Example with contrary half preference votes

Steve Eppley seppley at alumni.caltech.edu
Thu Jul 11 16:52:37 PDT 1996

Hugh T wrote:
>Consider a slight modification of this scenario: Dole's strategists
>get a minority of his supporters, 18 per cent of the total, to
>order-reverse (alternatively, they really prefer Nader), the rest
>sincerely vote Dole, Clinton.
>  28 Dole, Clinton
>  18 Dole, Nader
>  20 Clinton
>  34 Nader, Clinton 
>No rational Clinton voter who understood the system would refrain
>from choosing the 1/2 vote option,

Can the Clinton voters reliably predict that only 18% will order-
reverse (or really prefer Nader to Clinton)?  Wouldn't they be afraid
that a few more clever Dole voters would also reverse, electing Dole
by increasing the size of Clinton's largest loss (to Nader)?  

The only ways to defend against that would be to try to make Dole's
largest loss larger than Clinton's (by persuading Nader voters to
vote C>=N) or by keeping Nader from losing badly to Dole (electing
Nader and "punishing" the reversers by voting N>D or by *not* 
choosing the 1/2 option).

It looks like all the voters would have a strategy dilemma in this
example, with such precise knowledge of a close circular tie.

>Perhaps the voter should have to give a rational explanation of why
>he would not want the 1/2 vote to count in case of a tiebreak, in
>order to opt out of it. 

Besides making voting more complicated and daunting, it raises the 
question of who gets to judge whether explanations are rational.

---Steve     (Steve Eppley    seppley at alumni.caltech.edu)

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list