[EM] Matt Matt: websites too have freedom of choice

Alex Small asmall at physics.ucsb.edu
Wed Feb 12 00:53:58 PST 2003

Mike said:
>Matt Matt said:
>In my opinion, it is relatively easy to code a Condorcet method program
>to give the user the choice of measure of defeat.
>I reply:
>No, as I said, it makes things complicated for the voter. S/he would
>have to study the material that tells why one count rule is better than
>the other, and would have to answer extra questions in order to use
>the website count. Also, it does add to the programming work some.

Well, from an educational perspective, there are two separate issues to
inform the layman of.  The first is "How does Condorcet work?"  In that
context, one can deal only with strict rankings.  The various methods
(SSD, Ranked Pairs, etc.) can be illustrated without addressing what
happens when voters rank two candidates equally.  As long as there are no
equal rankings, the margins vs. winning votes issue is moot.

After explaining the basic mechanics of a Condorcet method, one can then
address equal rankings.  At that point, offering the user a choice between
margins and winning votes can have great instructional value.  The user
can then see how each method works, and see the flaws and/or merits of
each method in action.  The site content can include suggestions like "The
difference is most pronounced in <describe a situation>.  Try something
like that to see how <your favorite> out-performs <other method>."

If I were designing a Condorcet website, I'd stick to strict rankings (no
equal rankings) in the introductory part, and include a separate section
that allows the voter to choose between margins and winning votes when
dealing with equal rankings.

Of course, I have neither the time nor the inclination to design such a
site.  Those who design them will obviously do whatever they prefer, not
what I necessarily prefer.


For more information about this list (subscribe, unsubscribe, FAQ, etc), 
please see http://www.eskimo.com/~robla/em

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list