[EM] Cycles in sincere individual preferences and application to vote-col...

Kislanko at aol.com Kislanko at aol.com
Mon Sep 6 11:19:32 PDT 2004

In a message dated 9/6/2004 1:06:38 PM Central Standard Time,  
atarr at purdue.edu writes:

But  I do NOT believe that an individual can have such preferences.  Or, more 
 accurately, an individual may have such preferences, but I do not consider  
them logical, and I have absolutely no interest in factoring such preferences  
into a social choice algorithm.

I thought I'd explained why individuals when asked pair-wise preferences  
won't always give the same answer as they do when asked to give a ranked  ballot.
The reason I wouldn't have chosen E over B, C, or D on a ranked ballot with  
A as an alternative is that B, C, D "trumped" E on every issue that was not 
the  single one that A&E agreed upon.
But once A is out of the picture, there's one issue that E trumps B, C, and  
D on. And if A&E are both out of the picture than my sincere ordering of B,  
C, D could well change. 
My original point was that you can;'t infer that I prefer B>C from a  ballot 
that has A>B>C>D>E on it. If you ask me which I prefer of B  and C (only) I 
might say C sincerely because (in this example) C is the only one  that is both 
pro-gun control and anti-capital punishment.
When both of those are covered by my first choice, I might rank C last  among 
B,C,D because of something else, like fiscal policy.
There's no reason to believe you can infer pair-wise wins from a ranked  
ballot voting method. Wishing it to be so and saying anybody who votes contrary  
to the wishes is "irrational" does not make it useful or  acceptable.
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