Goals/Objectives Must Take Precedence Over Criteria

Goals/objectives must take precedence over criteria. There are already far too many criteria in the election methods stew, and far too little discussion concerning goals. When starting any project, you have to know what you want from it.

It is not sufficient to just begin with a collection of criteria. That approach is what I would call the ‘box-of-chocolates’ approach. There are 100 chocolate pieces in the box, and you may choose five. Maybe you would like a cherry-filled? And a toffee? And a chocolate covered pecan, perhaps? And so on. But this is not any way to begin a project. If you want to start a project, you need to begin with goals, not criteria. You must ask: “What do I want from the creation of this project?”

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Bayesian Regret simulations probably help with this.

Maybe some goals:

  • Break two-party domination
  • Elect candidates who have more support from the voters (either a majority of them or more)
  • Create more legitimacy and usefulness for democracy
  • Help new ideas rise and receive their reflection of support
  • (Optional) Reflect the ideals society has for its own operation (whether to maximize overall utility, the majority’s utility, a specific group or individual, etc.)