SW Reform/Enacting Laws

Mike Ossipoff dfb at bbs.cruzio.com
Sun Nov 10 22:13:09 PST 1996

That's true--that in votes on quantities, a voter doesn't necessarily
order the various possible values in order of magnitude. So I
agree that it would be best to "nominate" some values for the
quantity, and then use Condorcet's method to vote among the
nominated values.

But someone once pointed out that if there were a vote where
everyone _did_ rate the possible values in terms of magnitude,
a good way to do it would be to have everyone vote the value
that they like best, and then the winner is the median of
those values voted.

But since we don't rate all the possible values in order of
magnitude, even in a budget vote or a vote on a meeting date,
two especially common kinds of quantity votes, then it's
best to nominate some values & treat them as alternatives
as in any other multi-alternative vote.


I'm pleased to hear that a version of Condorcet's method is
being proposed for use in Parliament. That's the Dodgson
version that uses margins? Well adoption of any Condorcet
version in govt would be a very important & helpful precedent,
so I'm sure this is not the time to disagree among Condorcet
versions. Anyway, my arguments about that have already been
posted here in the past.

As we've discussed, Condorcet didn't specify exactly how 
to measure a defeat, and Condorcet(EM) uses "votes-against",
and Dodgson's version & Young's version use margins. Since we
so rarely hear abaout other Condorcet versions, we usually
just use the name Condorcet's method to refer to Condorcet(EM).
Here, the main rival is Hare's method (MPV, Instant Runoff,
Alternative Vote, Preferential Voting); there's also 
some academic advocacy for another pariwise method that isn't
a version of Condorcet's method. So, for U.S. purposes, 
there's only 1 Condorcet version being advocated vs MPV.

Actually, if Young & Dodgson go by _overall_ margin of defeats,
that's different from what Condorcet said, since I believe that
his wording meant specifically that the important thing was an
alternative's _single_ worst defeat. That being so, Condorcet(EM)
is really the only true Condorcet version being advocated. All
the more reason to be able to just refer to Condorcet(EM)
as Condorcet's method, since it's the only Condorcet version being

Well, if Dodgson or Young is adopted in Parliament over there,
that would make people notice pairwise methods more, and
would help the adoption of Condorcet's method here.



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