[EM] Regarding Martin's other letter

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Fri Jun 1 18:40:55 PDT 2001

Martin said:

Hi Mike. How was your weekend?

Let's compare this to the Independance from Clones Criterion. Blake's
defn of this is the following (with appropriate defns of clone set,
eliminated, etc):

 >>>>> "If there are alternatives X1, X2 ... Xn that are a clone set,
and if one of these clones is eliminated from every ballot, then, if the
winner for the old ballots was in the clone set, the winner for the new
ballots must also be in the clone set. If an alternative outside the
clone set won for the old ballots, the same alternative must win for the
new ballots."

Now, we could rephrase this using your type of wording, and the first
clause would be replaced with:

"If there are alternatives X1, X2 ... Xn that are a clone set, or are
close enough to a clone set, and..."

I reply:

I don't have criterion that says "close enough..." When I pointed
out that if falsification occurs on a scale insufficient to change
the outcome, it's the same as if falsification didn't occur, I
was _not_ thereby changing SFC or GSFC. Those criteria still stipulate
no falsification. But I mentioned that fact to show how the criterion
is useful in public elections even though a few people might falsify.

Martin, you make things too complicated for yourself, and you get
all confused.

Martin continues:

Here's another example: "IRV elects the Condorcet winner, provided that
third parties do not occur on a scale sufficient to change the outcome."
- an absolutely true statement. But if you check it, all it's actually
saying is that IRV elects the Condorcet winner, provided there are only
two parties in the election.

I reply:

That's a good IRV guarantee, Martin. I like the fact that IRV
can guarantee that. Your IRV guarantee would of course be even
more reassuring if there were only 2 parties, and only 2 factions.
But we know that to be not so. You don't know that falsification will
occur on a scale sufficient to affect the outcome with proposable
methods. I suggest that it won't. In our recent voting systems poll,
only one person (Blake) falsified. In public elections it's ridiculous
to suggest that falsification would happen, with wv methods, on
a scale that could change the outcome.

Martin continues:

Now, you claim that for the wv methods you propose, the typical levels
of falsification will be typically unable to stop SFC's gaurantees from
working. That's all very well and good - but it's just a claim, and it
is entirely possible for a method to pass SFC, but to fail this further

So what I'd really like is to have some evidence for your claim. I'd
also like to see both instances of "typically" given values: for
example, in terms like "if the CW beats B by X%, then falsification can
occur on a scale of up to Y%, and B will still not be elected."
(provided the rest of the conditions hold.

I reply:

Regrettably, Martin, you can't have everything that you would like.

As I said, if SFC's other modest premise requirements are met, then
only falsification can make candidate B win. That's all I'm guaranteeing. I 
claim that guarantee is useful. I can't convince
you, but now we've heard your arguments against it, and
my reply. Are we done with this discussion yet?

I must admit that I'm not quite sure how you want me to prove to you
that falisfication won't change public election outcomes. I can only
state that falsification has been rare in polls that I've participated
in. If that isn't good enough, then I'm sorry. I don't know what you

I hope you're able to quit this issue now, since we've both
clarified our positions on it.

Mike Ossipoff

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