Fundamental Basis for GMC

Mike Ossipoff dfb at
Tue Jul 9 14:01:37 PDT 1996

Of course if a majority agree on a 1st choice, it should win. If they
don't, then it seems to me that the most fundamental democratic principle
is that if a majority indicate that they'd rather have some other
alternative instead of X, before they'd accept X, then we don't choose
X. Because a majority would sooner have that other alternative.

Admittedly there can be situations, with 3 or more alternatives,
where it isn't possible to comply with that principle. But shou
we violate that principle unnecessarily? That's what GMC, the
Generalized Majority Criterion is about.

Those situations where that principle can't be complied with will
be, it seems to me, relatively rare. 

Of the methods that have been proposed for EM's recomendation,
plain Condorcet & Smith//Condorcet are the only methods that
pass GMC, which means that they're the only methods that never
unnecessarily violate the principle stated in the 1st paragraph
of this letter.

Mike Ossipoff


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