[EM] Are rank methods really better than Approval & CR?

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 14 22:49:45 PDT 2005

Judging from what I was saying the other day about strategy for MMPO & wv, 
maybe it's time to question the value of rank-balloting, when optimal 
strategy can, and always will in acceptable/unacceptable situations, involve 
equal ranking (with MMPO) or favorite-burial (with wv).

Some criteria (both yours and mine) need another look. I always justified 
the majority defensive strategy criteria by saying that a majority should be 
able to protect majority wishes without drastic strategy. If someone voted 
so as to make use of compliance with those strategy, but didn't have the 
necessary majority support, and it backfired, one could say that's ok, 
because it's a _majority_ that we want to protect the rights of. That's all 
very well, but the voter cares about his outcome even if we disregard him 
because he isn't in the majoritity described by those criteria.

Someone could say that CC, Smith, ICC & MMC would be helpful to a voter who 
knew that everyone else would vote sincerely, and that the CW was someone ok 
with him.

Someone could say that the majority defensive strategy criteria will help a 
voter once previous elections, or good polls, or better media, have given 
hilm information that he's in one of those majorities described in the 

But wait--isn't that the kind of information that would enable confident and 
successful Approval voting? Aren't the rank methods supposed to get rid of 
Approval's need for information? Do they?

Maybe we should instead be more concerned about what it takes for an 
individual voter to optimize his/her outcome when s/he doesn't have that 
kind of information.

Someone who looked at the ranking strategies that I posted yesterday,  could 
ask the embarrassing question "How is MMPO really better than Approval?"

Or the even more embarrassing question "How is wv better than IRV?"

Well then, is there any way that a rank method is really better than 
Approval, as regards what it takes for an individual voter to optimize 
his/her outcome when s/he doesn't have majority information, or a guarantee 
that everyone will vote sincerely?

Yes:  Strong FBC and SOACC.  Those are what rank methods can offer that 
Approval doesn't offer.

Further, a method that meets SOACC and SFC and SDSC then gives to the voter 
the genuine full benefit of SFC and SDSC. SOACC lets the voter vote in the 
ways stipulated by SFC, without fear of sub-optimal outcome.  SOACC gives 
similar protrection for  SDSC.

So the real benefit of rank balloting is with methods that meet Strong FBC, 

MMPO with AERLO, for instance.

Mike Ossipoff

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