Pairwise Vote Terminology (was Re: "Votes over" (Re: [EM] Why Margins isn't as democratic or ethical as))

Norman Petry npetry at
Wed Feb 9 05:57:53 PST 2000

Before anyone posts again, I'd like to propose one last change to the
terminology I introduced last evening.  All of the proposed terms relate to
the how to process the vote totals in pairwise matrices before applying a
pairwise method to determine a winner.

It occurred to me this morning that if we are going to refer to
"winning-votes" and "losing-votes", that a better term for methods which use
*all* the votes in the pairwise matrix (winning + losing) would obviously be
"all-votes" or AV.  This makes more sense than "both-votes", which by itself
is less suggestive of vote totals, and might only refer to pairs of votes,
in some way.  Therefore, the revised terminology I would like to use when
referring to this subject is:

Winning-Votes (wv)
Losing-Votes (lv)
All-Votes (av)
Margins (m)


Norm Petry

-----Original Message-----
From: Norman Petry <npetry at>
To: election-methods-list at <election-methods-list at>
Date: February 9, 2000 12:46 AM
Subject: Re: "Votes over" (Re: [EM] Why Margins isn't as democratic or
ethical as)

>Hi Rob,
>Since you're suggesting new terminology, and I sort-of introduced some bad
>terminology this morning, I thought I'd reply quickly in the hope that we
>can settle on something reasonable before becoming bogged down in
>discussion.  It would be great if we were all talking about the same thing!
>Anyway, as an alternative to your idea, I would propose that we use
>terminology that was sent to me by Blake in a private response to my
>message.  His suggestion is that we use the following terms:
>1) Winning-Votes (WV) -- This is equivalent to the "Votes-Against" methods
>which only consider the majority side of each pairwise win.  I had referred
>to it as "VA" in my earlier post.
>2) Both-Votes (BV) -- This is equivalent to what I called "Absolute Votes",
>or AV in my post this morning.  Blake pointed out that "Absolute Votes" is
>probably a poor term, since it could equally apply to Winning Votes or
>Losing Votes, since these are also absolute.  The idea here is that we use
>simple vote totals, but do not arbitrarily eliminate minority vote totals
>before applying the method.
>3) Margins (M) -- This is the same as always.  Pairwise victories are
>measured as differences between majority and minority vote totals.
>4) Losing-Votes (LV) -- only included for completeness, in case some
>decides to add to the confusion by proposing a method which ignores
>majorities and considers only the minority vote totals (please don't!).


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