FBC ambiguity

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 6 22:58:38 PST 2002

My way of avoiding the problem of a method that requires a margin of victory 
to say: "A voter, John, votes Smith over Jones if, by adding to the election 
a group
of voters who vote the same as John, we can make it so that..."

I believe that a definition should be written for where it's used. For 
instance, the
EM version of my definitions should be the versions that are most accepted 
on EM,
provided that their results are acceptable to me also. A definition would be 
of little
use if it weren't well-accepted where it's used. And so I adopt, for the EM 
of voting Smith over Jones, the definition that speaks of counting only the 
ballots of
John and the voters who vote the same as he does.

But I'd like to mention this:

My initial definition of voting Smith over Jones had the problem that it's 
possible to
devise a method with which it's possible for a voter to vote Smith over 
Jones and
Jones over Smith. But I claim that with that method, it isn't unreasonable 
to say that
that voter is voting Smith over Jones & Jones over Smith. So I claim that 
a fair thing to say about that method, rather than an incorrect consequence 
of the

Now maybe it's much more likely that that voter would be helping Jones 
against Smith
than vice-versa, so it could be said that he's voting Jones over Smith more 
than he's
voting Smith over Jones. But he's still voting each of them over the other. 
I mean,
it's reasonable to say that, in addition to being what my definition says.

So, for the public-proposal-debate version of that definition, I keep the 
wording that
_doesn't_ require that it _not_ be possible to contrive a configuration of 
the other voters
such that if we delete everyone but Smith & Jones from the ballot, Jones is 
unique winner if & only if we count the ballots of John & those who vote the 
same as

Then my public-proposal-debate version of FBC is saying that no one should 
by voting in a way that could make someone beat his favorite, if everyone 
were deleted from the ballots. That's acceptable to me for the public debate 

Mike Ossipoff

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