[EM] Condorcet for public proposals

Markus Schulze markus.schulze at alumni.tu-berlin.de
Thu Jan 29 04:27:02 PST 2004


Mike Ossipoff wrote (28 Jan 2004):
> The Libertarian Free State Project uses PC. They wanted something
> especially briefly defined, because, all else being reasonably equal,
> a brief definition is easier to justify. Maybe we should listen to
> them for public proposals too. There's so little experience that
> it's impossible to say.

MinMax (aka PC) violates reversal symmetry and independence of clones.
The Libertarian Free State Project uses MinMax to decide which state
is the most suitable state for their purposes. Of course, independence
of clones was not an issue when they decided to use MinMax since you
cannot nominate e.g. 10 different New Hamshires.


Mike Ossipoff wrote (28 Jan 2004):
> Duff's point was well-taken that we put too much emphasis on the circular
> tiebreakers, because those are what distinguish all these methods we
> propose. It's quite true that the important message for public advocacy
> is the pairwise-count itself, and the election of a CW if there is one.
> I'm not saying that CC compliance is enough. But the pairwise count
> principle is a good first step when introducing these methods. The circular
> tie solution is what gives the method further properties and advantages,
> beyoned CC, but maybe the pairwise-count should be the up-front offering.
> As was suggested, that should be the main offering, and the circular tie
> solution should be offered as a footnote.

When you promote Condorcet in general and treat the concrete tie-breaker
only in a footnote, then the following will happen:

1) Your opponents will argue that your proposal isn't defined when there
   is no Condorcet candidate (see Craig Carey).
2) Your opponents will use arguments that are valid only for other
   tie-breakers, claiming that since you don't have a strong opinion about
   which tie-breaker should be used it isn't clear which tie-breaker will
   be adopted when Condorcet is adopted.
3) Your opponents will use arguments that are valid only for other
   tie-breakers, claiming that although you promote a different tie-breaker
   the fact that their tie-breaker leads to unintuitive results demonstrates
   that there must be something wrong with Condorcet's ideas.

Therefore, I suggest to promote a concrete election method, to mention only
in a footnote that this method happens to satisfy the Condorcet criterion,
and to treat the Condorcet criterion only as one criterion among many criteria.

Markus Schulze

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