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Randomized algorithms for Vice-President July 25, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in india, politics, rant.
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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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