[EM] Comments on Russ's MinMax posting
nkklrp at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 19 22:57:04 PDT 2005
First, a comment on what James said:
On May 27, James wrote:
I argue that minimax makes no sense as a public election proposal.
Actually James isn't arguing it; he's asserting it. To argue it, it would be
necessary to tell reasons to justify his assertion.
we're going to try to implement pairwise count methods on a big scale,
we should choose good ones.
Now there's a new slant!
In my opinion, that absolutely cuts out
minmax methods (because of MMC failure, CL failure, etc.)
The unstated assumption is that the criteria that James likes are what
determine which methods are good.
As I said before, criteria that stipulate sincere voting won't help much
with methods that give avoidable need for drastically insincere voting.
After thinking about this for a while, I have come to the conclusion
that I agree with James on MMPO. I give Kevin credit for determining its
significant advantages, but as James and Chris have pointed out, they
come at too high a cost.
Russ's subjective impression, which he can try to justify.
Imagine the following scenario. MMPO has been adopted for a major
election. The results come in, and a Condorcet winner exists but does
not win. With MMPO, that would not be unlikely at all. Maybe the
Condorcet Loser even wins.
But that _is_ vanishingly unlikely. And it would be a peculairly popular
Now imagine what the supporters of the CW are
going to say:
"Hey, wait a minute. Are you telling me that my guy beat every other
candidate but didn't win the election? What kind of brain-dead system is
this? Who were the idiots who designed this scheme?
Simpson and Kramer?
Why do we bother
with pairwise tallies if we are just going to ignore them?"
MMPO doesn't ignore pairwise tallies. It elects the candidate who doesn't
have as big a pairwise tally against him.
Russ is confusing pairwise tallies with pairwise defeats.
We're used to pairwise-count methods that look at defeats, but we
(especially Russ) forget that the all those pairwise defeats are between two
candidates, while the actual election is between more than two candidates.
Thereby, we can forget that the overall election needn't be decided
according to defeats between pairs of candidates. One can get so wedded to
that pairwise-defeat prejudice that one doesn't loses track of the
differernce between a prejudice and an intrinsic issue of the multicandidate
Actually, MMPO"s way of using pairwise tallies is more direct. That's why
MMPO's definition is so much briefer.
Any idiot can come up with some fervently-worded emotional and confused rant
like that. Find some criterion that a method doesn't meet, and say so in
agitated, hysterical words
Imagine the field day Leno and Letterman would have.
I wasn't aware that Leno & Letterman were Condorcetists.
Then someone would
come along and try to explain that MMPO satisfies FBC and LNH. Yeah,
right. Imagine how well that will go over with the general public!
I've already explained here why it would be great if voters weren't
strategically forced to bury their favorite. Why that would actually be
better for democracy, if voters weren't concealing what they want. Other
than that, I'm not going to explain it again for Russ. I refer him to my
earlier postings in which I discussed that.
As most of you realize, we have a dilemma here. You can design an
election method that counts sincere votes in a reasonable way, or you
can design one that provides little or no incentive to vote insincerely,
but you can't do both at once. You want FBC and/or LNH? Then you can't
So which concern should prevail? Should sincere votes be counted the
best way we know, or should guarantees be given that sincere voting
won't backfire? It seems obvious to me that any election method must
first be able to deal well with sincere votes before any other concern
is addressed. A good tally method for sincere votes is a *prerequisite*.
Well, it must be good to be the one who issues the prerequisites.
*Encouraging* sincere voting is also important but is ultimately
secondary to actually counting sincere votes properly.
And of course Russ is the arbiter of proper counting.
Russ is saying that we should guarantee what will happen under sincere
voting even when that results in a voting system that will discourage
sincere voting. That could only be said by the kind of trog who falls into
line when his leader says that it's altruistic to kill and maim people, and
deny them self-government in order to free them.
I still say that Smith/Approval or DMC/RAV are probably the best we can
do. The rules are reasonably simple
People don't like the Smith set. It isn't as clear and briefly-described as
MMPO. I've offered Smith//PC on a newsgroup, and there was strongly-worded
objection to the Smith set as being too complicated. Smith//Approval is a
two part method, with two count rules instead of one. Approval is a
controversial, misunderstood proposal that always draws great resistance.
Other than that, though, it's a great proposal, except for its results.
, and the Approval cutoff gives the
voter a critical additional mode of expression without violating CC.
Oh, well than, what more could we ask?
allowing equal ranking makes it at least as good as Approval for those
who choose to use it that way.
...because Russ says so.
As for AERLO, I say nice try but no thanks. First, it breaks
summability. Secondly, I have yet to see an unambiguous explanation of
how it would actually be applied. I get the distinct impression that it
hasn't been thought through yet.
AERLO has been thoroughly defined a number of times on EM.
AERLO for MMPO:
If a voter chooses the AERLO option, s/he indicates a line in his/her
ranking such that if no one above that line wins, she wants to promote her
above-line candidates to 1st place, and have a 2nd count.
So if one or more people have done that, and if, for at least one of those,
no above-line candidates won, there will be a 2nd count with those people's
rankings modified as they indicated.
That's the final count.
Which part of that didn't Russ understand?
But Russ has indicated that he's a little confused about what it means to
say something unambiguously.
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