Reply to Blake's reply: Rank is a "Double Speak" word

New Democracy donald at
Fri Nov 13 04:15:12 PST 1998

Dear Blake,

     Thank you for writing when you wrote:

>Now you are describing a procedure.  Can the mere though of preferring
>A to B imply a particular procedure where your secondary preferences
>are held until that procedure rejects a candidate as a contender.  This
>seems like reading a lot into the idea of preference.

     If it is a procedure it is a procedure common to all single seat
methods. If there are enough votes on one of the first choice candidates to
reach a majority then the majority winner is reveled and the lower
preferences remain void of votes.

>I thought "Crank" included approval advocates.  They don't allow any

     Yes and No - during the casting of the ballots in an Approval election
the votes are ranked 1-2 and hold that rank for the count of the first
choices. If there is no majority on this count then the choices are no
longer ranked 1-2, they are now equal. And this is what I claim to be
deception of the Approval method and its supporters.

>If you agree that ranking A over B means that you prefer A to B, that
>means we can make statements about whether a majority prefer A to B
>just by looking at the ballots, without defining any particular method
>or deciding who is currently a contender.  I don't think accepting
>this definition automatically implies agreement with any particular

     First: Are you talking about a majority of the votes or a majority of
all the preferences???  The public will think you are talking about votes,
they will be unaware of the fine print in the "Sales Agreement" - more
     Second: You are defining a particular method when you eyeball all the
preferences and make a summation that a majority prefers A to B. What is
being done is a form of Approval Voting that uses all the choices.

>It is true that in Condorcet your lower choices can help defeat your
>first choice.  Here's an example:
>40 A B C
>12 B A C
>13 B C A
>35 C B A
>Assuming these rankings represent mere preferences, and not contingent
>preferences, a majority say they prefer B to A, and a majority say they
>prefer B to C.  So, B is the Condorcet winner.
>In this example, the A first voter's second choice is helping to defeat
>A and elect B.

     I fail to see how the A voter's second choices are helping to defeat
A. My thinking is that in Condorcet, my second choice may help a second
candidate defeat a third candidate and inturn the second choices of the
third candidate may help the second candidate defeat my first choice
candidate. Or, the second choices of the third candidate may help my
candidate defeat the second candidate - whatever.
     In your example the second choices of the A voters have helped
candidate B defeat candidate C. And inturn the second choices of candidate
C have helped candidate B to defeat candidate A. If this were a single seat
district election, the B voters will have gained more representation than
they are entitled to - more deception.

     The voters of the two front running candidates enter a mutual
murder/suicide pact when they make lower choices in a Condorcet election.
It would have been best for them if they did not make any lower choices.

Donald Davison

     ///                 N E W    D E M O C R A C Y                ///
     \\\ Home of Citizen's Democracy \\\

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list