# [EM]

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Wed Mar 14 12:31:49 PST 2001

```Dear Hugo,

I suggest getting a preference ballot from each official involved in the
determination of the ballot order.

Have them order the candidates by preference and, in addition, indicate
the boundary line between approved and unapproved candidates.

Use the approval scores to get a preliminary order.

This may be good enough.  If the officials don't like Approval as much as
Condorcet, then continue by Bubble Sorting the preliminary order with
respect to Condorcet.

By Bubble sorting I mean any method of sorting that only tests adjacent
pairs (no skipping around as in merge sorting).

Here's a recursive description of Bubble sorting:

To sort a list of N candidates, recursively sort the top N-1 candidates,
and then let the bottom candidate percolate up the list until someone

I call this method (and variations of it) Approval Seeded Condorcet.

I hope you like it.

Forest

P.S. I'm looking for a good Sabbatical opportunity, especially if there is
an opportunity to work on election methods as part of the work. My wife
speaks French fluently. I'm limited to English and Spanish. We want our
five-year-old twins to have language exposure before much more time
passes.  My wife has been teaching them, but they need to be immersed in
the culture. I could learn French in a couple of weeks if I put my mind to
it.

On Tue, 13 Mar 2001, Hugo Harth wrote:

> Open question : Looking for a fair order of n candidates.
>
> Many of the methods in this EM-forum discuss finding a winner out of
> n candidates and as a by-product produce an order of these candidates.
>
> Question : If the focus switches from finding a winner to finding an
> order (and with an intermediate  situation where the order of the
> first candidates is more important), are the best methods for finding a
> single winner still the best methods or is there better ?
>
> Rationale behind this question :
> Political parties have to propose an ordered list at elections.
> Here in my country [Belgium], candidates in the top places are more likely
> to be elected because besides votes in favor for candidate(s), votes in
> favor of a whole list are possible.
> Candidates on the upper part of the list tend to profit more from this.
> Hence, top places are much desired.
> Last few years, the last place (often occupied by a retiring politician)
> is also much desired, people tend to sympathise with the "list-pusher".
>
> I want therefore to broaden my question.
> Is it possible to design a mechanism or a game that leads to a good
> (that is : generally accepted and peaceable) solution.
> There must be people around who have thought about the same problem.
>
> A few thoughts :
>
> - The committee that sets up the list may contain candidates and
> non-candidates.
> Would that be a point to grant non-candidates more votes or power?
> It suggests also that such a mechanism should not be easily manipulable.
>
> - One might argue that some candidates deserve a better chance to be elected
>   (perhaps by giving them more voting power).
> Some reasons :
> = expected good result because of
>   a) good result at previous elections
>   b) well known personality (TV , sports, ...)
> = merit and excellence
>   a) long standing membership
>   b) prestige, "voice that carries weight" , ...
>
> One line of thought of mine is to let the election committee start with the
> point which people with certain (objective) properties
> (say non-candidate or %votes of total voters over a minimum threshold)
> members (!?)
> There is a mechanism available for that : the Hylland-Zeckhauser point
> voting procedure
> [ see Public Choice II , by Dennis C. Mueller, Cambridge University Press ,
>   ISBN 0-521-37952-0]
> Once the number of votes is allocated, proceed with an election
>
> A last remark. I know this often is highly emotional. I am coining to
> proceed over
> several weeks time and hold at least two elections. I know people tend to
> punish others
> when they have had a frustrating experience.
>
>
>
> Yours sincerely,
>
> Hugo Harth
> _________________________________________________________________________
> Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.
>
>

```