[EM] Re: Condorcet's strategy problem

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Thu Sep 15 21:26:58 PDT 2005

Big thing I read from this is that if voters fail to rank sincerely, they 
need some crash education.

Perhaps plotters can profit from carefully planned insincere votes, but 
any other deviation from sincerity is suicide.


On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 02:38:31 +0000 MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote:

> Adam--
> You wrote:
> In my opinion, a method where favorite betrayal scenarios are restricted to
> a very narrow range of situations are not a major problem.
> I reply:
> That's what I believed too. I thought that I, and maybe a few others who 
> share my opinions of the candidates, would be the only ones to do 
> favorite-burial in wv Condorcet elections.
> But then I watched a progressive voting in an Internet presidential 
> poll, by rank balloting, counted by BeatpathWinner. That person said 
> that Kerry's policies and honesty weren't as good as Nader, but she 
> voted Kerry, and all the other Democrat candidates, over Nader. Just 
> what LO2E progressives do now.
> I admit that that is the only person whom I've observed to do that. But 
> that is the only person whom I've observed when they voted in an 
> Internet poll. In those polls, as in real elecdtions, there are many 
> votes for the Democrats. How many of those are by 
> lesser-of-2-evils-dominated Nader-preferrers?
> You might say that observation of one person doesn't prove anything. Of 
> course not. But it isn't just one person. It's two, because, as I was 
> saying, I myself would do favorite-burial to increase the probability 
> that an acceptable candidate would win. The score, then, is two out of two.
> Now obviously, in Internet presidential staw polls by rank balloting, 
> not every Nader-preferrer votes Nader below the Democrats. That's 
> obvious because Nader usually wins those polls. But you certainly can't 
> tell by someone's ballot what their actual preferences are. I can tell 
> you that particular voter's preferences because she told me. And I can 
> tell you for sure that I'd favorite-bury to maximize the probability of 
> an acceptable candidate winning. As I said, then, it's two out of two.
> Another thing: Of course the fact that Nader wins those staw polls 
> doesn't mean that those Nader-preferrers would vote the same way in a 
> real election. They know it isn't a real election, and many are free of 
> their LO2E domination. (I myself voted all the acceptables together in 
> 1st place instead of ranking them sincerely. I didn't rank them in order 
> of winnability because, without AERLO, that might or might not be better 
> than equal ranking, and because it's more work, and because it isn't so 
> easy to estimate their winnability.)
> But when that person voted her favorite below all the Democrats, even in 
> a staw poll, you can bet that she'd do the same thing if it were a real 
> election.
> We can theorize about what voters would do, but I'm just reporting about 
> two voters whose preferences and voting I'm in a postition to report.
> You continued:
> If the polls
> start to look something like this, voters will know well in advance. In the
> vast majority of situations, there is no incentive to bury your favorite.
> I reply:
> Our mass-media polls have questionable reliability. And how many voters 
> are sophisticated enough to assure themselves that that the situation is 
> such that they can't regret not doing favortite-burial?
> You continued:
> Forest has argued recently (with regards to DMC, but the argument still
> applies here) that voters will be very reluctant to vote full favorite
> betrayal unless they know for certain that it is necessary.
> I reply:
> Maybe, for most voters, or maybe not. All I can say is that it isn't 
> true of the two voters about whom I'm in a postiion to report.
> You know, it depends on how the voter values the candidates. What would 
> you yourself do if it were an acceptable/unacceptable situation for you? 
> If you vote optimally, you yourself would favorite-bury if it would 
> maximize the probability of the winner being an acceptable candidate. 
> And that could be so even if there is no information available about 
> whether or not that special FBC-failure situation exists.
> You continued:
> This runs
> contrary to what Mike suggest, which is that voters will reverse order
> unless they are absolutely sure it is *not* necessary.
> I reply:
> You, like me, would do that if it were an acceptable/unacceptable 
> situation, and, lacking the information needed to judge if an 
> FBC-failiure could happen, favorite-burial would maximize the 
> probability that the winner would be an acceptable candidate.
> You continued:
> Ultimately it is very
> hard for any of us to predict what effect wv Condorcet voting would have on
> the political climate and people's attitudes toward voting.
> I reply:
> True. I was really surprised when that intelligent progressive voted her 
> favorite below all the Democrats. That shows that we can't make reliable 
> predictions without observations.  As I said, all I have to report is 
> two voters' preferences and voting. But I can tell you that anyone who 
> perceives an acceptable/unacceptable situation, and wants to maximize 
> their expectation, will favorite-bury if it maximizes the probability 
> that the winner will be an acceptable candidate.
> Mike Ossipoff

  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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