1/2 option

Mike Ositoff ntk at netcom.com
Sun Oct 4 15:31:09 PDT 1998

There's nothing wrong with an option, and that goes for the 1/2 
option. Well the only problem with adding options is that
it makes the rule that much more complicated. Not a problem for
elections here, but probably a problem for public proposals.

When Blake brought up insincere extension, he correctly described
it as an offensive strategy. If you defensively truncate in order
to give zero votes-against among some lower preferences, that's
a defensive strategy. And so that's one reason why, if 
the option isn't included, for the sake of simplicity, the
default should be zero.

Another reason why the default should be zero is that the
voter, when not expressing preference between two alternatives,
is literally not voting either over the other, and that
should be reflected in the default interpretation of his

Also, suppose we were using Condorcet on this list to vote
on something of importance. Would you want the 1/2 default
even though it would mean that truncation would then be 
able to take victory from a CW? Wouldn't you prefer a count
that allows for the reality of truncation without it making
a problem? Wouldn't you agree that for an election on EM,
or a public election, it's desirable to elect the CW?


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