[EM] Fw: borda count

Paul Kislanko kislanko at airmail.net
Sun Nov 7 06:20:41 PST 2004

James Gilmour wrote in response to Steve E in response to one of my points
> > 
> > But I accept Paul's point.  There might be some decision,
> > somewhere, where Borda would be a good voting method.
> No matter how you manipulate the points allocated to 
> successive preferences, it will, I think,
> always be possible for the Borda winner to be a candidate 
> other than the one candidate who secured
> an absolute majority of the first preferences.  How then can 
> Borda be "a good voting method"?
> James

This is why I was careful to distinguish between a voting method and an
election method (or system). I would never use Borda to elect a government,
BUT... when there was no clear majority and my purpose is to quantify a
"concensus", a Borda count is a quick and efficient way to do that. 

For example, if I ask 65 sportswriters to rank 117 sports teams in a league,
I might use some form of Borda as an alternative to just averaging the
ordinal rankings they provide (which has worse problems, especially since
most won't bother to do it right after the 25 teams they know something
about). It is useful in cases like this because the objective is not just to
pick which team is number 1, where just 33 of 65 "votes" would suffice, the
objective is to order all 117 teams. 

(Personally, I woudn't use pure Borda for that, either, but what I would use
is probably so similar to it you couldn't tell the difference).

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