Talk:Rob Richie

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Is Rob Richie a voting theorist?

Is it justifiable to refer to Rob Ritchie as a Voting Theorist? Would it be better to have a category for Lobbyists or campaigners? --Dr. Edmonds (talk) 05:12, 30 April 2022 (UTC)

Yes, it's justifiable. It's my understanding that STAR voting was invented during a conversation with him. Regardless of whether anyone here agrees with him, he has theories about voting methods, and he's followed through on his theories in a big way. All that said, it could be useful to build out Category:Electoral reform activists (with both of us members, in addition to Richie) because many of us act on our not-so-humble opinions, and the "activist" title would be more appropriate than "theorist" if we had to choose one. However, it sure seems to me that there are very few "pure theorists" in this space, and both seem like appropriate terms to apply to many of us. -- RobLa (talk) 06:52, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
OK Point taken. I forgot about his involvement in the development of STAR. There are for sure people on who are Voting theorist and not Category:Electoral reform activists like Piotr Skowron. There are likely many many of the opposite who are activists but not theorists. I have been trying to keep the Voting theorist page updated and consistent with. The additional purpose of Voting theorist page is to have a quick reference for "What did that theorist do?". Hopefully this is a worthwhile page. It also documents several people who are noteworthy but do not have a page of their own. --Dr. Edmonds (talk) 16:48, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
I guess there should be some kind of threshold, but the problem is then defining where that threshold lies. If we for the sake of the argument disregard my preference for Condorcet methods, then I think I would be a lot more theorist than activist. However, I did co-write an opinion paper arguing that Norway's party list system be changed to use biproportional representation for either its top-up seats or for all seats, to increase PR.[1] I suppose that would make me a nonzero amount of activist. On the other hand, Rob is pretty much all activist, but with a nonzero amount of theorist. If a nonzero amount of involvement in either category counts, then both of us should be both activists and theorists. But if I had to place Richie in one category only, it wouldn't be voting theorist, and it wouldn't be very inaccurate. The trade-off is between making meaningful distinctions and being strictly accurate. Kristomun (talk) 09:59, 1 May 2022 (UTC)
That said, if Richie was involved in devising STAR, his page should probably have some references to that, as it came as quite a surprise to me and probably would to others too. Kristomun (talk) 09:59, 1 May 2022 (UTC)
Aanund Hylland might be a better example of an "epsilon-activist". He proposed to Guyana's Constitutional Reform Commission, changes that would improve the country's proportional representation system.[2] But he's definitely not an activist in the sense that e.g. Warren Smith is. Kristomun (talk) 10:08, 1 May 2022 (UTC)
After thinking about it a little more, a good threshold might be to consider the hypothetical that all the theorizing (or activism, respectively) was done by someone else. Would then the person be a notable activist (resp. theorist)? E.g. the part of Aanund Hylland who proposed PR changes to Guyana would probably not be listed in the activists category, were he a separate person. On the other hand, Warren would be listed as either theorist (e.g. optimal cardinal PR) or activist (CRV). Would a theorist-only Rob Richie be included in the voting theorist list? I don't know (because that he did any theory at all came as a surprise to me), but what do you think? Kristomun (talk) 18:38, 1 May 2022 (UTC)
Kristomun That is basically how I would define it. They need to be noteworthy in that category not noteworthy in general and have some claim to that category. Rob Ritchie is a bit of an edge case because he did debates involving theory which had impact because of his activism influence. I do not know enough about the specifics to claim the ability to determine it either way. --Dr. Edmonds (talk) 03:13, 2 May 2022 (UTC)