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عنوان: Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (and What We Can Do About It)
مؤلف: William Poundstone
مترجم: -
ناشر:
سال انتشار: 2008
امتیاز آمازون:
تعداد صفحات: 352
شابک: 809048930
شابک(13): 9780809048939
مشخصات: xii, 338 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
رده بندی کنگره: JK1976
دیویی: -
دیویی نرمال: -
نوع فایل: PDF
حجم فایل: 3.11 مگابایت
قیمت پشت جلد: $5
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چکیده
Our Electoral System is Fundamentally Flawed, But There’s a Simple and Fair Solution
 
At least five U.S. presidential elections have been won by the second most popular candidate. The reason was a “spoiler”—a minor candidate who takes enough votes away from the most popular candidate to tip the election to someone else. The spoiler effect is more than a glitch. It is a consequence of one of the most surprising intellectual discoveries of the twentieth century: the “impossibility theorem” of Nobel laureate economist Kenneth Arrow. The impossibility theorem asserts that voting is fundamentally unfair—a finding that has not been lost on today’s political consultants. Armed with polls, focus groups, and smear campaigns, political strategists are exploiting the mathematical faults of the simple majority vote. In recent election cycles, this has led to such unlikely tactics as Republicans funding ballot drives for Green spoilers and Democrats paying for right-wing candidates’ radio ads. Gaming the Vote shows that there is a solution to the spoiler problem that will satisfy both right and left. A system
called range voting, already widely used on the Internet, is the fairest voting method of all, according to computer studies. Despite these findings, range voting remains controversial, and Gaming the Vote assesses the obstacles confronting any attempt to change the American electoral system. The latest of several books by William Poundstone on the theme of how important scientific ideas have affected the real world, Gaming the Vote is a wry exposé of how the political system really works, and a call to action.
 
نظرات
 
A Great Introduction To The Im


As books of non fiction go, Gaming the Vote begins with an amazing story. William Poundstone starts the book with a telling of the 1991 governor's race in Louisiana. I never knew how corrupt politics in America could really get till the Blagojevich scandal broke. I had no idea I had been missing out on so much fun! The story of how Edwin Edwards ended up squaring off and winning against David Duke had me hooked and immediately raised my expectations from the book. And it delivered.

The book is an examination of Kenneth Arrow's Impossibility Theorem [...] i.e The Problem followed by proposals of other voting systems that try to address the issues of vote splitting which plagues the plurality voting system. Mr. Poundstone makes this admittedly dry subject funny and engaging through anecdotes aplenty. I found the Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carroll story especially enlightening. I had no idea the writer I knew as Lewis Carroll was also a philosopher mathematician. And now I know what a Condorcet winner is!

If you decide to read the book, I suggest putting the glossary at the end of the book to use - the author has condensed all the different voting systems described in four pages that help clarify the main text when you get bogged down in the jargon of IRV, Approval Voting, Condorcet Cycle etcetera.

I'm strongly recommending Gaming the Vote.
 
2009/01/12

Deeply disappointing


I have liked several of Poundstone's books but this one is a loser. He makes much of Arrow's Impossibility theorem, but never explains a proof. And the underlying premise of the whole book is that the democrats are entitled to Nader votes, and the gop is entitled to Libertarian party votes, and the problem we need to solve is that they don't get them.
 
2008/07/09

Best in Class!tp


Most books that attempt to propose new ways of carrying out elections are nothing more than sour grapes: "Since *my* guy didn't win the last election, the system is obviously flawed and should be overhauled." Therefore, most of these sort of books are a waste of time.

This one, however, is simply brilliant.

Instead of approaching the subject through party results, Poundstone instead takes a historical walk through many different voting schemes in terms of the mathematical theory behind them. Don't be scared by the word "mathematical", by the way...Poundstone not only steers clear of intense mathematics but also provides a simple glossary to help you remember something you may have forgotten from earlier pages. While I think I can determine his political leanings from a couple of different allusions, he makes such a good argument and has such an engaging style of writing that it doesn't matter. There were several times when I noticed a flaw in the argumentation and Poundstone responds to the particular question on the VERY NEXT page. Any author that can read the mind of an informed reader is doing a good job indeed. :)

In conclusion, anyone who's interested in the process of voting should read this one because it's the best of its kind.
 
2008/05/22

Fascinating and fun


This is a fascinating and fun review of various voting systems and their failures. Mathematically, the core of the book can be summed up in one page (one page that happens to be in the book and says it all with a chart). But this book isn't just about math, it is about the history of voting, the various issues and debates surrounding it. It is thus a fun read on several levels.

I did wish the concluding chapter went a bit further. But it certainly had me convinced that we should switch to a rating system for political voting. I know personally I'd like to give ratings to the various folks who are running... wouldn't mind leaving them a review or two either.
 
2008/04/11

A joy to read


I've read a number of books on voting systems, most of which are very dry and technical. This book manages to explain a lot of things in a well-written, readable form, and I recommend it highly.

The book has two main sections: in one, several elections in the past history of the United States are discussed to show how our electoral mechanism can go awry. This could be very amusing if it weren't so tragic, and sets the stage for the second part. This part describes alternatives and homes in on a method, "range voting," which solves many of the difficulties associated with our electoral system.

Range voting is familiar to Amazon customers, because it is the way books are rated here: voters give a rating (1 to 5 stars on Amazon, it could be 1-10 or 1-100, for example, in another type of election) and the ratings are averaged, with the highest rating winning. It is a system where you can sincerely rate a number of candidates and be sure that your vote will not hurt one you favor against one you dislike or help someone you disfavor against one you prefer. It never has been used in political elections, but has been used in many other contexts, and not just on Amazon.

Unfortunately, as Poundstone mentions, there has come to be a controversy where two different electoral system reforms have been set against each other: range voting and "instant runoff voting" have their advocates, each cutting down the other. Each would have advantages over the present system, but range voting has in my eyes slightly more, as IRV does generate some odd paradoxes (discussed in the book under the term "nonmonotonicity") in some situations. Whether these situations would often arise is hard to determine, because IRV has only been used for any length of time in one place: Australia. Range voting seems to be harder to implement, but avoids these paradoxes.

It is true, as another reviewer mentions, that the book concentrates on single-winner elections and does not go into the possibility of electing legislatures by proportional methods. This only means that that is another issue to deal with, and does not detract from the fact that many offices, such as mayors, governors, and chief executives in general are inherently single-winner, and this book is oriented toward such offices.
 
2008/03/15

 
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