Other website?

matt matt matt at tidalwave.net
Mon Feb 10 18:42:37 PST 2003

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Adam Tarr <atarr at purdue.edu>
Reply-To: election-methods-list at eskimo.com
Date:  Sun, 09 Feb 2003 02:59:35 -0500

Adam wrote:

Moreover, anyone can use a winning votes-based program to serve as a margins-based count, simply by splitting every voter with an unexpressed preference into two half voters, each of whom express one of the two possible preferences.  This eliminates all equal rankings or truncation, so that every ballot is fully expressed.  After this change, you will have the same result from margins or winning votes at this point.  This result will 
not necessarily match the winning votes-based result of the original votes, but it would match the margins-based result from those votes.

My comment:

You seem to be incorrectly assuming that the margins method has non-voted options ranked last like your preferred winning votes method.  The margins method could place the non-voted options at the approval cutoff.  There is no way to convert from your preferred winning votes method to all variants of margins.

Adam wrote:

Since no equivalent procedures exist to make a margins program emulate winning votes, it strikes me as more egalitarian to write a winning-votes based program.  This way the user can decide (through very simple manipulation of their input) whether they want margins or winning votes, even if there's no check box.  Of course, since I like winning votes more 
than margins, I wouldn't bother with this manipulation.

My comments:

In my opinion, it is relatively easy to code a Condorcet method program to give the user the choice of measure of defeat.  So the only reason not to do so is to use the program as a means for trying to enforce your preference on other people.  The program should be open source and in the same spirit the program shouldn't take sides on technical disputes where knowledgeable people can and do disagree as you and Mike when you cite other knowledgeable people who appear to prefer margins.  Furthermore, it seems to me that the choice of method (and variations of a method) is logically related to the context.  By context, I mean variables such as the number of candidates, how well the voters know the candidates, how many candidates are to be elected, how often the candidates are elected, what authority the elected candidates acquire, how much the voters will know in advance about the probable outcome, how much opportunity the voters have to engage in individual and colloborative st
 rategic voting and the like.

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