[EM] percentage support

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Mon May 2 17:24:31 PDT 2005

  I claim you are asking the wrong question - you are asking whether you 
would be able to survive in a Condorcet world, while staying with your 
Plurality mindset.  Agreed that the numbers you are used to are not 
available, BUT, stand back and consider the environments:

In the Plurality world, ALL YOU HAVE is your fractions of 100 percent, and 
nothing to tell you how they interact when you try to extract useful 

Now, look at the Condorcet world.  As in a tournament, the ballot counting 
produces an array telling, for EACH pair of candidates, how many voters 
liked A better than B, and how many liked B better than A.  Something new 
to get used to, but each pair of numbers is a much clearer statement as to 
which of the pair is preferred.

On Mon, 2 May 2005 16:06:44 -0700 Curt Siffert wrote:

> I know many of us are here to work on the best method for various social 
> choice purposes.  But many of us are specifically interested in 
> political elections.
> And there's a problem with this.  Plurality actually serves two 
> purposes.  It is a bad way to select a winner, but it is also a way to 
> track percentage support over a period of time, and by determining 
> proportional support when it's relevant.
> Democratic primaries are an example.  The proportion of votes a 
> candidate receives determines how many delegates they receive.  But even 
> if that particular decision structure is done away with, there are 
> plenty of other reasons to track proportional support - polling, for 
> instance.

This one does demand thought - including whether this particular election 
should use Condorcet.  Could think of adding an extra row to the array, 
counting who voters ranked as first choice.

> And this is something that Condorcet methods cannot do.  You cannot 
> derive, from a Condorcet ballot collection, how much percentage support 
> each candidate got.  You can't give each candidate a share of 100% in a 
> way that all candidates would agree on.  If you can, I'd love to know how.
> Is this an already identified criteria?  The ability to determine 
> percentage support?  The Siffert Criteria?  :-)  If so, Condorcet fails 
> it; at least, I haven't seen a technique that would allow it to pass 
> it.  What voting methods can convincingly a) identify the total 
> available support (in terms of that vote method) for all candidates, and 
> b) determine what percentage of that support each candidate received ?
> Thanks,
> Curt

  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
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