Finding the probable best candidate?" - maximization

Steve Barney barnes992001 at
Tue Mar 5 11:19:03 PST 2002

DEMOREP1 at a...:

Your point is well taken. Our exchange seems to illustrate a problem with the
axiomatic approach in general, where you may find the procedure which maximizes
the fulfillment of this or that fairness criterion. The problem is that you may
overlook the fact that it seriously violates other criteria. That was
illustrated by my highlighting of the fact that the plurality vote is the only
positional voting procedure which always elects a majority candidate when one
exists, without noting that it is ALSO the only positional voting procedure
which can elect a candidate who is the last choice of up to n-1/n of the voters
(where 'n' is the number of candidates). For example, when there are 3
candidates, the plurality vote is also the only positional method which can
elect a candidate who is the last choice of up to 2/3 of the voters. So, you
see, the axiomatic approach may provide insufficient information for a proper
evaluation of voting procedures. Saari's approach, on the other hand, seems to
differ in that he attempts to describe ALL possible problems with large classes
of voting methods.


> From:  DEMOREP1 at a... 
> Date:  Sat Feb 23, 2002  3:02 am
> Subject:  Re: Finding the probable best candidate?
> Mr. Barney wrote in part-
> The plurality procedure is the only positional method which always elects a
> majority candidate when one exists; therefore, one could argue that it is the
> positional procedure which maximizes the election of a majority candidate.
> ---
> D- The obvious problem is that the plurality procedure sometimes elects a 
> minority candidate -- such as -- using popular votes -- Prez Clinton in 1992 
> and 1996 and Prez Bush in 2000 (each getting majorities of the infamous 
> Electoral College). 
> Circa 7 U.S. Reps were elected by gerrymander district minorities 
> (pluralities) in Nov. 2000.
> I note again for some of the newer folks -- on issues there are YES and NO 
> votes.
> What is so different regarding candidates for legislative, executive and 
> judicial offices ???  
> Why are there not YES or NO votes for each of such candidates ??? Let us 
> guess.  
> Clue-- it is part of the *modern* voodoo politics that claims to be 
> *democratic* when in fact it is totally ANTI-Democracy in action via indirect

> minority rule gerrymanders (for legislative body offices), plurality primary 
> election winners (for almost all offices) and plurality general election 
> winners (for almost all offices).   
> The pundits (on TV especially) rave on in their total ignorance.

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