[EM] Independence from Clones Criterion

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Thu May 26 21:29:04 PDT 2005

Yesterday I tried to briefly summarize Independence from Clones, and I 
didn't say it well. Let me start over: It should take nothilng other than 
sincere voting by everyone to ensure that no faction can gain or lose 
advantage by running several identical candidates.

More completely, most would probably agree that this is the preference 
definition of a clone set:

Set S is a clone set iff, for any candidate X outside S, everyone who 
prefers X to someone in S prefers X to everyone in S; and everyone who 
prefers someone in S to X prefers everyone in S to X; and everyone who is 
indifferent between X and someone in S is indifferent between X and everyone 
in S. A voter is indifferent between two candidates if s/he doesn't have a 
preference between them.

[end of preference definition of a clone set]

Of course nothing in that definition says that a clone set must have more 
than one member. So a set containing one individual candidate is a clone 

Independence from Clones Criterion (ICC):

If everyone votes sincerely, then adding a new candidate to a clone set, so 
that that new candidate is an additional member of that clone set,  
shouldn't change the matter of whether or not the winner comes from that 
clone set, if before  that candidate-addition there was only one winner, and 
if after the candidate-addition there is only one winner.

[end of suggested definition of ICC]

There are votes-only ICC definitions met by Plurality. Like other such 
votes-only definitions, they're a great way to show a way in which 
BeatpathWinner/CSSD and RP are as good as Plurality. The same remains true, 
nothing is really changed, when such criteria are written to explicitly say 
that nonrank methods fail, or that the criterion doesn't apply to nonrank 

The whole purpose of criteria is for comparing methods, and the best 
criteria compare all methods. When you want to replace Plurality with a 
better voting system, wouldn't it be nice to have criteria that compare it 
to Plurality? ...other than by saying "Nonrank methods don't pass because I 
say so"?

The above ICC definition is probably the briefest and simplest universally 
applicable ICC definition that is consistent with what we expect and intend 
from ICC, and which doesn't mention methods' rules.

I was saying before that I agree with the desirability of ICC, but that I 
didn't consider it important enough to spoil PC. Likewse, now I don't 
consider ICC imporant enough to spoil MMPO.

There are other lesser-of-2-evils guarantees that don't apply only to 
identical candidates with everyone voting sincerely. Some of the best of 
those guarantees are available with MMPO.

Mike Ossipoff

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