  For instance
assume there are elections between mauves and taupes.  Assume a person is
mauve to the core.  She realizes her choice in the primaries appears safe
(or hopelessly lost, either way.)  Game theory suggests she should register
as a taupe, then vote for the least electable candidate of the bunch.

I am not suggesting this process can be perfected, but I have some ideas
which would at least restore confidence in the admittedly imperfect election
process as described in the US constitution.  As it is, the utter lack of
effort on the part of the US government (and all the other democracies) begs
for a modicum of credibility, and simultaneously suggests systematic and
intentional corruption.  Incumbents are a class of politicians who have
vested interest in maintaining the current unverifiable election process.
We must send a message that if they do not work to lend credibility in this
process, we will throw them all out and elect their opponents, who will then
be offered the same ultimatum: fix this or pack your bags.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list