MOAV "criterion"?

Steve Eppley seppley at
Wed Feb 12 16:28:48 PST 1997

Demorep wrote:
>Steve E wrote:
>>Demorep has often recited the example of Weimar Germany, in which the
>>*legislature* chose Herr Hitler; the "legislature solution" is dubious.
>Herr Hitler was appointed Chancellor (head of government) in
>Germany in Jan. 1933 by President Hindenburg and not by the German
>parliament (Reichstag). 

Yes, my mistake.  However, my point is valid: Demorep's suggestion of
letting a legislature select the President is equivalent, when the
voters reject all the candidates, to the parliamentary system.
There's no guarantee the legislature will pick a person who would
receive the support of a majority of the citizens, and in legislatures 
backroom deals are likely to be struck.  Why expect them to pick a 
better winner than the people would pick using Condorcet?

When one must win, why would Demorep want to turn over the important
election power to a body of representatives, whose choice is also
likely to be majority-rejected?  I'd sooner trust the people.

Assuming we go ahead with single-winner reform without attempting 
to amend the U.S. Constitution, won't the House have to select as 
President one of the candidates who failed to receive the "majority 
of all votes"?  Should we wait until we can amend the Constitution 
before trying to improve the voting method?

>Mr. Eppley wrote more:
>>Switching from the existing Plurality & Top2Runoff methods to
>>Condorcet or Smith//Condorcet would impose a significant barrier to
>>a Hitler or a Gingrich achieving executive power.
>D- If Mr. Gingrich is akin to Mr. Hitler, 

Gingrich currently has the low approval ratings Demorep claims must
disqualify him from powerful executive office, and which Demorep 
believes would be the only thing which would protect us from electing 
someone like Hitler.  In this sense, which is what is relevant in 
this discussion, they are akin.  (But Hitler probably had higher 
approval ratings than Gingrich has.)

>then is Mr. Nader akin to Mr. Stalin (in thought if not yet in fact)?

I think Nader wouldn't have a chance to win given a good voting system
like Condorcet, either.  He's probably too suspect on the question
of whether he could responsibly govern.

I don't think Nader is quite as totalitarian as Stalin.  I'm less
certain about Gingrich--he seems willing to bend laws to achieve
power, and he's written some megalomaniacal things about how
vital he is to the defense of American culture (documented in 
the House Ethics Subcommittee report).

>In case Mr. Eppley is unaware many folks are Republicans- is Mr.
>Eppley claiming that such folks are Nazis ?

A few, no doubt.

> Does this mean that Democrats are Communists ?  

A few, no doubt.  

I wouldn't call Stalin a communist, though--he was a totalitarian
who used communist rhetoric.  For better examples of communism, take 
a look at Israeli kibbutzim, co-ops, and worker-owned businesses.

How about we terminate the irrelevant political discussion now?

>Since plain Condorcet has obvious non-majority rule defects, 

Demorep hasn't shown he understands majority rule.  Demorep won't 
post a clear definition of his MOAV criterion, which, I presume, is 
his interpretation of majority rule.

It's impossible to guarantee that anyone, even someone hand-selected
by a PR legislature, will have majority approval of the citizens.

>using words and phrases such as *disorderly discussion* shows only
>juvenile intelligence capable only of name calling.

The phrase aptly describes a repeated behavior which has been a 
problem for this list.

>If anything the *disorderly discussion* is Mr. Eppley's in not
>seriously responding to the various minority rule examples of plain
>Condorcet that I have posted.  

I believe I've seriously replied, and rebutted, those examples.  
Feedback from other subscribers is requested, so Demorep and I won't
just stay in a tit-for-tat mode.  If I've missed some key example, 
someone please call my attention to it.

Does Demorep believe he, in turn, hasn't been ignoring important 
points made by myself and others?  Or is he trying to distract from
his own behavior by claiming, rightly or wrongly, that I'm also 
guilty of the same?

>The average voter has no interest in what any single winner method
>is called, such as the XX//YY//ZZ method,  

Thanks for that info.  How was it obtained?

Makes me wonder why marketing experts waste so much effort naming their 
products instead of just listing the active ingredients.

I met today with the ex-mayor of Pasadena, in preparation for the
League of Women Voters presentation.  Almost every time I mentioned
the name Condorcet, he interrupted me and said I shouldn't use that
name, even in the context of our little conversation.  But perhaps
he's not the average voter Demorep knows so intimately.

>but has some minimal comprehension, notwithstanding terrible public
>schools, of majority rule (as compared to plurality and Condorcet's
>distinct possibility of producing winners having support that is a
>little more than plurality (roughly in the 37-45 percent of all
>voters range due to truncated votes) but a little less than a
>majority of all the voters- i.e. beating each other candidate by at
>least 51 of 100 votes). 

Does anyone (besides Donald, of course) believe Demorep has posted an 
example showing Condorcet violating majority rule?  

Demorep now seems to be claiming that a candidate must receive a
majority *in every pairing* as well as a majority of Yes votes in
order to satisfy MOAV.  The PR legislature--which we won't have in
the foreseeable future, except in elections for the mayor of
Cambridge MA--will get to pick the winner whenever any of these
conditions is failed.  Expect a busy legislature--or should we call 
it Parliament?

Here's an example which Demorep would probably claim points out some
majority rule violation of Condorcet:
   20:  A(B=C)
   15:  ABC
   16:  BAC
   16:  BCA
   23:  CBA
   10:  C(B=A)

   Here IRO elects A.  
   Condorcet elects B, who trounces A and trounces C head to head:

   Pairing       Opposition to
                  A    B    C
   --------     --------------
   A vs B        55L  35               <--    A lost to B, 55 to 35.
   A vs C        49        51L         <--    C lost to A, 51 to 49.
   B vs C             33   47L         <--    C lost to B, 47 to 33.
                ---- ---- ----
   LargestLoss:  55    0   51

   (Note the new table format, with N columns and N(N-1)/2 rows.  
    I think something like this will be easier for laymen to understand 
    than the more compact NxN matrix.)

According to Demorep, since B's trouncing of C is "only" 47 to 33, 
B deserves to be defeated in accordance with his interpretation of majority
rule (which treats indifferent voters like disapprovers).  Yet he's
also written that IRO satisfies his MOAV, even though according to
the same ballots A is trounced by B with a *majority* of 55.  Does
anyone agree with Demorep about majority rule and MOAV?  Does anyone
see a consistent meaning behind "majority of all voters"?

>For every Nader 37-45 percent winner it is just as likely to get a
>37-45 percent Gingrich winner with plain Condorcet.

Neither is likely.  Condorcet elects centrists, while revealing the 
true strength of the noncentrists.

Demorep's fear is much ado about nothing.  Paraphrasing, he's saying
it's a method defect to elect an acceptable centrist candidate if
the voters happen to be circularly divided when two other acceptable 
centrist candidates also compete.  And he's saying it's also a method 
defect to elect an acceptable centrist if some voters think some other 
candidate is just as wonderful (as in the example above, where 20 
voters are indifferent between B and C, so B didn't beat C by a 

And what makes this all the more ridiculous is that he's saying that
if we tally the *same* votes using IRO when there's a circular tie,
the candidates' pairlosses (which would "MOAV-disqualify" them if
Condorcet tallies the votes) magically disappear so the winner does
not need to be MOAV-disqualified.  In other words, MOAV-acceptability
is not a property of the votes.  If it's not a property derivable
from the votes, independent of the tally algorithm, then it doesn't
exist to be tallied. 

---Steve     (Steve Eppley    seppley at

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