[EM] [Fwd: [Condorcet] Re: strategic voting under DMC]

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sat Sep 3 10:26:19 PDT 2005

jbhodges at usit.net on Fri, 2 Sep 2005 19:10:15 -0400 included following to 
[Condorcet] Re: strategic voting under DMC:

> Despite cycles being expected in perhaps 1% of cases, Condorcet 
> advocates seem to spend 100% of their time arguing over which is the 
> "best" cycle-resolution method. They've been doing this for decades 
> (Condorcet wrote in the 1700's, right?) THERE AIN'T NO "BEST" 
> CYCLE-RESOLUTION METHOD. They've all got advantages and dis-ads. The 
> debate could go on forever. Let's call the whole thing off. WHAT CAN 
> WE SELL TO THE VOTERS? Simplify, Simplify.

I am responding to both Condorcet (which I see as useful for issues such 
as ballot design) and EM (which will do best on election methods if they 
are kept in one discussion).

There has been much debate over influencing results via strategy.  You 
have to be close to a tie for this to make a difference.  Certainly you 
need to avoid temptation in methods but, mostly:
      Required plotting and secrecy is not practical in public elections.
      Practical in some organizations - perhaps discussion of defenses 
would deserve setting up a list for this.

The important public elections are multiprecinct and even multicounty. 
Results from each precinct SHOULD BE understandable, publishable, and 
addable for entire district via either published data or the same data 
forwarded from the precincts (but NO forwarding of individual ballots as 
some methods would require).

Write-ins must be supported by method:
      Treat write-ins as a candidate - usually getting a total that says 
no detail required.  If needed, count the ballots.
      Treat each different written name as a separate candidate.  The 
arrays used to count votes CAN be expanded as names are found, but it is 
not practical to decide whether similar names are the same in the hurry of 
initial counting.

Voters will indicate rank by number:
      The same number indicates equal rank.
      Different numbers indicate which is preferred.
      The above DOES NOT require that each number must be used, with no 
gaps - or prevent truncation via omitting numbers (and truncation of those 
the voter chooses not to rank is PERMITTED).
      The above does not prevent a counter from amending votes with a 
pencil - a worthy topic for thought.

Voters adding other indications such as approval - forbidden by the 
command to simplify.

Wv vs margins - debatable.  I vote for wv, considering the 97 in 97>95 
more significant than the 3 in 57>54.

Give A and B each .5 for A=B - debatable.  I say yes for wv, advancing 
each count the same amount for A=B and A=B as for A>B and B>A.

Introducing random numbers?  I choke on these for all but exact ties - let 
the voters decide.  For exact ties, anything with equal odds is good 
enough - even waking up one voter who did not vote.

  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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