Rank is a "Double Speak" word

Charles Fiterman cef at geodesic.com
Tue Nov 10 10:45:16 PST 1998

At 12:25 PM 11/10/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Hello John Gear,
>     Good to hear from you again.
>     I liked your letter. Thank you for writing.
>     And thank you for coining the term Cranks for the people who advocate
>Condorcet and/or Approval Voting. They do get cranky at times.
>     But that is not the reason I am writing.
>     I want to talk to you and others about a statement that Mike-O
>presented in his cranky replies to you and Ken & Karla. Mike-O wrote:
>     "Most would agree that if more people rank A over B than rank B over
>A, then A can be said to beat B. What part of that don't you understand?"
>     Mike-O and the other Cranks have offered that statement a number of
>times in recent letters. This statement is often used by them as some sort
>of proof of the validity of their methods. Beware, the statement is a trap.
>     Now, on first reading this statement may appear to be true - to be
>honest. What you and others should be aware of is that this statement is
>deceptive. If the word rank were changed to vote, then the statement would
>be a true statement and even I would agree to it. But, the statement is not
>using the word vote - it is using the word rank and that word is one of the
>Cranks' Double Speak words. Yes, they have other Double Speak words.
>Another one is Majority, but that is another discussion for another letter.

Good analysis vote is a formal procedure and is only rank
if the formal procedure includes rank.

Further the function of democracy is not defined by
abstract mathematical criterion its to get through the
day. The system must work. People can't say "This is
a cheat and a rip off we must tear it down by force."

Illinois politics has regular elections but the elected
officials use so many gimmicks to stay in office that
people are starting to say "This is a cheat and a
rip off."

So more important than the actual choice of procedures
is that the politicians can't change them without a
referendum. There need to be mechanisms other than
courts to prevent gerrymander. For example I propose a 
computer program. Politicians can't strike opponents
off the ballot arbitrarily.

In Illinois voters can't start their own referenda.
So the system is a cheat and a rip off and it may
take extreme measures to restore free elections.

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