[Election-Methods] Election-Methods Digest, Vol 42, Issue 75

CLAY SHENTRUP clay at electopia.org
Mon Dec 31 04:50:47 PST 2007

rob brown said:
> I think if that method was actually used, there would be almost zero benefit
> to attempting to vote strategically, and there would be literally zero
> benefit in the majority of elections.  But even in those where that was any
> benefit at all, to get that benefit would be exceptionally hard because of
> the need to know others preferences with extreme precision.
> Actually, I think in real world elections, that is true for any Condorcet
> method.

there's also almost zero benefit to voting - but people do it anyway.
there's almost zero benefit for a voter to be strategic with plurality
- but people do it anyway.

and you haven't shown that the expected benefit of strategic voting
with condorcet is greater than with range voting.  i think it quite
likely is less.

and even if many more voters were strategic when using range than
condorcet, it would still plausibly result in more satisfied voters
and more representative government.

but that's leaving out all of your ridiculously implausible
catastrophic externalities, and our very plausible positive

> I've presented evidence over and over, based mostly on the fact that Clay
> refuses to define utility as he intends it.  So please, Clay, please define
> utility.

again, you are simply confused.  and you do not pay attention.  i have
defined utility in the same way as bentham, harsanyi, etc.
satisfaction/happiness/value - the general concept that utility
theorists have been talking about for years.

> Does it only include satisfaction with the elected candidates themselves?

i never said it did.  i said that warren's simulations could only
_account_ for the satisfaction from the election result itself, and
could not account for various externalities (like the fire and
brimstone tales you imagine of voters staying at home rather than
casting weak votes, or feeling guilty by casting strategic votes).

> Do people with a direct vested interest in a candidate winning
> (such as the candidates themselves, or their campaign manager) get to have
> much higher utility values because it affects them more?

they don't "get to" have - they _do_ have.

> Is this on a linear or logarithmic scale?

we (me, warren, harsanyi, sen, etc.) are proposing that the social
utility function is the simple sum of individual utilities, without
any kind of logarithmic rescaling.  i've said this to you over and
over again since i first encountered you.

> More importantly, does it ignore long-term intangibles, such as whether
> people feel the election was fair, or whether everyone's vote was counted?
> Or are these simply ignored?

i'm not ignoring that, but it's not accounted for by warren's
simulations.  we instead have to theorize about such externalities,
and try to back up our theories with evidence, just like anything in
science.  we see strong evidence that range voting will have external
effects like increasing voter turnout, reducing the effect of money in
elections, and breaking up duopoly.  you postulate some negative
outcomes, but so far none of them seem to be based on flimsy
conjecture and pathetically flawed logic - like "voters will hate
casting a weak vote so much, they'll just not vote at all".

but then you also think range voting wouldn't have changed the outcome
of the 2000 election, so this shouldn't surprise me.

> Please clarify your definition.  You have weaseled out of this over and
> over, I'd really like to know.

more pot/kettle rhetoric.  fact is, i've answered every correspondence
we've ever had, line by line.  meanwhile, i've seen you completely
fail to reply to numerous points i made which absolutely demolished
your arguments.  two easy examples:

1. your insanely ridiculous claim that nader would have still thrown
the election to bush under range voting.
2. your rather confused belief that dsv shouldn't leave voters with
any incentive to strategize.

i could go back and cite numerous other examples, but now that we're
debating in a public forum, everyone else can go back and see for

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