[EM] Cycles in sincere individual preferences

Adam Tarr atarr at purdue.edu
Mon Sep 6 15:50:03 PDT 2004

At 10:34 PM 9/6/2004 +0200, Jobst Heitzig wrote:

>Just a summary of my opinions (in case anyone misunderstood):
>1. Incomplete or even individual prefs are no problem for most methods.

Most Condorcet methods, yes.  They are pretty meaningless for IRV, Borda, 
and most other non-pairwise methods.

>2. Whether some set of individual prefs is rational or logical doesn't

I disagree.  Social choice methods are (again, excepting unanimity) about 
disagreement and ruling that some opinions matter more than others.  I 
would choose to implicitly disregard self-contradictory preferences.

>3. We should not restrict freedom of preference expression without need.

Aside from my opinion about the value of cyclic preferences, they 
needlessly complicate the ballot.  Yes, I know they can be but one 
option.  It still complicates the ballot.

>4. Methods based on pairwise comparisons should ask the voter for:
>pairwise comparisons, of course.

Only if you think this gives more information than a simple ranked order, 
which is only true if you think that nontransitive individual preferences 
are meaningful.

>5. Expressing that some pairwise preference is more important than some
>other pairwise preference could be allowed as long it does not become

I'm not sure what you mean here.

>6. I did not understand a word of what Craig wrote, perhaps because I'm
>not a native speaker of the english language.

Trust me, that wasn't the problem.


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