[EM] Retiring from voting systems. Poll suggestions.

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 15 19:06:57 PST 2005

I'm retiring from voting systems.

I'd been making a temporary postponement of my retirement,  because I wanted 
to participate in the Range Voting organization. Then I also wanted to 
participate in the Condorcet project, and in some EM discussion. But now I"m 
retiring, and this time it's final.

My participation in voting systems is all or nothing. And nothing really 
means nothing. So I won't be checking EM, or other voting system mailing 
lists anymore, or in any way discussing voting systems.


You invited suggestions about your poll, and I'd like to offer a few:

In the polls that I've conducted, except where automatic balloting limited 
what balloting I could use, I've included 3 kinds of balloting in each poll: 
Approval, ratings, and rankings.

James' and your voting system polls have many candidates. Fifty, for James' 
poll. I believe you mentiond a hundred for your poll. Some say, and maybe 
it's true, that, when there are vary many candidates, rating is easier than 
ranking. Ok, so that's one reason to have ratings.

Another reason to have ratings is just to find out what winner people's 
sincere ratings point to.

But you should allow rankings too, in case some people prefer ranking. 
Especially people who might not vote for all the candidates.

But, most important, you should include Approval balloting.

For one thing, Approval is used by some rank methods, such as MDDA.

And, more important, the Approval result is important and meaningful in 

If everyone's sincerity (or good estimates of their utilities) can't be 
counted on, then Approval maximizes social utility more reliably than Range 
Voting does.

As I said, in Approval, there's much less difference (if any) between a 
sincere ballot and a strategic ballot.

As I've said, Approval may turn out to be too demanding for our public 
voters in our public elections. But your poll isn't a public election. The 
Approval result is maybe the most important result in polls.

Approval is a lot better than most people think it is.

The rankings (&/or rankings interpreted from ratings) should be counted by 
BeatpathWinner and MDDA.

For some time I've advocated BeatpathWinner as the best rank-count for 
organizations, committees, meetings, and polls. That's because there 
generally isn't any lesser-of-2-evils problem there, so why not have 
BeatpathWinner's slightly improved majority enforcement (as compared to 

But the most important value of better voting systems in organizations, 
committees, meetings and polls is the precedent that it can provide for 
those better methods in public elections. As I said before, that's where 
better voting systems really matter.

So then, that means that organizations, committees, meetings and polls 
should be encouraged to use MDDA instead of BeatpathWinner or other 
Condorcet versions.

So definitely do an MDDA count in your poll, ok?

Chris Benham introduced MDD,ER-Bucklin(whole), and, for our current 
electorates, in our public elections, I consider that method to be the best 
that I've heard of.

But MDD,ER-Bucklin(whole) doesn't have the brief definition of MDDA, and 
brevity of definition is very important for a public proposal. So I prefer 
MDDA for a public proposal.

MDD,ER-Bucklin(whole)  (which could be abbreviated MDDERBW) improves on MDDA 
by additionally meeting MMC (Mutual Majority Criterion). That provides a 
little more majority-enforcement, a little additional assurance that it's 
safe to vote Compromise below Favorite, but above Worst.

But MDDA's SFC compliance is what provides the biggest guarantee in that 


But SFC is more important, and gives the biggest share of 
majority-enforcement, and so MMC doesn't add so much.

Keven's MAMPO improves on MDDA by meeting the Plurality Criterion. But 
that's an aesthetic criterion, rather than a strategy guarantee criterion. I 
emphasize that Kevin proposed MDDA, as well as MAMPO.

When counting MDDA in the poll, using the Approval ballot, disregard, for 
any voter, the preferences for candidates in his ranking below his approved 
candidates. In other words, treat his ballot as if it's truncated below his 
approved candidates.

Mike Ossipoff

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