First Choice Criterion

Mike Ositoff ntk at
Thu Nov 5 18:33:48 PST 1998

> This is my first message to the list so I may be repeating something
> already discussed and solved.  Forgive me if I do so.
> It seems to me that when we vote we are sending information to the
> political system, if we choose to vote for the 'winner' vs voting for the
> candidate we perceive of as 'best'  we tell the system we want winners so
> we get dissemblers.


> In any sort of ranking, vote for multiple candidates sort of electoral
> process, I would argue that the problem of manipulation fails on two
> grounds:  The first is behavioral, to manipulate takes sophistication and
> dedication, I do not believe that the party activities are a sufficient
> part of the electorate to be able to do that.  The second is procedural,
> simply require that all candidates be ranked in order for the vote for
> that office to count.  This only leaves reversal and reason one mitigates
> strongly against it.

Voting a short ranking isn't necessarily done as an offensive
strategy (though I've observed that). If there are 20 candidates,
then reasonably some people won't rank them all. One solution
is to require them to, but that isn't really necessary. When
the best rank count is used, the votes-against family of
count rules, then truncation (short ranking) won't cause
a problem. It's harmless.

As for order-reversal, eventually, if the method doesn't
deter it, it seems likely that some voters could figure it
out & try it. Votes-against methods deter order-reversal
but other pairwise methods don't.


> Here in Minnesota you can see what "voting for the best" resulted in and
> I think its a step forward
> John
> j2saret at
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