Arithmetic Errors

Mike Ossipoff dfb at
Sun Apr 7 18:02:30 PDT 1996

DEMOREP1 at writes:

[I'm replying to Demorep's suggestions, farther down in this letter]

> 1. Errata- In the first example there is
> Also #(B>C) = 10 and
>      #(C>B) = 48, so C beats B by 44-10 = 34.
> The 48 should be 44 apparently.
> 2. Regarding Mr. Anderson's -- 
> A New Example:
> 48:  A, (B & C tied)
>  6:  B, (A & C tied)
> 46:  C, B, A
> I suggest again that the least worst defeat should not be used for a tie
> breaker. There seems to be a bias using the least worst defeat tie breaker
> towards the candidate with the second highest number of first choice votes.

Seems to be? Can you show that there's bias? First you have do say just
what you mean by "bias" in some kind of objective terms, and then you
have to demonstrate that such bias exists in Condorcet's method.

"Suggest", & "Seems to be" aren't enough. I've given concrete specific
reasons why Condorcet's method meets some very widely-agreed-upon

> For a tie breaker I suggest that the candidate with the lowest number of
> first choice votes lose (or first choice votes plus additional choice votes
> if there were 4 or more candidates). Thus B should lose the tie breaker and A
> should win 48 to 46 (or 51 to 49 if a half vote for each of the 6 A & C tied
> votes from B as second choices is transferred).

You're basically proposing MPV (Hare's method), maybe with some 
hybridization under some conditions. As is well known by (& much
done by) the academic voting system authors, there's really no limit
to the number of methods that can be proposed or named or listed.

No, proposing new methods isn't going to help EM accomplish its goal.
Start with the standards that are important to you, Demorep. Name those
standards. And then find a method that meets those standards. And
if you've already done that, and the above proposal in your letter is
what you've come up with, to meet your standards, then 1) tell us what
your standards are; & 2) tell us why your method meets those standards.

We must take that orderly approach.

The academics seem to believe that they're taking an orderly
approach, based on criteria. But the criteria they use are
met by many methods, and they seem to be saying that anything
that meets those criteria is ok, while ignoring the things that
are important to voters & electoral reformers, things that,
judging by how many people mention them as important, are
more important than the academic criteria. How many times have
you heard a voter tell you that he faces a voting dilemma because
of the Smith Criterion or the Condorcet Loser Criterion?

..Maybe that's because violation of those critera aren't the
things that cause dilemma, aren't the cause of the problems that
voters complain of, aren't relevant to the goals that led us to
want better single-winner methods.

But that's off the subject of this reply. Demorep, the thing for
you to do is start from standards, instead of just defining
new methods. Either that or become a voting-system academic
author & write in journals.


> .-


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