Look what the cat dragged in!

Bart Ingles bartman at netgate.net
Sun Oct 18 23:56:20 PDT 1998

DEMOREP1 at aol.com wrote:.
> The example could even be more extreme--
> 49 H W
> 48 S W
>   2 W H
>   1 W S
> with the same result.

This is indeed an extreme example, and shows how easily an unknown
candidate with a few million to spend could walk away with an election
under pairwise methods, at least if there is no other safety mechanism

In recent years, a number of wealthy private individuals have bought
double-digit results in high profile U.S. elections.  Ross Perot in '92
was probably the most striking example, until he dropped out because the
"CIA threatened to disrupt his daughter's wedding."

> I repeat my standard mantra-
> nonpartisan nomination and elections for executive and judicial elections,
> having a YES/NO vote on candidates in such elections, using Condorcet on
> majority YES candidates, repeatedly dropping the lowest number ranked YES
> choices to break any tie.

I believe you are on the right track by including some sort of absolute
approval requirement, at least if you insist on going with Condorcet,
but what if no candidate has a majority YES vote?

Seems like you could replace relative ranking with some sort of absolute
"rating" system (with a fixed number of values, like 0 - 10).  You could
then treat the votes as approval votes, starting with the top level and
them adding in successively lower levels as necessary until one or more
candidates achieves a majority (or some other threshold).  You could
then use whatever method you want on the candidates who meet this
threshold (or just use the greatest approval vote).  This would
eliminate the separate YES/NO vote.

There would still be no guarantee that any candidate would get even a
minimal level of approval from a majority of voters, so some other
threshold would be needed.  Maybe you could quit adding levels when more
then half of the positive votes have been added.

> I must berate Mr. Davidson for putting his catty comments on the ER list when
> discussion of specific methods are supposed to be on the EM list.   Many ER
> folks presumably have no great interest in the details/defects of various
> election reform methods.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the ER folks.  Neither list is any
place for pussies.

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