Posts by Michael Homer

  • Up Front: The Surprisingly Sincere Up…,

    The requirement is to "verbally give or verbally confirm his or her
    name"
    . Before 2014 it just said "give any particulars that are necessary for finding the elector’s name on the rolls.", but this version was there for the last election too. I suppose someone complained about what "confirm" means.

    If you can't speak, you can gesture, or meet the requirement by "any other means with the assistance of a person nominated by the elector who is present with the elector".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election, in reply to Steve Todd,

    I note your comment [...] that it would be "fairly inefficient at run time with a large number of candidates."

    I was mostly talking about my own implementation there - I built it directly off the definitions, rather than efficiently. For a proper implementation computation cost wouldn't be an issue other than in really extreme cases.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    I'm not planning to use it for anything, no, it just seemed interesting to write. It's not complicated and there are better implementations around.

    If the ballot records were available I might've given it a go, but they're not.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election, in reply to Steve Todd,

    In contrast, it is also very clear to me that Schulze STV must indeed be extremely tedious to program

    It's not. I just did it; it took maybe half an hour, directly off the "Computation" section of the Wikipedia article you linked.

    To produce a program that also allows for EQP would surely be a nightmare

    I'm fairly sure I did that part too. It's fundamentally part of the algorithm, since you're counting ballots with A>B; there's no extra work involved. I didn't try multiple winners.

    It's definitely less intuitive to me than Meek's method, but tediousness of programming really isn't a point against it. It is going to be fairly inefficient at run time with a large number of candidates.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: A Tale of Two Iceblocks: Part…, in reply to David Haywood,

    No, I wouldn't say so. By having the PGST refunded to exporters (as with GST now) then the PGST can have neither an incentive nor disincentive effect. My view is that we should neither subsidize clean energy in exports or punish dirty energy in exports because we don't have control beyond our borders, and can't anticipate the effect that the modified price signals would have in terms of encouraging/discouraging greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere.

    I'll try to write out an example where it happens. Ultimately it seems to be the category definitions that matter.

    Suppose that Exporter A is the only aluminium exporter in the country, and has high emissions (100/unit). Exporters B and C both export steel. Let's assume that aluminium is a perfect substitute for steel (but not vice-versa), and both are only used overseas.

    Exporter B has zero emissions, and exporter C is roughly in the middle of A and B (50/unit). C uses a different process than B that is dirtier, but produces more steel for each unit of iron input, so if C stopped producing altogether and all their inputs went to B, B would not be able to output the same volume (say, only 40% as much). A can scale up with demand.

    Exporter C is a net payer, which makes their product more expensive to their overseas buyers than both A and B. Exporter A is PGST-neutral, and exporter B is subsidised by C for the moment.

    C should cease operating under those conditions soon enough, so we can set them aside and allocate their iron input to B, who then produces 40% more steel than before. The other half of C's old production must be filled by A. Both A and B are PGST-neutral now, having no competitors.

    Let's assume that in the absence of PGST, aluminium and steel have the same value, and all three exporters have equal sales.

    Before, total emissions per three units exported were 100 + 0 + 50 = 150. With the PGST, 40% of C's exports go to B, for zero cost, and the other 60% go to A. Total emissions are now 160 + 0 + 0 = 160. Total exports and prices are unchanged.

    Written out, my vague sense of unease looks extremely complicated and unlikely. It doesn't seem completely out of the question either, however. The category-based refund does the lifting.

    I'd actually see the definition of industry categories as being the greatest difficulty with my demonstration proposal.

    This was my next question. The hypothetical doesn't happen if aluminium and steel are in the same category, which pushes for quite broad categories. On the other hand, the price modulation aspect seems to fall apart if the categories aren't reasonably specific. There's an incentive to try to game them either way.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: A Tale of Two Iceblocks: Part…,

    How is a local exporter that doesn't have a differently-polluting competitor affected by this? It seems that provided that 1) all outputs are exported, and 2) there is no competing exporter in the same category with a lower CO2-equivalent to unbalance the rebate, there is no net impact on the exporter. Is that correct?

    If this good substitutes (overseas) for a lower-emission net-payer in a different category, does that have the same impact of incentivising an increase in total emissions?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Forgetting what we didn't know,

    It's also available from http://www.etv.org.nz/programme.php?id=47219 to anybody affiliated with any other New Zealand university, and a pretty long list of polytechs and high schools too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Art with a job to do, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Mostly I only number one or two candidates - those I really want to win - and leave the rest unnumbered.

    This is silly unless all of those other candidates are genuinely indistinguishable to you.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The silent minority,

    If, through talking to them, you increase their knowledge of politics from 0 to 0.5 (nothing to half informed) you increase their chance of voting from 67% to 89%

    This doesn't really seem to follow, does it? Someone who's fundamentally uninterested isn't going either to know much or to vote, and causing them to know more won't (necessarily) increase their interest so much as increase their desire to avoid you. You'd need longitudinal data to start drawing that kind of conclusion, and even then it's a bit iffy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Cameron Slater: computer hacker?, in reply to mpledger,

    nor does it look like the files would have been able to be seen by a typical member of the population using the ordinary tools available to browse the web.

    You could have ended up there just by using a (quite) old web browser and trying to visit Labour's main website. It's just borderline-criminal incompetence on the part of the people running the sites (and if only the Privacy Act had any teeth...).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 80 posts Report Reply

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