[EM] Fluffy the Dog and group strategy
rmoore4 at home.com
Fri Sep 14 22:37:45 PDT 2001
Craig Layton wrote:
> The important
> consideration is that almost all of the voters are highly dissatisfied with
> the outcome, therefore the result isn't a good interpretation or
> representation of the voters' preferences.
In this race, and in many real-world races, there will be
bad outcomes regardless of the method because either there
are no good candidates or the electorate is simply too
divided to choose a compromise. By "good candidates", I mean
those that high percentages of the voters find acceptable.
> Because I don't
> believe that ratings can be expressed non-relatively, I'm not so
> enthusiastic about mixed methods that seem to regard 50% + 1 of approval
> votes as some magical passport to a political mandate.
I agree that ratings are not absolute. I also agree that
there is something a little arbitrary about "50% + 1"
approval. It might be nice if we could find leaders who get
70% approval or better. The election method "X" and the
acceptability criterion "Y" in the meta-method I wrote of
are variables -- they should be chosen depending on the
application. Some people may like Y to be "50% + 1". At
least this level of approval suggests that most people
prefer this winner to the expectation from a random dice
throw. That isn't saying a whole lot; it's just a safeguard
that might keep the likes of Fluffy from running the
government. Adjust the level of the safeguard, like a
thermostat, until you are comfortable but still have a good
chance of having a winner meet the criterion.
Unfortunately, adding some criterion Y to public elections
will at times incur the costs and time delays of holding
(an) additional election(s). This idea would be resisted by
the public, at least here in the U.S. where it is unfamiliar
to most and runs up against constitutional requirements
(Amendment XX) of having terms of office begin and end on
More information about the Election-Methods