[EM] Re: preferential voting - rank-order voting?

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Mon Aug 23 18:36:59 PDT 2004

On Mon, 23 Aug 2004 12:14:15 -0700 Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:

> Hi all,
> In response to a California columnist's call for  
> proportional-representation  
> <http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/columns/walters/story/ 
> 10386675p-11306421c.html>, I wanted to suggest an overhaul of electoral  
> policies based on Condorcet-style voting.  However, this discussion  
> seems to indicate that the term 'preferential voting' has way too many  
> connotations, especially around IRV.
>  From a users perspective, I think the most salient feature of these  
> systems is that voters (on the front-end) can list multiple options in  
> order of preference.  How those votes are counted is really a secondary  
> (back-end) consideration -- what I'd consider an implementation detail,  
> albeit a crucial one.
> Therefore, for purposes of a high-level letter to a newspaper, I'd like  
> to use the term "rank-order voting."  That's more of a front-end view  
> than the terms 'ranked ballots', which is how the counting system views  
> them.  I would probably still refer to Robert's Rules indirectly, as  in:
> One way to improve participation in California's electoral process is  
> the use of rank-order voting, also called "preferential voting" in  
> Robert's Rules of Order. This allows voters to rank options in order of  
> preference, rather than merely picking a single favorite; done  
> properly, it makes it easier to vote sincerely rather than having to  
> worry about strategic considerations such as vote-splitting.

Looks right.  This is sensitive because of reference to Robert's:
      Robert's ONLY offers an example, rather than a specification.
      Example, as to voting, is standard for both Condorcet and IRV.
      As to counting, example is for IRV, and not for Condorcet.

Wonder a bit about strategy - in SOME circumstances, IRV presents 
opportunity for strategy - some also claim this for Condorcet, but seems 
to me even less likely to be a problem.

> That is, I want to present the concept in a way that avoids the IRV vs.  
> Condorcet discussion for now, but highlights the overall benefits.  As  
> such, is that a reasonably accurate (if incomplete) statement?   Any  
> suggestions on better phrasing?
> Thanks,
> - Ernie P.
> NORMAAL - the Network of Radical Middle Activists and Learners
> http://RadicalCentrism.org/normaal
> On Aug 22, 2004, at 1:42 PM, Dave Ketchum wrote:
>> On Sun, 22 Aug 2004 07:08:06 -0700 Steve Eppley wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> Check out the definition of "preferential voting" in the Scott,  
>>> Foresman book on Robert's Rules of Order.
>>> I don't have a copy but my recollection is that it
>>> defines preferential voting as any voting method in which the voters  
>>> express their orders of preference--
>>> my words, not theirs--and it offers IRV as one example.  Their use 
>>> of  IRV as an example could explain why some people now believe the 
>>> term  is a synonym for IRV.
>> Robert's likes repeated balloting much better, but concedes that is  
>> not always practical.
>> They offer IRV (by description, not by name) as an example, and say  
>> nothing against other preferential methods such as Condorcet.
> On Aug 22, 2004, at 1:54 PM, Steve Eppley wrote:
>>> Yes.  They do point out problems with IRV.
>>> In particular, that it can easily defeat the
>>> best compromise.  It would be nice if someday
>>> they discuss a better preference order method.
>>> --Steve
>> Trivia:
>>      1990 edition was Scott, Foresman.
>>      2000 edition is Perseus Publishing and is current - words on  
>> Preferential look identical to me.
>>      www.robertsrules.com says there is now a CD-ROM with the rules.

  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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