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The men who weren't even there: Legislative voting with absentees

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  • Laszlo A. Koczy

    ()
    (Institute of Economics - Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Miklos Pinter

    ()
    (Department of Mathematics - Corvinus University Budapest)

Abstract

Voting power in voting situations is measured by the probability of changing decisions by altering the cast 'yes' or 'no' votes. Recently this analysis has been extended by strategic abstention. Abstention, just as 'yes' or 'no' votes can change decisions. This theory is often applied to weighted voting situations, where voters can cast multiple votes. Measuring the power of a party in a national assembly seems to fit this model, but in fact its power comprises of votes of individual representatives each having a single vote. These representatives may vote yes or no, or may abstain, but in some cases they are not even there to vote. We look at absentees not due to a conscious decision, but due to illness, for instance. Formally voters will be absent, say, ill, with a certain probability and only present otherwise. As in general not all voters will be present, a thin majority may quickly melt away making a coalition that is winning in theory a losing one in practice. A simple model allows us to differentiate between winning and more winning and losing and less losing coalitions reected by a voting game that is not any more simple. We use data from Scotland, Hungary and a number of other countries both to illustrate the relation of theoretical and effective power and show our results working in the practice.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 1129.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1129

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Keywords: a priori voting power; power index; being absent from voting; minority; Shapley-Shubik index; Shapley value;

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  1. Ines Lindner, 2008. "A Special Case of Penrose’s Limit Theorem When Abstention is Allowed," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 64(4), pages 495-518, June.
  2. MoshÊ Machover & Dan S. Felsenthal, 1997. "Ternary Voting Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 335-351.
  3. Valenciano Llovera, Federico & Laruelle, Annick, 2010. "Quaternary dichotomous voting rules," IKERLANAK 2010-41, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
  4. René van den Brink, 2002. "An axiomatization of the Shapley value using a fairness property," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 309-319.
  5. van Deemen, Adrian & Rusinowska, Agnieszka, 2003. " Paradoxes of Voting Power in Dutch Politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 115(1-2), pages 109-37, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Laszlo A. Koczy & Balazs Sziklai, 2013. "Electing the Pope," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1315, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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