UK - Lord Jenkin's Proposals (fwd)
ntk at netcom.com
Fri Sep 25 17:42:36 PDT 1998
I sent this reply to EM before I realized that the letter to
which it replies also went to ER, and so I didn't send a copy
to ER. Then I noticed that my record says that it was sent
to the individual sender rather than to the list, so I felt
that now I should send the copy also to EM. If 2 copies post
to EM, then I'll know that the 2nd copy there wasn't necessary,
and will avoid doing that next time.
In reply to David Marsay's letter:
> [Regarding the use of IRO (the Alternative Vote) for the
> consituency seats in the proposal]...
> David said:
> > I claim.
> > 1) Voters never have an incentive to vote other than for their true
> > preferences, since preferences count only when the higher choices
> > have been eliminated.
> No, all that means is that they don't have to worry about lower
> choice votes hurting higher ranked candidates. But it's very
> far from accurate to say that there isn't incentive to
> defensively falsify one's preferences. How about:
> 33.5% 33.2% 33.3%
> A B C
> B B
> If you're a C voter, then your last choice will win unless
> you engage in the most drastic form of falsification, ranking
> your 2nd choice, B, over your favorite. I've shown the candidates
> to be about equal in 1st choice support, to show how easily it
> can happen. Of course they need't be so equal for that problem
> to happen. All that's needed is for the middle candidate
> to be smaller than the extremes, but bigger than their difference.
> That's the un-demanding formula for a Condorcet winner to be defeated,
> unlesss someone votes it over their favorite.
> > This is a clearly desirable, and a nice change from FPP or many other
> > methods (e.g., approval).
> Oh yes, it's a change from Approval alright: Approval will never
> require the defensive strategy of voting a lower choice over
> a higher choice (like your favorite).
> > 2) A candidate with > 50% of 1st place votes wins. So the method is
> > 'majoritarian' in this sense.
> Do you know of a method that isn't, in that sense? Borda is
> the only one I'm aware of. The Majority Criterion is far too
> easy to meet for it to be a useful way of comparing methods.
> > Like FPP and vote-ranking methods. Approval is not like this. (If a
> > 'left' candidate has 51% support 2% of the supporters might rank a
> > 'centre' candidate 2nd, leading to a 'wrong' win for the centre
> > candidate.)
> Yes, but with Approval, it takes twice as many suckers to give
> an election away in that way, as compared with FPP or IRO.
> (when voters in IRO mistakenly believe that they're in the
> position of the C voters of my example--that's the whole
> strategy problem, isn't it, knowing when you need it &
> when you don't).
> As I said, Approval gives 1/2 the benefit of the best rank-methods,
> because it guarantees that you never need to rank a less-liked
> alternative over a more-liked one. The best rank-methods also
> guarantee that you never need to rank a less-liked alternative
> equal to a more-liked one. So Approval only gives half as much,
> but that 1st half is the one that makes the big difference
> (in comparison to FPP & IRO; IRO is just FPP with the cosmetic
> benefit of rank-balloting).
> > 3) A centre candidate will win unless it has the least support or
> > some other candidate has an absolute majority (as above).
> > This violates the Smith criterion. But maybe that is a small price to
> It violates more than Smith; it violates the Condorcet criterion
> worse than any other rank-balloting method. It's the only
> rank method that will fail to elect a BeatsAll candidate whom
> everyone has ranked alone in 1st or 2nd place.
> > pay. In extremis, a centre candidate with 2 supporters could win
> > using the Smith criterion. Do we really want to elect the candidate who
> > has least local support? Also note that methods that appear to
> > respect the Smith criterion do not encourage honest voting, so may
> > not 'really' meat the criterion.
> What? The criterion is well-defined, and the best methods meet it.
> And they don't force the degree of falsification that IRO does.
> > 4) The method will tend to produce a parliament with more centre
> > support. Moreover, the balance of seats for each party will be less
> > dependent on boundaries. Must be good?
> > 5) Even in a seat where a candidate is a 'sure-thing', voters may
> > help elect a regional representative, thus encouraging voting. Good!
> > 6) It still gives local representation - if that is important.
> > 7) The method seems easy to understand and not a great change,and
> > hence may be acceptable.
> For the local seats, Approval involves even less change.
> > 8) The system might produce parties that are very similar, arguably a
> > problem. However, geographic spread of views (at least in the UK)
> > should mean that non-centre views continue to be adequately
> > represented.
> > Have I missed something? Given that there is no 'ideal' solution,
> > isn't this as good as it gets? Some might argue that it is likely to
> > encourage coalition government, but wouldn't any alternative to FPP?
> Obviously the fact that it's used in a PR system would reduce
> the amount by which IRO would be able to cause damage--your
> party will still do just as well. But maybe you care who represents
> you locallly.
> My comments were mostly about IRO itself, in isolation from
> the fact that it's being discussed as part of a PR system.
> > Cheers.
> > --------------------------------------------------
> > Sorry folks, but apparently I have to do this. :-(
> > The views expressed above are entirely those of the writer
> > and do not represent the views, policy or understanding of
> > any other person or official body.
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