[EM] recommendations

James Green-Armytage jarmyta at antioch-college.edu
Fri Aug 27 17:12:00 PDT 2004

Kevin L., you wrote:
>This is my first e-mail to this listserv, although I have 
>been checking the monthly pages for interesting entries 
>for over a year and a half.  I can’t believe I waited so 
>long to join in.  For some reason I’m more nervous about 
>joining listservs seems than joining web discussion 
>forums.  Maybe it’s because the last time I joined a 
>listserv I was chased off by another member because I 
>wasn’t a member of the political party which operated the 

	Well, you won't have to worry about that here! : ) 
	That is, as long as you are part of the Maoist party!!! (just kidding)

>I currently support a Condorcet method I like to 
>call Locked Preferences.  

	Are you aware of Tideman's ranked pairs method? I believe that it is very
similar to MAM. To be honest, I don't think about tiebreaking nuances,
because to me, a tie should just be called a tie. (Not a majority rule
cycle, but an actual tie given the basic rules of the method... I'd rather
call it a tie than make a new rule to resolve it randomly.)
	You are advocating winning votes rather than margins, am I right? I agree
with you there, at least as far as that goes. 
	On the subject of single-winner methods, I try to plug my "weighted
pairwise" method every chance I get. So here I am plugging it again: I'd
like you to read the proposal and see what you think.
	With regard to sincere cycles, I think that it provides a very sensible
definition of which defeats are the weakest, i.e., the least significant
to voters. With regard to strategic manipulation forming insincere cycles,
this method makes it so that those who have the most desire to change the
sincere result have the least ability to do so, and those who could
conceivably alter the result through duplicity are those who are
relatively sympathetic to the original winner to begin with. In the same
way, it means that the candidate elected by a strategically altered result
should not be too radically different from the sincere winner, i.e.,
shouldn't be his polar opposite or arch-enemy. Fully ordinal pairwise
methods can make no such promise.
>Moving on to multiple-winner elections, ideally I would 
>support CPO-STV, in pure form except that equal rankings 
>would be allowed (how that would work is a topic for 
>another post).  

	Yes, do tell. Probably have to divide votes into fractions, right?

>I also don’t like the idea of local CPO-
>STV, which is described in the link shown above, although 
>I can certainly see why it was proposed since it can 
>greatly reduce the number of comparisons necessary and 
>will only very rarely yield a different result than pure 

	Okay, so you wouldn't advocate it. Neither would I ordinarily. Except, I
would if, for whatever reason, a full CPO-STV count was straight-up
infeasible. And I'm guessing that this won't be all too often, using the
shortcuts, especially with advances in computing that will take place
before CPO-STV can gain wide acceptance. So you're right, local CPO-STV is
probably a moot point. 
>In some aspects, however, I am willing to support a far 
>less pure CPO-STV method.  In order to make voters’ number 
>of options less overwhelming, thus making it easier for 
>them to make an informed ranking of all the options, I 
>propose allowing candidates for the same office to run in 

	Yes, slates are a good idea in any STV method. Note that I could rank a
few individual candidates, then rank a whole party slate, then rank a
couple more individual candidates, then another party slate after that,
and so on. If you have already ranked a few candidates from a party ahead
of the party slate, then of course they are not included the second time
around. Hence, this can be a shortcut to bumping a candidate you like to
the head of a slate. 
	Or, with a computer interface, you could insert a slate into your
rankings and then move some of the individual candidates around as you
like. Basically, slates can serve as a convenient shorthand without
limiting voter options.

>might be able to use shortcuts in addition to those 
>proposed by Mr. Green-Armytage without further 
>compromising the integrity of the method.  

	What did you have in mind?

>I support the use of the Newland-Britain 

	Right on.

>As for what surplus rule to use when there 
>are multiple surpluses, I haven’t thought about it or 
>researched it enough to make an informed decision.

	Meek, Warren, and all of those? Yeah, it's kind of wild. My first
instinct is to cast my lot for Meek, but I admit that my understanding of
both of them remain a bit shaky.
>Thank you though, James, for 
>starting this topic which finally got me to join this 

	You are most definitely welcome! You really seem to have a good handle on
the subject already, so I hope that you will continue to contribute for
the discussion here. Sorry for the delay in my own reply.

my best,

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