Comments on David Marsay's Comments - Number 2

New Democracy donald at
Sat Sep 26 03:50:48 PDT 1998

  ---------- Forwarded Letter ----------
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 14:54:38 -0700
To: donald at
From:  Mike Allen
Subject: Re: More comments on Lord Jenkin's proposals

>  ---------- Forwarded Letter ----------
>From: David Marsay
>Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 12:23:45
>Subject: Re: UK - Lord Jenkin's Proposals
>     Any comment on this? (Mine below)  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

Not so -- one can insincerely elevate a "pushover" that one's preferred
candidate can easily beat, but who has the ability to eliminate a serious
competitor.  For example, consider those Republicans who successfully aided
David Duke to win the Democratic primary, knowing they could beat him in
the general election.  To their advantage, they forced out a more viable

>2) A candidate with > 50% of 1st place votes wins. So the method is
>'majoritarian' in this sense.
>     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.)

Only if the center candidate has more approval than the left candidate
(e.g., support from 50% of the electorate plus the 2% of the electorate
which support both the left and center candidates).  How is this win

>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
>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' meet the criterion.

        What is the Smith criterion?


                                        Mike Allen

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