[EM] RE: [Condorcet] A "Condorcet" by any other name still smells as sweet?

Simmons, Forest simmonfo at up.edu
Fri Sep 30 15:46:24 PDT 2005

Markus wrote ...

"To be honest, I believe that whatever Condorcet method
we will propose, the chances that the state of Washington
will adopt the proposed Condorcet method are not very
Unfortunately, I think that this is a realistic assessment. We don't stand a chance unless we are ready to make some drastic simplifications, especially in the ballot design.
If we cannot improve on IRV in ballot design, then we have no better hope of success than the IRV supporters have met with, since this is the major hurdle in both cases.
We have to get creative here or abandon ranked ballot methods in favor of two or three slot methods like Approval  or three slot Equal Rank Bucklin a.k.a. Majority Choice Approval (MCA).
Approval is unacceptable to voter psychology because once you approve Compromise, you erase the ballot distinction between Favorite and Compromise.  That's why ordinary Approval is not a viable ballot proposal.
What does that leave?
1. Creative use of simple ballots to get voter rankings, as (for example) in Jobst's DFC proposal.
2.  Ranked or not, ballots have to allow distinction of Favorite without strong incentive to rate or rank Compromise with the distinctive mark along with (or in place of) Favorite.  This means that the distinctive mark has to be mostly expressive or symbolic, with very weak instrumentality, such as having a role in breaking ties.
After Asset Voting, Approval Plus (A+) is the simplest such a proposal.
Approval Plus  is Approval with the ability to distinguish one candidate with a plus.
Along with the approval tally, there is a tally of each candidate's plusses.
When the max approval candidate is unique, that candidate is elected.
When two or more candidates are tied for max approval, then the plus tally for each candidate is used to determine how many marbles will correspond to that candidate in an urn full of different colored marbles (one color for each candidate).
A marble is drawn.  The candidate owning the drawn marble picks the winner from among the tied candidates.
This plus feature can be grafted onto any method where the candidates are supposed to become representatives of the voters, but is especially relevant if the method already satisfies the FBC.
So we have can have MCA+,  MDDA+,  MDDB+,  MMPO+,  ICA+, ERBucklinWhole+, etc.
My favorite of these is MCA+ which has three main slots plus the "+" mark.
MCA+ :
The main ballot choices for the voter are  (blank), "good,"  and "better," so that "better plus" is synonomous with "best."
If any candidate is marked "better" (with or without the "+") on more than fifty percent of the ballots, then the candidate with the most "better" marks is the winner.  Otherwise the candidate that is rated good or better on the greatest number of ballots is the winner.
In case of a tie, a ballot is drawn at random, and the candidate marked plus on that ballot picks from among the tied candidates.  [Or the equivalent marble experiment is carried out as described above, so that the ballots don't have to be mixed around in a compost turner.]
In this formulation MCA+ would set the tone for positive campaigning.
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