[EM] Displaying intermediate results in Condorcet-based elections (re: Rob Brown's original question)

Rob Lanphier robla at robla.net
Wed Nov 5 15:43:12 PST 2003

Rob Brown wrote:

> As I think we all agree, if you can pick a single winner, you should 
> by straightforward extension be able to rank all the candidates.  In 
> ranking the candidates we have, then, linearized the matrix.  If it 
> can be linearized in a reasonable way, I believe it can be done such 
> that each candidate has not only an order, but a scalar dimension, 
> i.e. a score -- in an equally reasonable way, that does not conflict 
> with the ordering.  Maybe this is a naive leap of logic (or maybe 
> intuition) on my part, but I have yet to see an argument which leads 
> me to believe otherwise.

Here's a suggestion:  "votes back" from the leader (similar to "games 
back" in baseball).  It's intuitive, it lends itself to bar charts, and 
it means something significant and tangible.  It's the minimum number of 
votes that would have to be added in order to make a given candidate the 

I'm not entirely sure how to calculate it.  I don't think it's merely 
the delta between the lead candidate and the candidate in question, 
because it could be that more votes are required to overcome an 
intermediate candidate in addition to the leading candidate.  Since 
there's a fair amount of this discussion that went sailing over my head, 
it could be that one of the numbers being discussed is essentially this 


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