VA, Margins, & voter wishes

Sun Oct 4 08:24:50 PDT 1998

Mr. Ossipoff wrote---
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?

Mr. Cretney wrote--

Yes, I disagree.  What your saying is that a pair-wise vote where the winning
side has a majority of voters must always take precedence over a pair-wise
vote where this is not the case, no matter what the margin of victory is.

So, when one must be over-ruled, a victory of 52 to 48 with 100 voters must
take precedence over a victory of 49 to 4 despite the fact that for those
expressing a preference, the second vote seems clearly more decisive.

Furthermore, if you accept VA, it has the side effects that 60 to 40 must take
precedence over 59 to 3.

And 48 to 47 must take precedence over 47 to 2.

These results seem contrary to our usual idea of what constitutes a decisive
vote, and are not required by GMC, but are the result of VA.

D- I again bring up the question of how nonvotes in pairings should be
treated.  If each nonvote is treated as a half vote for each choice, then the
results become--

Orig.    Nonvotes/2      Modified
52-48                  52-   48
49-4  (47/2)           72.5- 27.5
60-40                  60-   40
59-3  (38/2)           78-   22
48-47 (5/2)            50.5- 49.5
47-2  (51/2)           72.5- 27.5

If the modified results were the same (as in the 49-4 and 47-2 pairs), then
the highest original would prevail (49-4).

I also note that in many State legislature houses laws are constitutionally
required to be passed by real (original) majorities of ALL the members of the
house involved (e.g. 51 to 49 rather than 2 to 1 with 97 not voting).

Thus, the original-modified procedure might only be used for electing

However, again I suggest that executive and judicial officers, at least,
should be elected by getting Approval type YES majorities of ALL the voters
along with using number votes if 2 or more candidates get YES majorities.

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