[EM] Change in definition of defensive strategy

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Fri Aug 30 21:51:07 PDT 2002

On Sat, 31 Aug 2002 03:28:45 +0000 MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote:

> Because I've let some committments get way out of hand, I haven't
> had a chance to check or write to EM for a few days. Right after I
> posted my most recent message, it occurred to me that defensive strategy
> needed to be defined slightly differently from the way that I'd written 
> it in that posting.
> Though I'm not changing my definitions of majority rule and
> offensive stratety, I'm changing my definition of defensive strategy
> as follows: Substitute "majority wishes" for "majority rule".
> Here's how I define majority wishes:
> Electing candidate Y would violate majority wishes if another candidate
> is preferred to him by a majority of all the voters, and that
> majority pairwise preference isn't the smallest majority pairwise
> preference in a cycle of majority pairwise preferences.
> A majority pairwise preference is an instance of a majority of the
> voters preferring one candidate to another.
> The strength of a majority pairwise for X over Y is measured by
> the number of people who prefer X to Y.

Seems like that sentence is missing something:
      Suppose 10 people prefer X to Y.
      Shouldn't strength then be affected according to whether 5 or 55 
prefer Y to X?

> [end of majority wishes definition]
> Now, it might seem as if the mention of cycles in a definition of
> majority rule or majority wishes sounds arbitrary or artificial,
> rather than natural or obvious. But what could nullify a majority
> defeat or a majority pairwise preference, if not a cycle of stronger
> majority defeats or majority pairwise preferences? A defeat or
> a majority pairwise preference that's the weakest in a cycle of
> similar ones loses its significance thereby.
> It could also be claimed that since my definitions of majority rule
> and majority wishes, and therefore my definition of defensive
> strategy, specify winning-votes, it could seem that the margins methods
> and IRV fail in those regards merely because of how I've chosen
> to define those majority terms. Actually, though, IRV & margins methods
> fail the defensive strategy and majority rule standards without there
> being a cycle of majority defeats or a cycle of majority pairwise 
> preferences.
> You can't really speak of a majority preference or defeat unless
> you mean that a majority votes or prefers X over Y. Talking about
> majority means that we're talking about defeat-support, winning-votes,
> rather than the difference between two opposing sets of voters. It's
> inherent in discussing majority.
> Mike Ossipoff

  davek at clarityconnect.com    http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
   Dave Ketchum    108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708    607-687-5026
              Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
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