Dec 7, 2006

We killed a thousand trees …

Voters of sub-sector elections must have received tons of pamphlets that stuffed up their post boxes … If we assume each sub-sector has on average 16 candidates and formed two ‘tickets’, each voter would have received about 16+2 = 18 pamphlets by post. 0.2 million voters implied 3.6 million pieces of paper. We killed about a thousand trees and consumed about 5-million dollors worth of postage. Postage is public money.

The culprit is the election rules. Each candidate is allowed to mail a piece of pamphlet free of postage to each of his/her sector’s voters. So if you were the candidate, you naturally would make your own pamphlet, otherwise you will be disadvantaged. And each pamphlet costs about HK$1, and that counts to the costs of the election. You might argue this helps boost the design and printing business though …

And the big issue is this sudden arrival of papers is more an annoyance to the voters. Classic game theory says this is a typical poor game design - Most people lose at the Nash Equilibrium.

The solution? I think IT could be used here. :)

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