[EM] IRV Psychology

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Mon Apr 30 17:00:28 PDT 2001

Your response greatly reinforces the main point of the posting to which
you replied below, which is that IRV psychology will not be won over by a
system with as low expressiveness as plain Approval (no matter how it may
compare on other grounds) since it does not allow them to vote their
favorite above their compromise candidate while still supporting their
compromise in any degree.

For that reason I have suggested in a more recent posting that for public
service we devise and promote methods that beat IRV in every category,
especially simplicity, the Favorite Betrayal Criterion, and expressivity. 

The simplest ballots that allow more expressivity than ordinary preference
ballots are CR ballots like the Grade Voting (five slot) ballot.

The simplest way to use them is to give the win to the candidate with the
greatest number of passing grades (C and above).

This solution completely satisfies IRV psychology.

There may be other better solutions, but I doubt that they will be as
simple as this and still beat IRV in every category.


 On Fri, 20 Apr 2001, Blake Cretney wrote: 

> On Thu, 19 Apr 2001 15:27:41 -0700 (PDT)
> Forest Simmons <fsimmons at pcc.edu> wrote:
> > In my conversations with fellow Greens I've learned that they can
> live
> > with non-monotonicity, they can live with elimination of Condorcet
> > Winners, and they can live with low average social utility.
> > 
> > The one feature that they cannot live with is the spoilage problem. 
> They
> > don't want ever again to have to vote Gore over Nader to keep Bush
> from
> > winning.
> > 
> > The funny part is this: they sincerely believe that IRV satisfies
> the
> > Favorite Betrayal Criterion better than Approval does. They believe
> this
> > because, as they point out, in the last presidential election IRV
> would
> > have let them vote for Nader over Gore without any regrets, while
> Approval
> > would have required them to vote Gore equal to Nader or else risk
> spoiling
> > Gore's chances against Bush. 
> The "Favorite Betrayal Criterion" implies that voting another
> candidate over your favorite is a betrayal, but that voting another
> candidate equal is not.  Not everyone feels that way.  Many Nader
> voters would consider voting Gore equal to Nader to be a betrayal. 
> Personally, I think this is a very emotional way of thinking about
> election methods.
> > IRV allows you the luxury of voting your favorite above all others
> as long
> > there is little chance of your favorite winning or when there is
> little
> > chance of your favorite losing, i.e. when your vote has little
> chance of
> > making a difference in your favorite's fortune. 
> > 
> > The times when IRV puts the lesser evil dilemma in front of you,
> giving
> > strategic incentive to vote your compromise (Gore) above your
> favorite
> > (Nader) are only among those times when your favorite most urgently
> needs
> > your vote. 
> True, but Green party supporters may reason that although IRV may give
> the victory to the Republicans, it might also give it to the Greens. 
> It all depends on the second choice of the Democrats, in your kind of
> example.  Of course, the Green voters may cower, and vote Democratic
> out of fear, but then again, they might not, if they feel they have a
> good chance of winning.  Of course, an argument can be made that in
> such a situation the Democrats should win, being at the center of
> public opinion, but I can see why this wouldn't appeal to Green party
> members.
> Also, I think it's pretty clear that for Greens to actually win, some
> of them have to vote for the Green candidate alone.  They can't win as
> long as they all vote for the Democrat too.  And voting only for the
> Green introduces a risk that the Green candidate will act as a
> spoiler.  That seems to me to be a pretty similar situation to the one
> described for IRV.
> ---
> Blake Cretney

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