'Rating' Topics Or Comments Just Leads To Groupthink

Oh let’s see. I have often said:

=/ Computers only ever serve the interests of the people who control them, and can only be trusted by others to the extent that the interests of those parties are mutual. /=

That makes it crystal clear to me that computers ought have no role in electoral systems.

I have also come to understand that political elections (though much less so casual elections) are never primarily contests between candidates. They are contests between aristocrats and common people, and with the present single selection voting system, the aristocrats always win and the commoners always lose. Therefor the common voters can only ever win elections if they have recourse to strategy. Anti-strategic election systems are pro-aristocratic.

The most simple form of score voting provides the greatest opportunity for strategic voting, and therefor I favor it.

I also favor allowing some proportion of candidates who receive less votes to win, even though this means that some who receive more votes will lose. This is most straightforwardly achieved by setting up ‘layers’ (tranches) that are narrow at the top and broad at the bottom, so the candidate who wins the most votes within each layer will win a seat that would otherwise be given to someone who actually received more votes than him or her. This will allow minority factions, who by definition have less votes to grant, to have a voice. Yet it will still allow candidates representing majorities to maintain the greatest degree of representation because the narrower upper tranches will of course be more numerous.

However there should be a ‘paladin preservation rule’ that allows incumbents who obtain enough votes to reach the bottom bound of their previously held tranche to automatically win the tranche again, since they must have previously done enough for their minority constituencies to have reached that level. This will cause the system, which is predominantly random at first to become stable after a few election cycles. The only number needed to calculate the very simple quadratic equation that fixes the tranche boundary levels is the number of votes that have been received by the strongest winning candidate. So this system can easily be implemented with hand counted paper ballots.

This ‘virtual proportional representation’ would have all the advantages of other, vastly more complex systems of proportional representation.

Just about nobody here approaches these issues as I do, so if my contributions are rated, I would probably get all zeros. But I suppose the flock has to hang together, and follow the same paths. Solidarity is the highest ideal, and no one should ever go running off ‘thinking just for themselves’.

This is probably true when ratings can be punitive, as a system with downvotes (like Reddit) or one that averages ratings would be.

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I don’t know whether your post was in reply to mine, but I appreciate your idea of using some light form of PR to allow minority viewpoints to have representation in forum discussions. I also think that this groupthink, when allowed to be challenged, is a lot better than encouraging majority-minority polarization, as Approval Voting (hearts) does. Rating enables the consensus view to be identified definitively as such, which is better than having no or weak sort of identification of popularity.

Also, I am unable to understand people’s hesitations to ratings at all. If you want to give something a heart, 5/5 it. Saying that useful contributions to discussion shouldn’t be rewarded boggles my mind.

You could make the minimum score a 1 out of 5. Then they’d at least be showing value in your work as they criticize you.