Schulze, SEC, & many candidates

Mike Ositoff ntk at
Sun Oct 18 19:08:32 PDT 1998

On Sat, 17 Oct 1998 DEMOREP1 at wrote:

> Mr. Cretney wrote-
> > An interesting problem with VA, which I have previously not methioned,
> > is that it requires the kind of weighing of interests I mentioned above.
> > For example, if I sincerely rank A > B > C, I could vote this way.
> > However, I can increase the likelihood C will be defeated by voting
> > A = B > C.  In other words, to have the most effective vote against
> > C, I must not express my preference between A and B.  Of course, this 
> > sort of weighing of interests is one of the most obvious characterstics
> > of Approval, but it seems out of place in a ranked method.
> Mr. Ossipoff wrote--
> It's very much out of place in a ranked method. It's never needed
> in VA, for protecting a CW, except if offensive strategy uses
> an impossible degree of predictive knowledge and sophistication.
> Offensive strategizers would have to not only create a cycle with
> their order-reversal. They'd have to also engineer a subcycle
> in which everyone is majority-beaten. Forget it.
> ---
> D-- I mention again that there will be polls (in any free country).  Any
> candidate who is not a clear CW in the polls will likely strategize and try to
> get his/her supporters to follow the candidate's strategy WHATEVER the reform
> method is (noting again Mr. Arrow's observations).

If you're saying that polling is exact enough to engineer both
the circular tie & the subcycle of pairwise majorities, then
I disagree. The majority subcycle would require a detailed knowledge
of how members of the opposite side will vote among their own
candidates. It's one thing to say that people will try offensive
strategy if it's safe and feasible. It's another thing to say
that every offensive strategy is feasible.

But if there's a tendency for some to want to try offensive
strategy, then don't make it easy for them. In Margins, the
very defensive strategies against order-reversal, drastic
defensive strategies that violate David's 1st Choice Criterion,
will paradoxically make the offensive strategy safer.

IRO has its problem, its need for the most drastsic defensive
strategy, outright abandonment of one's favorite, without anyone
having to use offensive strategy.

Mike Ossipoff


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