[EM] RE: assumption of sincere ballots (was Approval Later-no-Harm)
chrisbenham at bigpond.com
Thu May 19 10:46:20 PDT 2005
I previously wrote:
I am of the view that it is possible and desirable to have the situation
where the big majority of voters are innocent of strategy and/or not
interested in strategy, and I strongly believe that the "official
assumption" should be that there is no strategy problem and no problem
in determining the will of the voters from their votes.
So I'm completely against relying on any random process like random
ballot (except as a last resort when candidates are tied according to
all the reasonable deterministic processes), or on explicit strategy
devices (like ATLO). If the voting method has a big role for
Random Ballot, the implied official assumption is "No voting
method is immune to strategy, and we know that you voters can't be
To which you (Forest) replied:
>I can see your point and have a certain amount of sympathy for it.
>But lack of trust is not the only reason for spreading around the chances of getting elected.
>In small groups deciding from among acceptable options by casting lots or drawing straws is a rather common method of overcoming 100 percent dominance by a bare majority. Any child knows a number of rhymes for deciding who makes the decision this time. In some cases the winner of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" gets to make the choice.
>This hypothetical example of extreme Hutu, extreme Tutsi and Moderate Hutu in Rwanda
>illustrates the point. [I may have gotten the proportions backwards.]
>If these are sincere preferences, then M should have a chance of winning occasionally, not to keep the voters from voting insincerely, but because the smaller ethnic group deserves some satisfaction once in a while, too, to offset the "tyranny of the majority."
>Under DFC, the direct supporters of H could frustrate the M supporters by insincerely withholding their approval from M. But let's go by your "official assumption" that the voters will tend to vote sincerely under a fair system and not meanly exploit opportunities like this.
CB: Your point is about protecting minorities from unfair, unjustly
harsh majorities. The question that arises is: "Is replacing elections
with raffles or with something that is a hybrid of an
election and a raffle a feasible and/or desirable measure to achieve
I don't think it is. If alternatives such as (simultaneous)
proportional representation, constitutional guarantees of minority and
individual rights, and the typical "checks and balances"
aren't sufficient; then ahead of replacing elections with raffles on
the agenda is giving the persecuted minority their own independent (or
Normally if there is a lot of ill-will between rigid majority and
minority factions, then the majority will not assent to a raffle and if
there is one the losing side will suspect that it was
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