[Election-Methods] Election-Methods Digest, Vol 42, Issue 76

CLAY SHENTRUP clay at electopia.org
Mon Dec 31 05:34:23 PST 2007

> Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2007 02:47:06 +0200
> From: Juho <juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk>
> Subject: Re: [Election-Methods] RE : Re:  Re: rcv ala tournament

> Although I have some opinions on Condorcet completion I agree with
> Rob that too much energy is spent on the Condorcet completion
> debates. All methods that are Condorcet compliant are already quite
> good methods.

well, you don't know what you're talking about.  condorcet methods are
extremely susceptible to strategic voting - and are insanely
complicated for real world use compared to e.g. approval voting.
since approval is simpler and better, there's no excuse for pretending
condorcet methods are "good".  they aren't.


now that you've been given proper educational resources, you should be
able to move away from this mistaken thinking.

> From: "rob brown" <rob at karmatics.com>
> Subject: Re: [Election-Methods] RE : Re: Re: rcv ala tournament

> Well, I don't argue that there aren't contrived cases that can allow someone
> to vote strategically and gain a slight advantage.  But I really think they
> are highly contrived and not so relevant in the real world.

it sounds like you're saying they're not relevant because they're
rare.  but in a recent look warren took at around 150 australian irv
elections, only 8 would have been differently with plurality (and
assuming more voters would have strategically not voted for their
sincere favorite if using plurality, plausibly more like 4 instead of
8).  and probably none of those came down to a single tie-breaker
vote.  so for any plurality voter who has ever strategically voted for
the "lesser evil", he can be certain that it will almost _never_ make
any difference whether he votes honestly or strategically.  yet well
over half of the no-hoper voters (e.g. naderites) historically have
chosen to vote strategically.  so your argument is bunk.

> Here's my big unanswered question.  As I mentioned, my favorite explanatory
> device is a DSV system that includes "a software agent operating solely on
> the voter's behalf, which takes your actual preferences as input and
> produces the most strategic approval or range ballot".

what does it "explain"?  i see it as a distraction.  and you
apparently did not realize that it was just a condorcet system until i
told you that, which i think is illustrative of your level of

> Given that, why would a voter have an incentive to mislead the agent?  The
> agent is simply casting an approval ballot on the voter's behalf, it is not
> revealing the voter's "true preferences" to the agents operating on the
> behalf of other voters.
> Correct me if I am missing something, but it seems to me that the only way
> you would need to mislead the agent regarding your true preferences is if it
> is not really operating in your interest.

i explained this in another post, but i'll do it here for parsimony.

in a preference cycle, everyone's agents would keep cycling the vote
in an endless loop.  since that means we die before an election result
is declared, we can't have that.  so we have to have a cycle
resolution. process.  no matter which one we use, voters are going to
have a reason to strategically bury candidates to stop them from
making it to the smith/schwarz set (or to get candidates into the
smith set that otherwise would not have made it there).

the fact that you were not able to deduce this on your own should tell
you something.  you have a lot more to learn than you realize.

> Regardless, my main issue is being able to present scores, which I feel is
> important if we are going to sell it to the masses.

sell condorcet to the masses!  bwah hah hah hah.

> It is my opinion that all condorcet methods are imperfect, but that
> plurality is so much worse, and so much more used, that a better use of my
> own time is debating condorcet vs. plurality rather than condorcet vs.
> condorcet.

or you could just use range or approval voting which, once you
understand it, is clearly superior to either.

> If I have to debate against the range people, so be it, but that is mostly
> because because I think the effect of the range advocates is actually to
> keep the status quo.

range voting is better and much simpler/cheaper to adopt than
condorcet, by far.  (better as in, picks more representative
candidates.) it can be done on ordinary voting machines and reduces
spoilage rates.  if you think advocating range voting is preserving
the status quo, then jousting at the condorcet windmill should make
you feel like the ultimate advocate of the status quo.  you want a
radically more complex and WORSE voting method that is MORE harmed by
gaming.  insanity.

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