Condorcet pairs on the ballot

Mike Ossipoff dfb at
Sun Nov 17 19:03:15 PST 1996

donald at writes:
> Dear Condoret people,
> I have a very good suggestion on how to improve the pairing in Condorcet
> elections.
> I suggest that we put the pairs on the ballot instead of constructing the
> pairs after the election. For example - the ballot could look something
> like the following for four canaditates:

No. It would monstrously complicate the ballot. I can just hear
Richie now. People, including you, have accused Condorcet of
being too complicated, so you'd now make the ballot into something
where the voter would be asked to vote between pairs in a big
pairwise matrix. No way. 

>        |   A[]   |   A[]   |   A[]   |   B[]   |   B[]   |   C[]   |
>        |   B[]   |   C[]   |   D[]   |   C[]   |   D[]   |   D[]   |
>        |  Vote   |  Vote   |  Vote   |  Vote   |  Vote   |  Vote   |
>        | for one | for one | for one | for one | for one | for one |
> The first advantage of doing the pairs on the ballot is that we do not have
> to deal with the many combinations of Vote-Sums. A four candidate election

What are you talking about, with "vote-sums"? All we have to deal
with is N(N-1) pairwise vote-sums, which each precinct would send
in to the central counting computer. With your proposal, those
pairwise vote-sums would still have to be sent in, but the only
difference is that the voter would be confronted with all of them
in a big matrix on his ballot, or in a _long_ list of pairs.

> would have as many as sixty-four combinations - two hundred for a five
> candidate race. But, by putting the pairs on the ballot the pairing results

Incorrect. A 4-candidate would have 6 pairs of candidates, & 12
pairwise vote-sums. A 5-candidate race would have 10 pairs of
candidates, & 20 pairwise vote-sums.

By "putting the pairs on the ballot", you impose upon the voter
a much more time-consuming, confusing & daunting task than
merely ranking hir 1st choice, 2nd choice, etc.

> are given directly without dealing with any combinations of Vote-Sums.

It's still completely unclear what you mean by vote-sums, unless
you're talking about the number of people who voted each possible
rank-ordering--something that is irrelevant and unnecessary to
record in Condorcet (but which would be necessary to record
in IRO--either that or record each ranking in the main couning
computer's memory).

> The second advantage is that this way is more honest because the voters
> would be actually comparing the candidates one to one instead of merely
> indicating second choices.

Why is that more honest. Who, in your estimation, is being dishonest
when letting voters express their 1st, 2nd, 3rd choices, etc?
I tell people that the ranking consists of a vote for each candidate
in it against anyone ranked lower or not ranked. People understandd
that & like it very much, because they're tired of the LO2E problem,
& they immediately realize that such a count avoids it.

> Third: If the people vote for the pairs directly maybe we will have fewer
> circular ties. Some of you have blamed the voters for circular ties, I do
> not know if this is true, but this way the voters may show more
> responsibility. We may be able to get the ties down below fifty percent.

Nonsense. If voters had to separately vote on each pair (45 of
them in a 10-candidate race), they'd do _lots_ of truncating.
And they'd (correctly) say that the ballot was ridiculous.

> Donald,


> .-


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