[EM] output ranking

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 9 19:46:21 PDT 2001

>>But does anyone agree that it would be interesting to add
>>the option of voting on the absolute merit of the methods
>>too? That wasn't part of my nomination, and so I won't add
>>it to the ballot unless someone else wants to include it.
>>The disadvantage is that it would lengthen the ballot and
>>possibly thereby discourage voting, unless it were
>>emphasized that it's just an added option.

>One other possibility, if it's a possible possibility:  In
>addition to arriving at a winner, how about trying to get a
>ranking out of the poll.  That seems to be appropriate in a
>vote on election systems.

Sure. The easiest way would just be to rank the alternatives according
to their final Approval scores. Better would be to delete the winner
from the ballots, and then start the count all over. But on the Approval
portion of the ballot, there could be a question of whether people
would have voted differently among the remaining alternatives if
the deleted winner hadn't been there initially. Maybe someone voted
for a certain other alternative only because he perceived it to
be the thing that could keep the deleted winner from winning, and
wouldn't have voted for it if that winner hadn't been on the ballot.
Or maybe someone refrained from voting for something because it could
be a rival to the deleted winner, and would have had no reason not to
vote for it if that winner hadn't been on the ballot.

So making an output ranking by deleting winners doesn't seem to work
for these polls. I suppose it could be done just by ordering them
by their final Approval scores, but I wouldn't want to use that
for any material purpose, like saying that the topics will be voted
on in the order that they scored in the final Approval count of the
poll-topics poll. For that, I'd rather have new poll-topic polls.
Because if we could really know how people would vote among the remaining 
alternatives, _that_ would be the best way to pick the next
winner. And the only way to know that would be to hold another
poll-topics poll.

Ordering the alterantives by their final Approval scores seems ok
if it isn't going to decide an action, like the order of subsequent
poll topics. But if the repeated poll-topics polls were considered too
much trouble & delay, then of course the ordering by final Approval
scores might well be chosen even when the result makes a material
difference, as when determining the order in which polls will be done.

But of course people only voted on one poll, and it wouldn't be
democratic to use that result to write an order for subsequent polls.
That's something that would have to be specified before the vote
on poll topics. At that time, of course, a way of determining that
polling order would have to be specified. If it's going to be
determined from one poll, then I guess it would have to be based
on the order of the final Approval scores.

Mike Ossipoff

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