[EM] Re: Blake's margins arguments
bartman at netgate.net
Mon Feb 24 22:10:37 PST 2003
Just to further muddy the waters on the definition of "majority", note
Duverger's use of the term as apparently synonymous with "plurality":
(BTW the "two-ballot majority system" Duverger discusses is NOT the
Runoff method, since there is no fixed elimination rule.
Alex Small wrote:
> On the subject of majorities and Margins vs. Winning Votes, my
> understanding of the matter (which I will deliver without prejudice, since
> I have no strong opinion on the matter) is this:
> Say that two of our pairwise contests in an election are:
> A>B 51-49
> B>C 45-40
> (Assume there are 100 people casting ballots, at least 3 candidates, and a
> cyclic ambiguity to resolve.)
> A majority of the people casting ballots have said "We prefer A to B." A
> plurality of the people casting ballots have said "We prefer B to C", with
> 15 voters abstaining.
> A winning votes advocate can say "A has majority support relative to B.
> That's a stronger defeat for B than C's defeat, since B only beat C with a
> minority (plurality) of the people casting ballots."
> A margins advocate can say "Yes, A beats B with a majority of the people
> casting ballots. But, B beats C with a _majority of the people
> participating in the B vs. C contest_. Since the other people voluntarily
> abstained from that contest, we shouldn't consider them, we should only
> consider who got a larger percentage of the people participating in each
> I hope that clears some air on the debate over the word "majority." It
> all comes down to "majority of whom? People casting ballots or people
> expressing preferences with respect to a particular pairwise contest?"
> I don't claim to resolve any normative issues of which provides a more
> socially desirable criteria, or technical issues of which method provides
> more perverse strategic incentives.
> For more information about this list (subscribe, unsubscribe, FAQ, etc),
> please see http://www.eskimo.com/~robla/em
For more information about this list (subscribe, unsubscribe, FAQ, etc),
please see http://www.eskimo.com/~robla/em
More information about the Election-Methods