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Randomized algorithms for Vice-President July 25, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in india, politics, rant.

When political processes throw up candidates like Pratibha Patil and now Mr. Rasheed Masood who has the CBI already investigating him, I wonder if the following strategy can be more effective in choosing largely inconsequential positions such as that of President and Vice-President.

Lets us have 4 steps ( not necessarily in this order )

  • Choosing a person (any adult Indian citizen) in random
  • Voting via internet poll (almost limits to tax paying citizens )
  • Voting via SMS poll ( Laymen, homemaker women etc.)
  • Voting by MPs and MLAs

What would be the best way to order these 4 steps ? Each of these steps have their own biases in the kind of candidates they throw up – but a proper ordering can go a long way in avoiding a poor choice.

Should we let the politicians have the final say ? Probably not. Should they have it first ? Well, then they would put up all questionable candidates and rest would have to choose among them – so not advisable. Ideally then the politicians should come in somewhere in between. Where would the random step come in ? Ofcourse, there is the question of where do the first set of candidates come in from ?

Interesting analysis, ain’t it ?

I think getting a reasonable ordering of the above 4 steps has a good chance of bettering our politicians’ choices which are often driven by compulsions such as like Mr. Prakash Karat’s ego. Maybe a Computer Science PhD student working on randomized algorithms and/or the mathematics of political science can write a thesis on this problem. 😀

What ordering would you choose and why ? If you want to add a step or remove one what would that be and why ?



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