Consensus, Condorcet(0), and Condorcet(1/2)
seppley at alumni.caltech.edu
Thu Jul 25 13:04:51 PDT 1996
[A message I sent to EM was eaten when eskimo.com broke down last
week. Here's the gist of it, hastily rewritten.]
The discussion about using "1/2 votes against both" in pairwise
methods led me to think about what it is that the method ought to be
measuring, and ponder the following question:
Which of the following is the greater violation of democratic
principle in a 2-candidate race:
1. Electing candidate A even though A lost to B (46 to 54).
2. Electing candidate A even though A lost to B (34 to 46,
with 20 who have no preference between them).
There's no clearcut answer, seems to me. In case 1, A has a smaller
margin of defeat and more supporters than in case 2. But in case 2
there are fewer voters who would be made unhappier by changing the
result from B to A than in case 1.
Condorcet(0) implements the principle that case 1 would be a greater
violation of democracy. It tries to minimize the number of squawking
voters when breaking the circular tie. I don't know what Condorcet(1/2)
Consensus is another well-established system which pays more
attention to opposition than support. In Consensus, a proposal
which is opposed by any voter fails, no matter how many support it:
a proposal with 1 aye and 99 who don't care will pass, but a proposal
with 99 ayes and 1 nay will fail.
---Steve (Steve Eppley seppley at alumni.caltech.edu)
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