[EM] Re: ICC and Approval

Russ Paielli 6049awj02 at sneakemail.com
Sun Jun 12 21:55:48 PDT 2005

Let me explain how I intuitively think about clones. Forget the formal 
definition and just think of clones as being perfectly identical to each 

Suppose a clone of George W. Bush somehow magically appeared in the 2004 
election. Call them Bush-A and Bush-B. Voters who wish to support Bush 
then need to decide which one to vote for. If they all coordinate and 
agree on the same one, they have no problem. But if they don't, they 
will split the vote and neither Bush is likely to get elected. So I 
would say that plurality fails the independence of clones criterion, 
although the voters can theoretically avoid the potential consequences 
of the failure with coordination and agreement.

Approval has no such problem because the Bush supporters can simply vote 
for both Bush-A and Bush-B. If they tie, a coin is flipped and one is 
elected. Since they are exact clones, either one will do.

I think that captures the essence of the concept for plurality and 
Approval, but someone will surely correct me if I am wrong.


Paul Kislanko kislanko-at-airmail.net |EMlist| wrote:
> I am not entirely sure who said what because of the way Mike constructs his
> emails, and I don't really care anymore about what you "experts" think one
> way or another, but Mike (or somebody) wrote:
>>Set S is a clone set if, for every particular voter, and for 
>>any candidate X 
>>outside S,  if that voter prefers somone in S to X than s/he prefers 
>>everyone in S to X; and if that voter prefers X to someone in 
>>S, then s/he 
>>prefers X to everyone in S; and if that voter is indifferent 
>>between X and 
>>some candidate in S, then s/he is indifferent between X and 
>>every candidate 
>>in S.
>>A voter is indifferent between X and Y if s/he doesn't prefer 
>>X to Y and 
>>doesn't prefer Y to X.
>>[end of clone-set definition]
> Now, this definition pretty much says there can't be a "clone set", because
> any ONE (every particular) voter can break the definition by chosing a
> candidate to be included in it or excluded from it. That makes no sense.
> If you define "voter clones" for each voter ("every particular voter") then
> you just have a different clone set for each voter. I don't know what that
> means, but it certainly doesn't make the concept of "clone" in the context
> of a method any easier to understand.
> ----
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