[EM] "Completion" & falsification

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 20 21:18:02 PST 2004


You said:

Let me try to restate some points more clearly. If there are three 
candidates ABC and two voters
show up to vote, and both have A as their first preference and are 
indifferent between B and C,
and one votes
[ ]B
[ ]C
and the other votes
then in my humble opinion, it is common-sense (and reasonable) for those two 
voters to expect that
their votes would  have the same effect ("be treated in the same way", as 
Woodall puts it).

I reply:

They're both expressing exactly the same set of pairwise preferences. But 
that isn't an example of "symetrical completion". Your "symetrical 
completion" would have the A only voter voting AB and also voting  AC. 
Indicating two opposite preferences. One of those 2 opposite preferences is 
an order-reversal, or else they're both falsified preferences. Falsified not 
by the voter, but by you.

Any Condorcet version that I've heard of would count those 2 ballots as 
voting the same pairwise preferences. That example isnt about the matter of 
"symetirical completion".

You continued:

If the method allows equal early preferences, then it is unfair (and in my 
opinion absurd and very
bad) that a faction of voters that all vote a set of candidates above all 
other candidates should
be advantaged or disadvantaged (at least on average) by voting equal 

I reply:

It isn't at all clear what you're talking about. A guess would be that 
you're implying that somehow a faction of voters that all vote a set of 
candidates over all the other candidates is advantaged or disadvantaged if 
their ballots aren't falsified by you. But maybe that isn't what you mean; 
its only a guess.

You continue:

I think of this "Decisiveness Fairness Standard" as being linked (at least 
in principle) to SC.

I reply:

You think that, but you give no explanation for why you think it, or why we 
should agree with you.

Say a voter refuses to express a preference between X and Y. Anyone who says 
that that voter is saying that s/he prefers X to Y, and that s/he also 
prefers Y to X, must have their head all the way up their ass.

You aren't saying that are you?

And if you arren't saying that, then you admit that you're adding 
preferences to his/her ballot that s/he didn't express. You're falsifying 
those preferences. You're falsifying his/her ballot.

You continued:

MO:" If a ranking doesn't give support to a particular candidate, could it 
be that the voter didn't
want to give support to that candidate?"

What exactly does "give support" mean? That phrase smacks of confusing 
ranking with rating. Pure
ranking is not about "giving support" to candidates; it is only about voting 
candidates over other

I reply:

Alright, Chris has discovered that rankings indicate relative preferences.

Now, then, that being so, what kind of support do we give to a candidate if 
we rank him/her over someone else? Yes, you've got it, Chris--that's 
relative support. Support with respect to another candidate. Support in 
comparison to another candidate. Very good, Chris.

You continued:

Therfore, assuming that you accept  that a ranked candidate has been voted 
over all the
unranked candidates, "not ranked" and "ranked equal last" is in effect the 
same thing and therfore a
"symetrically completed" ballot has not in any meaningful sense been 

I reply:

Whoa there, Cowboy, you're running away with yourself. To not rank certain 
candidates, and to rank them all together in last place express exactly the 
same pairwise preferences. To rank all the unranked candidates together in 
last place is not "symetrical completion". "Symetrical completion" has the 
voter making mutually contradictory statements about his/her preference 
between the candidates.

If your proposed method, or Woodall's proposed methods, want to falsify 
rankings, that's certainly your business, and I won't criticize you for it. 
It's your method. But to say that your falsified rankings mean the same as 
what the voter voted, to say that you haven't falsified the voter's 
expression of preferences, that shows that someone is out-to-lunch.

Mike Ossipoff

Some Condorcet implementations require that all the candidates be ranked, 
but allow equal ranking. When voting with those rules, of course I rank 
together in last place the candidates that I don't want to rank.

Chris Benham

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