[EM] David Gamble reply, 1/23/03 1012 GMT

Dgamble997 at aol.com Dgamble997 at aol.com
Fri Jan 23 16:11:03 PST 2004

Mike Ossipoff wrote:

>The CW is the social utility maximizer.

Not always. Please justify this statement.

>If the voter-median position is occupied only by that despised corrupt 
>candidate, why isn't anyone else contesting that position? That seems 
>suspicioiusly odd in a Condorcet election, which would encourage many more 
>candidates of all persuasions to run. And yet you only have that one 
>despised candidate at the voter-median position. Add a better one, and both 
>sides will rank him over the despised corrupt middle candidate.

The Condorcet turkey was not a despised candidate, he/she was a non-entity, 
nothing, Fluffy the dog type candidate.

The scenario went like this. There are 3 candidates A, B and C. A and B hold 
strong opinions that are in opposition to each other. Both A and B gain both 
fervent supporters and vehement critics amongst the voters. C does nothing, 
says nothing, pleases no-one but also offends no-one. In the Condorcet election 
the electors vote as follows:

48 A>C>B
3   C>A>B
2   C>B>A
47 B>C>A

C the turkey candidate wins simply by virtue of being inoffensive.

You also wrote:

>It's common knowledge here that no method is without any faults or 
>vulnerabilities or strategy needs. In fact every method can give a need for 
>defensive strategy. We can choose the one that creates the least drastic 
>defensive strategy need. Approval & Condorcet both do much better than IRV.

This common knowledge is  not often stated. A common way for somebody to 
promote a 'pet' electoral method is to do the following: 

1/ Find a set of criteria that your system meets and state them.

2/ Dismiss the criteria your method doesn't meet as irrelevant or even better 
just don't mention them.

3/ Make your selected criteria sound as important as possible (really build 
them up).

4/ Describe your selection of criteria as 'objective' ones that have been 
selected by 'experts'.

5/ Prove that your method meets them and that other methods don't.

Talking of which is electionmethods.org anything to do with you ?

David Gamble

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