[EM] Re: Testing 1 2 3

Dgamble997 at aol.com Dgamble997 at aol.com
Mon Jan 5 14:14:40 PST 2004

A couple of points:

Bart Ingles wrote:

>Dgamble997 at aol.com wrote:
>> Bart Ingles wrote:
>> >But truncation is equivalent to equal last-choice preference for all of
>> >the methods listed below.
>> Yes, it is equivalent but expressing an equal preference for two or
>> more candidates is generally considered as different to not ranking
>> candidates you don't like.

>I don't understand this.  How can it be both equivalent and different? 
>I guess I don't understand the distinction you are making here

Giving two candidates you feel are worth ranking an equal ranking is a 
positive expression that you a/ like them both and b/ like them to the same extent. 
Not ranking them can mean that you prefer one to the other but consider 
neither worthy of support.

For example on the ballot paper there is a right wing conservative and a 
fascist. If I had to rank all candidates I'd rank the right wing conservative 
above the fascist. If I had the option to truncate I'd support neither of them 
because I like neither of them though one is preferable to the other ( both are 
extremely low utility).

>In a realistic scenario, it's inconceivable that individual voters (even
>hypothetical ones) would know their own preference orders, yet fail to
>know their own utility levels for each candidate.

I disagree, you have say 4 flavours of ice cream ( chocolate, mint, 
strawberry and vanilla). What is the easier task to establish a ranking or give each a 
cardinal utility rating? I finding ranking the ice creams easier than giving 
them a utility rating on a say a scale of 0 to 100.

>Since we don't know how the voters would rate the candidates, but have
>to assume the voters themselves know, it seems reasonable to assume a
>range of opinions with half the voters rating their middle candidate
>above average, and half below average.  Thus in the zero-info case, I
>would expect to see half the voters approve exactly one candidate, and
>the other half to approve exactly two candidates.  It turns out that
>this gives results identical to Borda.

Generally what do people think is more realistic in translating the ranked 
ballot A>B into an Approval vote in a zero information case with 3 candidates? 

1/ That the voters approve everybody they rank.

2/ That half the A>B voters approve only A and half approve A and B.

3/ Something else.

What about irrational/non-strategic voters?

In the Yahoo files there is a paper by Steven Brams: Going from Theory to 
Practice: The Mixed Success of Approval Voting. In the elections detailed a small 
number of voters use obviously poor strategy -approving all candidates or 
protest strategy approving none of the candidates - both of which have the same 
effect on determining the winner as not voting. I wonder how many other people 
in those elections weren't voting strategically/rationality but we can't 
detect this because the votes they cast appear to make sense though they didn't 
come to that decision by a rational/strategic process ( an awful question that 
probably can't be answered).

David Gamble

David Gamble

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