[EM] Probabilistic criteria. Participation & no-show.

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Thu May 4 19:37:17 PDT 2000

Markus said:

By the way, I have to agree with Steve Eppley that _every_
criterion (e.g. Monotonicity, Participation) should be
defined in the probabilistic context so that it is not
possible to circumvent the corresponding problems simply
by saying that "some random mechanisms" should be used in
these problematic situations. Criteria should always be
defined in such a manner that (1) those who support random
election methods are urged to say explicitely which random
mechanism should be used and that (2) it can be checked
whether this strategical problem is really removed by the
proposed random mechanism.

I comment:

Maybe for academic purposes, putting the criteria in terms
of probabilities instead of actual winners would be good, because
it would make the criteria applicable to probabilistic methods.
Because, ideally, it's good to be completely general.

But for actual practical purposes, it's more useful to
talk about concrete outcomes rather than probabilities. For one
thing, I know of no probabilistic method that is in actual use,
or which has any significant amount of advocacy for public
elections. I've only heard of one person advocating such a method,
and he didn't have a proposal, only the suggestion that maybe
a good method of that type could someday be found.

So, for practical purposes, there's no reason to complicate
the criteria with something that neither the public nor the
reformers have heard of, to deal with methods that aren't
being proposed.

p.s. Is is participation an adverse results criterion?
Isn't it one of those criteria that says that participation in
the election by a group of same-voting sincere-voting voters
shouldn't cause their 1st choice to lose (or maybe it's that
it shouldn't cause their last choice to win), if that wouldn't
have happened without their participation?

If that criterion specifies sincere voting, then it's worthless,
because the methods that pass it are methods that discourage
sincere voting.

That's the purpose of SARC. Sincere voting isn't a realistic
assumption for most methods, especially the ones that pass
such criteria as "participation" or "no-show".

Or, if I'm mistaken about "participation" & "no-show" assuming
sincere voting, would you tell me what they say about how they
assume people vote--or just quote those criteria here?

Mike Ossipoff

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