VA, Margins, & voter wishes

Mike Ositoff ntk at
Thu Oct 1 17:51:11 PDT 1998

I'm going to back out of my agreement with Blake's stat4ment
that VA is out of the rank-count discussion. For 1 thing,
the fact that I don't believe that rank-balloting is a
practical public proposal doesn't mean don't believe that
1 rank method has more merit than another. Some people do
advocate rank methods for public use, and I suggest to them
that VA is the one that does what they want, if they want
what most people want from a rank method. And the merit of
methods can be discussed regardless of what some of us
believe in proposing publicly. Also, pursuing this discussion
helps prove my claim that rank count discussion will always
be a hopeless mess.

Also, I'm not the only one here to speak for VA vs Margins.


Blake says that he considers, in the A vs B comparison, that
a majority means most of the people voting in that particular
comparison, rather than a majority of all the voters. Fine;
how about this democratic principle?:

If the number of voters indicating that they'd rather have
A than B is greater than the number indicating the opposite,
then if we choose A or B, it should be A.


A requirement to not avoidably violate that principle is
the same as the Condorcet Critrerion.

So you see, Blake, we all agree with the desirabilty of
that measure. But the Condorcet Criterion, by itself, isn't
enough. That's why I added:

If a majority of all the voters indicate that they'd rather
have A than B, then if we choose A or B it should be A.

Do you disagree with that, Blake? Or other Margins advocates?

Good, because VA is the only one of the methods that won't
avoidably violate that principle.

More subsequently.


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