[EM] One more thing about "unknown middle"

LAYTON Craig Craig.LAYTON at add.nsw.gov.au
Sun Nov 12 19:13:00 PST 2000

So you disagree with the concept of a quota?  Would you also dispense with
the practice in the US (as I understand it) of requiring a certain number of
signatures (corresponding to a certain percentage of the vote) in order to
run?  It is the same concept (that of requiring a particular minimum primary
support to be considered an appropriate choice).  Under your argument, a
true CW might not get the requisite number of signatures, hence invalidating
the entire system before it even goes to the polls.  Should a candidate with
*NO* first place votes (even the candidate doesn't vote for herself) get

Incidentally, do you (and I would like to hear responses from other list
members as well) support optional preferential or compulsory preferential or
something in between (ie a minimum number of preferences be expressed for a
vote to be considered valid)?  While truncated votes cause significant
problems for pairwise comparisons, should a vote where the intention of the
voter is clear (ie a single number 1, or a single x) be declared invalid,
simply because it causes difficulties?

Experience in Oz has shown that counting (and phrasing of rules) for
preferential systems is a rather complex issue, as is what should be printed
on the ballot papers.  For instance, there is a case for writing on the
ballot papers 'YOU MUST number all candidates, starting with 1, and
continuing until 12' (if there are 12 candidates), but still counting
truncated votes (there is a variation of this that is actually used in some
Australian elections).

-----Original Message-----
From: MIKE OSSIPOFF [mailto:nkklrp at hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, 13 November 2000 13:26
To: election-methods-list at eskimo.com
Subject: [EM] One more thing about "unknown middle"

I forgot to add something: The voter median position will be, with any
good voting system, a popular & crowded place for candidates.

It's very unrealistic to say that the only candidate at the voter
median will be an unknown. There will be respected & well-known
candidates there.

Furthermore, if an unknown tries to run there, his opponents will
find out as much about him as they can, and his faults and bad
history won't remain unknown. The other candidates have motivation
to expose why he wouldn't be a desirable President.

Mike Ossipoff

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