[EM] What Mike can teach us

Adam Tarr atarr at purdue.edu
Tue Jan 27 17:33:02 PST 2004

A good old fashioned flame war here.  I'm going to sidestep the vast 
majority of this but I'll make a couple comments.

David Gamble wrote:

>You continued:
>I've said many time, but apparently must again repeat, that, though IRV
>doesn't have offensive order-reversal, it requires, without any offensive
>strategy being done, a much more drastic defensive strategy than Condorcet
>wv does. IRV will make the need for defensive favorite-burial. That need
>happens without anyone using offensive strategy. That's the mark of a really
>poor method. IRV and Plurality have that in common.
>At worst, in a really devious electorate, where there are many who'd like to
>do offensive order-reversal, Condorcet then begins to have a strategy
>problem. But that strategy problem isn't like IRV's strategy problem. IRV
>requires defensive favorite-burial. But offensive order-reversal can be
>deterred by mere defensive truncation.
>I reply:
>How important strategy criteria are depends on whether the voters use 
>strategy and to what extent they use strategy. I've spent years 
>encouraging voters to use the very simple strategy of vote for the 
>candidate of the party most likely to defeat the Conservative. With some 
>people who aren't very politically minded and some who are  it can, for a 
>whole variety of reasons ( foremost amongst them a desire to vote 
>sincerely) be an uphill struggle.

Which is, of course, exactly the point of advocating winning votes 
Condorcet.  It is very hard to convince large sections of the electorate 
into voting insincerely, and insofar as it would be I believe that it would 
be far easier to convince them to "bullet vote" (i.e. only vote their 
favorite) than it would be to convince them to bury their favorite or 
otherwise swap expressed preferences.  These are my assumptions about human 
nature, but they match both my experiences and your own.

Under these conditions (where the only strategy employed is selectively 
truncating your ballot), winning votes Condorcet has basically no strategic 
issues.  It is possible (in situations I regard as extremely unlikely) for 
truncation to have a positive impact, but winning votes Condorcet performs 
far better than margins Condorcet in preventing the strategic problems that 
I view as likely.  IRV is worse than margins Condorcet in this respect.

>Mike, you website gives the impression that it is an objective evaluation 
>of election methods. I have not objection to people advocating a certain 
>system, that is their right but to pass it off as impartial, balanced and 
>objective when it is not is something I find really annoying.

Mike's website seems pretty unambiguous in its advocacy of Condorcet.  I'm 
not sure why you think he's hiding it.

>One person, one vote, when it comes down to it in the end my opinion is as 
>valid as any other.

Please, not 1p/1v again. ;)

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