Revealing the Majority Winner

Michael A. Schoenfield maschoen at
Sat Nov 14 14:11:04 PST 1998

What you appear to be referring to is the infamous Arrow Problem as
articulated by Anthony Downs in AN ECONOMIC THEORY OF DEMOCRACY.  You may
want to check it out if yo;u havn't already. It is a major peice of theory
in Political Science.

Michael S.

Michael Schoenfield
Michael A. Schoenfield & Associates, Ltd.
2637 Mason Street
Madison, WI 53705-3709

(608) 238-6121 Voice
(608) 233-2507 Fax
maschoen at E-Mail
----- Original Message -----
From: <DEMOREP1 at>
To: <election-methods-list at>
Sent: Saturday, November 14, 1998 6:19 PM
Subject: Re: Revealing the Majority Winner

>Mr. Ingles wrote in part-
>How about this -- suppose we allow the voters to rate candidates on a
>scale, rather than just rank them.  Higher score means more highly
>favored.  The same election could come out a couple of different ways (I
>hope you are using a fixed font):
>Rating: 100    80    60    40    20    0
>45       A  B                          C
>15       B                          C  A
>40       C  B                          A
>  -or-
>45       A                          B  C
>15       B  C                          A
>40       C                          B  A
>Neither IRO nor Condorcet can distinguish between the two cases.
>I think it would be a mistake to pretend these voter preferences don't
>exist, just because relative ranking doesn't measure them.  After a
>(ranked) Condorcet election where voters' real preferences are like the
>second example, imagine the backlash when some enterprising pollster
>reports that when asked to rate the candidates on a 100-point scale,
>voters gave the winner a median rating of 10, while one of the losers
>had a median score of 90!  (Highest median score -- now there's a
>method.  :-)
>D-  Another example of why I suggest a YES/NO vote on choices (along with
>number votes).   Scale rankings are +100 percent to -100 percent (or the
>common 100 to 0).    A majority YES vote means a majority of the voters
>the choice above zero (or the more common above 50).
>Only B in the top example and C in the bottom example would appear to be
>getting above 50 acceptability.

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list