[EM] "scored condorcet", etc

rob brown rob at karmatics.com
Tue Nov 22 23:43:08 PST 2005

On 11/22/05, Dave Ketchum <davek at clarityconnect.com> wrote:
> > In some ways I think the term "party" is not a very good term.  Of
> > course, people will always gather together to advance various causes or
> > candidates, and that is great.
> I see three definitions here:
>       A group intending and getting recognition as a "party" by the state
> - with associated privileges and responsibilities.  In NY we have half a
> dozen, based on their candidates getting about 1% of the votes for
> governor.
>       A group trying for the above, but failing to get the votes.
>       A group fitting within the definition of your next paragraph, but
> NOT in the above more restrictive definitions.  I do not like calling
> these parties.

I think you're definition of party is ....well, narrow.  Parties would exist
whether or not the state recognizes them.  They are a natural phenomena of
plurality voting.  If you don't like the name "party", can you provide
another name?  "Strategic clusters"?

Some time ago I wrote this fanciful little article trying to explain how
parties form:
You would probably not call what I refer to in the article "parties" since
they are obviously not recognized by the state.

Note that I LIKE the details being visible, and understood, better than
> your desire to hide them within a single number for each candidate.

I have no desire to make it impossible, or even difficult, to view the
pairwise matrix.  I just think that most regular folks would like something
in between the pairwise matrix (too much information to take in all at
once), and the simple declaration of the winner (too little information).

The matrix may contain more information than a simple array of scores, but I
don't think it *communicates* more information to most people (especially if
the scores are displayed as a bar graph).  While I have a better
understanding of how the pairwise matrix works than 99.9% of the population,
I can't look at a pairwise matrix and quickly derive important information,
while I can if I look at a bar graph.  For instance, looking at a bar graph
I might be able to instantly see that candidate C and candidate F were about
equally far from winning, while D did much better.  Looking at a matrix it
might take me a minute or more to be able to figure that out.  In fact, in
many cases I can't even tell who won by looking at the matrix (unless it
says "winner: candidate A" at the top).  You talk about "hiding"....in my
opinion, that sort of information is hidden in a pairwise matrix.

I believe strongly in the ability of graphics to communicate things that are
very hard to communicate otherwise.  Pairwise matrices don't lend themselves
to graphical display.

Clearly I see more value in the Condorcet arrays than you do.  They
> provide comparisons between each candidate and each opposition.  I went
> into that for you seemed not to.

Like I said, I don't want to prevent people from seeing them.

Let me make an analogy. Imagine you have a small condorcet election, where
there are, say, 100 voters.  Someone suggests that all ballots be made
visible to all (anonymously).  You say "I think we should show the pairwise
matrix too, for people who don't really want to dig through 100 ballots and
try to somehow tally them up in their head".  The other person accuses you
of wanting to "hide" the ballots.  You say "I'm not trying to hide anything,
I just want to show the pairwise matrix because its easier to grasp than
looking at 100 ballots....if they really want to look at all the ballots,
let them"

See where I'm coming from?

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