[EM] CR style ballots for Ranked Preferences

Anthony Simmons bbadonov at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 24 06:14:41 PDT 2001

>> From: Jobst Heitzig <heitzig at mbox.math.uni-hannover.de>
>> Subject: Re: [EM] CR style ballots for Ranked Preferences

>> I think what most people mean when saying that Condorcet
>> methods are


>> (a bad name in my opinion since it contains no information
>> about how it's defined but instead contains a verbal
>> evaluation that should have no place in axiomatics :-) is
>> the following:

>> || It may happen that when the electorate is split in two arbitrary groups
>> || and in both groups there is the same Condorcet winner (that means, when
>> || only the voters in the group are considered), this alternative might
>> || fail to be a Condorcet winner for the whole group.

>> However, what I can't see is why this should be of any
>> importance. Instead, it just shows that in order to
>> determine the winner, one cannot divide the electorate
>> into groups but must consider all voters simultaneously!

We have an interesting institution in the U.S., which
illustrates the importance of arbitrary boundaries:  The
electoral college.  California gets a certain number of
electors in the presidential election.  If, as some people
would like, California were to split into two states, the
total number of electors for California would be increased by
two.  Same people, same territory, two more electors.

Likewise, small states get more electors than they would have
if they were combined into a single state.  The effect is to
make boundaries important not just because they determine
which people will interact politically as groups.  They have
political signicance in their own right.

There are other similar effects.  Districts are designed in
order to improve the prospects of the party that designs
them.  Large minority concentrations have more political
clout than the same members would have if spread out, because
they have representation.

It seems to be a fact that we live with, that how we divide
up the populace determines group decisions when the election
takes districting into account in some fashion.  In the case
of elections that extend across boundaries, it would be nice
to know that the choice of boundaries does not influence the
outcome of the election.

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list