[EM] Consistency, Truncation, etc. (was CR ballots, etc.)

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Mon Oct 1 11:59:47 PDT 2001

On Sun, 30 Sep 2001, Blake Cretney wrote in part:

> I would agree that the consistency criterion is desirable to the
> extent that it can be used as a criticism of methods that fail it. 
> The consistency criterion is intuitive.  But once you think about it,
> it doesn't actually make much sense.

That depends on the thinker.

>  So, I think it is much better to
> attack the consistency criterion directly.
> On the other hand, I can envision the following scenario.  Candidate X
> says, I won decisively in every precinct, but lost over-all, how come?
>  I retort, what do you mean, in this precinct, more people voted for
> candidate Y over you than vice versa.  How can you say that you won
> decisively in that precinct?
> This retort will always work for any Condorcet completion method, so
> they can be defended against someone who claims decisive victories.

I like this point. It helps explain why every Condorcet Method satisfies
the "Humble Consistency Criterion."

> All methods will have some results that are counter-intuitive, at
> least to some people.

What are the counter-intuitive results of Approval?

> You can always construct an argument by
> claiming that if the public sees such and such a result, they will
> revolt, causing chaos, horror, and a bloody purge of election method
> theorists.  The reality is that the current electoral process gives
> frequent counter-intuitive results, and there isn't the slightest hint
> of revolution (at least not from that).

There may be lack of customer satisfaction without causing a revolution.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for customer satisfaction.


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