[EM] ironclad pro-Condorcet argument?

Steve Eppley seppley at alumni.caltech.edu
Mon Aug 23 04:42:52 PDT 2004


James G-A wrote:
> Has anyone clearly advanced this pro-Condorcet argument? 
> I think that it is devastating to methods which are not
> Condorcet efficient. 
> 	If there is a Condorcet winner with regard to the
>    sincere preference rankings of voters, and the voting
>    method is plurality, then the Vote is only at
>    equilibrium when the Condorcet winner is selected.

It's similar to the "arena voting" method I wrote 
about a few years ago here in the em list, as a 
thought experiment: All the voters are assembled
together in the morning in a (huge) arena, in which 
each candidate has a banner planted.  At the end 
of the day, the winner is the candidate whose 
banner has the most voters gathered 'round.

> 	This suggests to me that the election of anyone other 
> than the CW can be considered an ERROR on the part of 
> the voters. That is, if they had better information,
> and enough time to work it out, they would have settled 
> on the CW... 

Calling it an error seems an overstatement.  Consider
this example:  
   2 candidates: A & B.
   49% intensely prefer A.
   51% slightly prefer B.


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