[EM] Hello (Intro); PR, Condorcet and Approval, variants...

Venzke Kevin stepjak at yahoo.fr
Thu Feb 20 10:55:56 PST 2003

As an example,
> >perhaps Pat Buchanan could accidentally win.  Most
> >people know something about him, but I bet quite a
> few
> >Gore supporters would rank Buchanan above Bush,
> >thinking it a possible weapon against Bush, without
> >any risk of electing the former.
> I don't think we can safely make any such
> assumptions, and I think we should keep our contest
> examples apolitical and anonymous (candidate A, B).

Alright, I'll keep that in mind, but I thought it
would be relatively uncontroversial to imply that
Buchanan shouldn't be the winner, given the people
voting rather than his positions.

I do think the safer route would be to make worst-case
assumptions as I am.  Although I'm not saying I
wouldn't vote for Condorcet if it were an option.

> >This requires a simultaneous approval and ranked
> >ballot, right?  Wouldn't it be a better system at
> >least to find the Condorcet winner among candidates
> >meeting a defined Approval threshold?  My
> motivation
> >for mixing Condorcet and Approval would be to
> protect
> >against the former's possible flukes.
> It requires a ranked ballot with a voter specified
> approval cutoff.  How would a practical and
> non-arbitrary Approval threshold be pre-declared? 
> Would it be set based on number of candidates? 
> Number of voters?  Neither? 

The threshold would have to be arbitrary, but there
are a lot of arbitrary things that society can reach a
consensus on, and alter on occasion.  I would say that
the "majority" criterion in other systems (plurality
w/ run-off, IRV, Majority Choice Approval) is a shade
arbitrary.  It's intuitive in that the majority could
beat everyone else in a fist-fight, but outside of
that the only intuitive thing is if the winner also
has the most "votes" defined in some way.  (I say this
only as food for thought.  The very systemic features
of an electoral method could be called arbitrary.)

The threshold shouldn't be based on number of
candidates; I think that would invite clone problems. 
It should be based on percentage of voters.  Wouldn't
people generally agree on a figure such as 20%?  Would
we want a winner with less than 20% approval?  A
failing candidate merely would not be eligible for
victory.  It wouldn't be a complete loss for him, I
don't think, because Condorcet can use information
from "irrelevant alternatives."  (...Maybe?  I'd have
to think about it.  The question is whether the
rankings of a non-winning candidate can alter who the
winner is, particularly if this candidate *is* the
proper CW.)

Thanks for your response.


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