[EM] Voting by selecting a published ordering

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Mon Apr 3 21:00:04 PDT 2006

On Mon, 03 Apr 2006 20:44:45 -0400 Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> At 08:16 PM 4/3/2006, Dave Ketchum wrote:
>> Looking much like Condorcet.  From there we know that cycles can occur,
>> needing more thought here.

I see nothing prohibiting the following collection of lists:
These happen in Condorcet, and give us headaches as to procedure.  I see 
nothing here justifying claims as to simplicity in counting.

> The proposal was one which uses any method allowing a ranked ballot. The 
> difference between it an standard plurality -- it uses the standard 
> plurality ballot -- is that instead of voting for a candidate, strictly, 
> one is voting for a list provided by a candidate.
> While it is theoretically possible for that list to not be headed by the 
> candidate, we may presume that it is. I.e., we may presume that any 
> candidate will put his or her own name at the top of the list.
> It is also possible to do this without using candidate-provided lists, 
> in which case it is essentially Asset Voting. But the idea here is that 
> candidates have provided a list, which is published, so when voters vote 
> for a candidate, they know where their vote goes if that candidate is 
> eliminated.
> It seems to have been missed by Mr. Ketchum that the voting is for a 
> candidate, and that each candidate provides only one list, in advance of 
> the election. Hence he asked:

There was NOTHING in the original post restricting a candidate to a single 
list.  A candidate can certainly know that backers disagree as to second 
or lower choice.

>> Starts out looking good but, how many lists might there be with half a
>> dozen candidates?
> Half a dozen.
>>       What would this quantity do to the voting machine?
>>       How much might this confuse the voter looking for an acceptable 
>> list?
> Not at all. I suppose I might, as a voter, be mildly interested in what 
> my favorite candidate would do with my vote, but, for me, the issue is 
> this: if I consider someone trustworthy enough to serve in an office, 
> why not consider them trustworthy to vote for someone who is also 
> relatively worthy of election.

At this point it matters VERY LITTLE as to what you or I might do.  What 
matters is what a collection of voters might desire - that could be useful.

Especially for minor candidates that expect to lose, their backers very 
likely disagree as to second choices.

> This is an extremely simple ballot and process. The method by which the 
> lists are used would be any ranked ballot method, as if the voters had 
> marked the ballot with one of the provided lists. I understand that in 
> STV elections, parties often provide such lists anyway, and very many 
> voters, out of party loyalty, use them.
> This method is quite clearly superior to standard plurality and, in my 
> view, to IRV. It allows experts to make ranking decisions, with the 
> public choosing their favorite *expert*. (Candidates frequently know 
> other candidates, far better than does the public.)
>> > This is exactly the kind of simplicity that we need to get a viable 
>> improvement over plurality for public elections.
> I agree that it is totally simple. Any complexity would be the 
> complexity of the exact election method chosen. However, reporting and 
> counting the vote would be much simpler, because the vote can be 
> reported just the same as plurality. It is only in the analysis that the 
> difference comes. And anyone can do that calculation, using the provided 
> lists.
>> Sounds like as much trouble as Condorcet and in counting complexity,
>> though doable with present voting machines - provided they can tolerable
>> the number of choices.
> Of course, the method was misunderstood. The number of choices is the 
> number of candidates, same as in plurality, and the counting complexity 
> is actually low, since precincts can simply report the standard vote 
> counts, they do not have to analyze. Analysis will be no more complex 
> than required by the ranked election method used, and should be easier 
> because of the limited number of ballot types involved.
> This is a case where overvoting could create problems; however, there 
> might be a way to analyze overvotes that would work. But I won't get 
> into that here, I'm just noting that there is, with this proposal, on 
> the face, a reason to discard overvotes that is rational, unlike the 
> case with discarding them under standard plurality. Overvotes here, 
> unlike the case with standard plurality, would create counting 
> complexity even if a way is determined to use them. I'd agree with 
> keeping it simple.

  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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