Approval variant MCA used in a parish (Re: [EM] MCA in use

Craig Carey research at
Fri Aug 9 21:44:24 PDT 2002

At 02\08\09 16:20 -0700 Friday, Joe Weinstein wrote:
 >Recall that in MCA (Majority Choice Approval), the voter rates each
 >candidate as preferred (or 'highly desired': two checks), accepted (one
 >check), or unacceptable (no checks, blank).  If at least one candidate is
 >rated by a majority (50% or more) of the voters as preferred, then the
 >winner is the candidate with the highest number of preferred votes;
 >otherwise, the winner is the candidate with the highest number of approved -
 >i.e. preferred or accepted - votes.
 >About a month ago, I was party to an unwitting but apt use of what amounts
 >to MCA.

This is another bad method. It is fortunate that such things are not
used in public elections.

I forgot about that: parishioners like preachers, are less important than
mere checkboxes, since priest suffer if the wrong staff are under them,
and that can happen if all the papers have unequal powers.

But the details suggest the outcome was not too uncertain (and there was
a note saying that Approval would have got a different result, which I
can't be sure of).

The method described is even worse than Approval. However the story
gets close to saying that a vote was not really needed, due to the
unanimity. But there was a detail that Approval would have found a
different outcome.

Initially there was no real understanding of chuch checkboxes and their
importance in comparison with parishioners.

I failed to fill in a gap in the story, which was the argument (if any)
that justified the rejection of Cumulative Vote style renormalising.

It looks like the power of an Approval paper could be a linear
triangular shaped function

Vertical axis is a measure of the power of a paper

           /  \
          /    \
         /      \
         0      n  --> number of checkboxes filled

It is an arbitrary shape isn't Joe, and allowing a subvote to have a
power of 2 does not help a lot. Can we smooth the tip by having the
denominator be non-linear.

 >I was one of ten members on a committee to screen and recommend candidates

 >Our process could readily have been formalized as an MCA election among
 >candidates A-E.  Under usual Approval, B would have won; but in effect we
 >followed MCA, making A the clear winner.

What have we got now:
(1) Joe has been advocating Approval saying it put propositions and fixed
  whatever it was;
(2) This method is still bad;
(3) Further they get different results
(4) They are very similar methods since, e.g., that the power of a paper
   drops to nothing if every checkbox is filled (it just does not happen
   with decent preferential voting methods; e.g. STV used by the parishes
   of the Church of state X).
(5) Both methods are about as arbitrary. Unlike with so many other
   theorists, the weighting numbers have no obviously best value (particularly
   with this parish method).
(6) So, with contradictions inside such a narrow class of methods (methods
   that sum weighted subvotes to subtotals without any re-normalizing),
   and with the fact that Joe has so far only described 2 of the methods of
   that class, it really seems like Joe's arguments/stories are not really
   correct, fixed, and resolving.
(7) Iterating to a better method seems possible. Parishes get it wrong all
   the time.

 >few of us were highly enthused for B.  So we readily decided to recommend A,

The parish maybe is 'quick' (the word "readily" was used).

Parishioners can get it wrong.

It seems a bit mixed in tone, to have the word "formalized" used:

   "could readily have been formalized

Formalized maybe means resistant to being improved. It seems to be just
about the name.

Can we be provided with arguments describing the origin of the name/acronym,
MCA, ?.  I have not seen it before.


Scandals & the President:

The Red Rock Eater mailing list:

<<Bush Did Try to Save Enron
    Bush's supporters have successfully spun the Enron collapse as a
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    promote Enron's interests. May 29, 2002>>  [Interesting stuff on
    how an Enron power plant in India was was a major issue between USA
    and the other nation until charges were laid].

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