[EM] Re: minmax is not a good public election method

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Sun Jun 19 07:29:00 PDT 2005


--- Russ Paielli <6049awj02 at sneakemail.com> a écrit :
> 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. Now imagine what the supporters of the CW are 
> going to say:

Hmm, I'm not sure if the CL can win when there is a CW. I should think about

> "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? Why do we bother 
> with pairwise tallies if we are just going to ignore them?"

Well, it seems to me that when the CW loses in MMPO, it is never very ugly.
The MMPO winner would not have any majority-strength loss, for instance.

Electing the CL is more alarming, but the pairwise tallies haven't been
"ignored" exactly.

> Imagine the field day Leno and Letterman would have. 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'm not convinced. The public might not understand FBC but I think they
would understand LNHarm enough to be unsure if they want to shed it in
favor of obsessively finding the pairwise winners.

I think the public would inevitably complain about MMPO's failing of
Plurality. Personally, I'm more distressed about failing Minimal Defense.

> 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 
> satisfy Condorcet.

Well, I've suggested a method or two now which satisfy FBC and come so close
to satisfying Condorcet as to make no difference.

> 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*. 
> *Encouraging* sincere voting is also important but is ultimately 
> secondary to actually counting sincere votes properly.

This isn't obvious to me. What if, hypothetically, satisfying Condorcet meant
that no more than two candidates felt they could enter the race? In that case,
I think we would be paying too much for Condorcet. It would be better to
improve the incentives, and perhaps not satisfy Condorcet all the time.

> By the way, I see that Kevin just added an Approval cutoff to MMPO. I 
> consider that an improvement but it still falls short.

Eh? I only added it because Mike's version looks problematic. I don't advocate
it, since it breaks LNHarm.

> I still say that Smith/Approval or DMC/RAV are probably the best we can 
> do. The rules are reasonably simple, and the Approval cutoff gives the 
> voter a critical additional mode of expression without violating CC. And 
> allowing equal ranking makes it at least as good as Approval for those 
> who choose to use it that way.

I prefer Condorcet//Approval with the special tie rule. Maybe I should give
it an actual name: "Improved Condorcet Approval." It satisfies FBC, and only
fails Condorcet by letting people vote to create pairwise ties. When the CW
loses an "ICA" election, he doesn't have a good claim over the ICA winner.

Kevin Venzke


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