Jameson Quinn Profile picture
Harvard PhD [s]candidate[/s] in statistics. Opinion, info, and research on improved voting systems and democracy. He/him.
13 Aug 19
@UtilaTheEcon @Fix12thAmend I use four lenses to look at this problem:
① Statistical. You have a multi-dimensional distribution of voters in ideology-space, and the job of a voting system is to faithfully reproduce the median in all contested, policy-relevant dimensions. This is PoV of the original thread.
@UtilaTheEcon @Fix12thAmend ② Deliberative. Goal is to elect a parliament that can creatively find solutions to common problems. Viewpoint diversity is usually a plus, except that some people, just frankly toxic and closed-minded, should be kept out.
@UtilaTheEcon @Fix12thAmend ③ Parliamentary/coalitional. Goal is to "form a government", with a policy platform that has (indirect) buy-in from a majority of voters. Rich poli sci literature about pre-election vs. post-election coalition formation; my read is it's best to have a bit of each.
Read 18 tweets
30 Jun 19
Post-Rucho, Gerrymandering is a crisis. That is, we need to be working on solutions.

Only 3 possibilities:
1. Live with it. Let minorities rule and try to ensure your group cheats best.
2. Draw better maps. State referendums or lawsuits, or fed laws. (Fed lawsuits are out.)
3. Stop wasting votes. Proportional representation, imposed from Congress.

Option 1 is unacceptable. 2 is surely needed, but can't fully solve the problem. So 3 is needed. Yes, it's an uphill battle—grassroots must grow >100x to win. But if you understand, time to speak out!
Currently, "RCV" is making big strides. But I fear that's a dead end for #ProRep, for 2 reasons.

1st, "RCV" branding deliberately blurs between IRV & STV. Look at Trudeau's broken #ERRE promise for where that leads.

2nd, the reason Trudeau reneged: STV is too disruptive.
Read 7 tweets
29 Jun 19
In the shadow of the deplorable SCOTUS decision in #Rucho, it's time once again to talk about how to fix gerrymandering. So, here comes a thread.

(Betcha never seen a Twitter thread w/ToC before!)
Elections twitter peeps have probably heard me make these points before. You may agree with some, disagree with others. Either way, respond! Above all, I want to spark dialogue. I saw in BC how, when we don't get ahead of the curve, we end up behind it.
The tweet count on this thread is gonna be high, but I'm gonna make just 4 key points here. Here they are, up front, as a table of contents:
Read 78 tweets
27 Mar 19
@TobiasNowacki @laderafrutal @benwansell @simonjhix @chrishanretty This is an interesting case for talking about voting strategy, because the political zealotry is turned up to 11.

You think I’m talking about Brexit zealotry? Nah. Voting theory.
@TobiasNowacki @laderafrutal @benwansell @simonjhix @chrishanretty Sorry, don’t mean to be glib. I just don’t want people to assume they know what I’m going to say. I’ll be on all sides of the Twitter Voting Theory Wars here.
@TobiasNowacki @laderafrutal @benwansell @simonjhix @chrishanretty First: Gibbard-Satterthwaite proves that any voting method has strategy. But strategy≠insincerity. In approval voting, you set threshold strategically, but then sincerely approve based on that threshold.
Read 13 tweets
14 Oct 18
*Every* main argument of the #NoBCProRep campaign is misleading somehow. Pilon's essay academia.edu/37553274/Revie… is devastating in understated academic terms but the public debate is even starker.

Here comes a thread where I respond to each of @NoBCProRep's last 10 tweets.

Basically true, according to angusreid.org/wp-content/upl… . But in same link, aside from the referendum, 57% of those polled in BC support #ProRep. ≥50% in each province polled except Manitoba. That is, 100% have some opinion, albeit unsure on referendum.

FPTP is far more prone to policy whiplash than PR. Look at 1996 and 2001 elections: first NDP get 52% of seats w/ 39% of votes, then Liberals get 97% of seats w/ 58% of votes.

Successive #ProRep governments would have more overlap; BETTER stability.
Read 16 tweets
28 Sep 18
1/The Senate is badly broken. 51 Republican senators represent the 54M people who voted for them or their appointers; 49 non-Republican senators represent 79M people who voted for them. medium.com/@jameson.quinn…
2/Here's the graph.

The rot at the heart of the Senate is now threatening to irrevocably contaminate the Supreme Court.

Is it fixable? Not fully, but there are some things that would help.
3/First, offer statehood to DC and PR. Even though DC would be a small state, including it would reduce the bias of the senate, as measured by the gap between the countrywide mean and the median state, in many ways. In other words, it would reduce the chance of "minority rules".
Read 8 tweets