# [EM] Linear Spread Median Range Voting

Yves Dandurand yves.dandurand at internet.uqam.ca
Wed Dec 21 11:25:21 PST 2005

```Suppose:

ABC:   9
ACB:  0
BCA:  5
BAC:  0
CAB:  16
CBA:  0

A>B = 25 v.s 5
B>C = 14 v.s 16
C>A = 21 v.s 9

"C" is a clear winner.

But suppose that only two "ABC" strategics électors vote "ACB" with Condorcet.  Then we go to a cycle and anything can happen depending of the tie breaker we choose. This is not "academic", this reflect a problem that all the traditional voting systems can't solve. I stand behind Lomax with the Median range because it shows clearly and honestly to everyone an ambiguity which is hidded in all other systems.  This method as the avantage to protect the vote of those who don't want to take a risk.   In reality, strategics voters vote on extreme values with median range, just like approval, and non strategic sometime vote on the medians ones.  In fact, the result is that the non-strategic and undecided voters finally decide for the strategic and clearly oriented ones. This is not what democracy is about?  Certainly, voting a median value is just like playing lotto, but it reflect perfectly the undecision of the voter, and the aberrations of the voting systems in general. Believe it or not, all the math Phd are at the same level than kids with lotto ! And the "wrong vote" of the both side normalize the aberrations. That's why I believe that this system is the best one.

When you are expressing a preference like ABC, in reality, you are doing that after evaluating all the options one on one.  Translating an individual evaluation in terms of a static preference order produce a distorsion.  So there is no possibility of "perfectly good methods" which can be found from ballots that do no reflect as well the voter intention. That's because of that fondamental aberration that strategics voters exist, because they are trying to find an advantage on that distorsion.

The only way we could maybe find better is a Condorcet method which produce random winners in case of cycle. This is in fact what the SARVO system of Mr. Smith is arguing for with range voting. But I think that the best random system can be find from the free and unpredictable action of the people themselves, just like the median range do, and not by a stupid machine.

----- Original Message -----
From: rob brown
To: Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Cc: election-methods at electorama.com
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 1:45 AM
Subject: Re: [EM] Linear Spread Median Range Voting

On 12/20/05, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd at lomaxdesign.com> wrote:
At 07:48 PM 12/20/2005, rob brown wrote:
>I like this way better than "regular" range voting, as it removes a
>large part of the incentive people have to vote insincerely.
>
>Still, a voter has to take a guess as to what vote will be most
>effective in helping to achieve what he wants.  Example:  I vote A:
>0, B: 55, C: 100.
>
>Then the final score comes out to be A: 56.001, B: 56, C: 45.

>Oops, my vote of 55 for B actually lowered his score, and in this
>very tight race may have actually cost him the election.

Not exactly. Yes, the vote for B lowered the median by a tiny
fraction, but, unless this was quite a small town, probably not as
much as .001.

Well, that is the nature of elections that your vote only moves the result a small amount.  The point is, it moved it in the wrong direction.

Your vote for B lowered his score when you would have wanted to raise his score (had you known that it was A, and not C, that was his main competitor).  The reason I had them differ by a small amount was to show the case where the election could be lost by one vote.  But of course that's not the point.  You don't know whether your vote will help or hurt your candidate.  Why do it that way when condorcet and especially DSV methods allow you to be absolutely honest, and always* have it work in your favor?

*ok not always.  But the exceptions are so rare they are academic.

You would presumably know enough to know that A was roughly as
popular as B. (This is a *really* close election, they are not all
that common.) You'd probably have seen polls that A and B were going
to get in the range of the mid-fifties. So you did cut it close
rating B as 55, if it was so important to you that B win.

But why *should* you have to know that, when there are perfectly good methods that don't require you know a thing other than which candidates you like more than which?

If you have strong preferences, with median Range -- though the

method is not really well defined yet -- you might want to vote
nearer the extremes, just to be safe. So your vote might have been A,
0; B: 80; C: 100.

But what if I thought it might end up between B and C, and I was helping the one I didn't prefer?

You seem to suggest that voters will know when an election is close between two candidates.....maybe for US president, but what about other elections?  Will this work for district supervisor?

>Personally, I will never get behind a method that gives a
>significant advantage to those voters that are better at guessing
>who is likely to win, and this method does that (as does approval).

This method does that far less than Approval.

I'm not sure I'm convinced.  Considering your much more complex interface and additional data you have to collect, I don't think you gain much at all over approval in that regard.

Mr. Brown and I differ on the philosophy behind elections, quite
significantly. In my view, the ultimate "advantage" to the individual
voter lies in the election of a candidate who has the broadest support.

I'm all for broad support.  What I am against is methods that require voters to be strategic and to have knowledge of the current standings of the candidates for their votes to have the most impact.

Especially when this problem has been solved by other methods.

-rob

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