nkklrp at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 28 20:05:49 PDT 2001
MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote:
But when I talk to people about voting, they, believe it or not,
don't object to Plurality because distances from lines drawn on a
diagram aren't what they should be. No, what they say is that
people who prefer Nader should vote for Gore instead, because that's the
only way of making Bush lose.
Yes that's true, but I'm not in the marketing department...
If we want a business
analogy, then what I meant is that your product is inadequate.
No amount of marketing will improve an inadequate product. So it
isn't just that you aren't in the marketing department; it's that
you don't have anything any good to market, in your rank-balloting
catalog... (ellipsis is trendy here, so I wanted to copy the fad).
So, because you aren't in the marketing department, you don't care
if your product meets people's expressed concerns. Fine, that's your
business. I just wanted to let you know.
You seem to regard this as some sort of mathematical game or art form
that should be above such mundane considerations as the concerns of
voters and the political and material consequences of the voting system.
Art form? No, I don't see it that way. Game? No. Mathematical?
Definitely. But so many of the discussions on this list are either
in nature or have a mathematical background. Why pick on this particular
post all of a sudden?
I'm "picking on" your arguments for Margins over wv. Let me explain this:
We're doing a poll. Some are arguing for Margins. I'm arging for wv.
Part of such a discussion is to question arguments that we don't
think are important. I'm saying that your mathematical concerns aren't
important. I'm not saying all mathematics is unimportant. But mathematical
pursuit can be as important or unimportant as one wants
it to be, and I'm saying that you're pursuing something that's of
no importance to voters' concerns. I'm "picking on" your arguments
because they aren't important and you're using them to promote
a worthless voting system.
If you don't think it's important, you've already said so.
That should suffice.
I hope it does. But I wasn't repeating myself when I questioned the
importance of your diagram.
My objection was that you said so in a way that
completely mischaracterized what I had said. You said, "Richard has written
about how one thing he likes about margins is that it looks nice on a
Ok, I should have said that Richard likes the way Margins makes
for a diagram that Richard likes better. Isn't that a fair assessment?
My post was merely my late contribution to an already arcane discussion
about scoring methods for Condorcet completion schemes.
grabbing the public's attention. Are you saying such discussions don't have
a place on this list because they aren't flashy enough for public
I didn't say that your discussion doesn't have a place on this list.
I only said that about Blakes long postings that were all about me.
Any argument about voting system issues has a place, especially
during a poll--in fact I wish this discussion had all taken place
before the poll. But though your discussion has a place, that doesn't
mean that your reasons for liking Margins are any good. I mean,
sure they're good for you, but your diagram doesn't show that
they'd solve the existing strategy problems. But maybe you don't
care about that, and that's fine too. I'm suggesting that if others
care about those concerns, then your arguments shouldn't mean much
It was a discussion I didn't have much interest in
at the time it came up. Later when the EM poll forced me to start thinking
about the topic I posted the answer I came up with,
Yes, that's something that we're familiar with here: The newcomer
who knows better.
an answer as satisfying
to me as your justification of winning votes is to you.
I agree that your justfication, and the method that it justifies,
is very much right for you.
Finally, in case you're wondering, I do have an interest in social aspects
the systems we discuss, though you don't seem to realize it.
Sorry--I guess I missed the part of your demonstration where you
related your arguments to actual consequences or voter concerns.
If there were
no social or political consequences I wouldn't be writing here in the first
place. Do you think that about me because I refrain from discussing
No, that isn't why. It's because your justifications for Margins
don't relate in any way to the concerns of voters or to doing something
about the avoidable dilemmas that they have to deal with, and which
make them afraid to express their preference for their favorite.
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