[Election-Methods] RE : Is this Condorcet method reasonable?

Juho juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Dec 3 21:29:16 PST 2007

The withdrawal option could encourage sincere voting in Condorcet  
style elections. If so, that would again put more weight on  
evaluating (the rest of) the method based on how it behaves with  
sincere votes. I hope there would not be need to use the withdrawal  
option often.

Withdrawal option has both positive and negative impact. The positive  
side was already discussed. On the negative side there are problems  
like candidates deciding the outcome of the election instead of the  
voters and risk of corruption. Also in the case of a natural loop  
there is the possibility to buy the withdrawal of one of the  
candidates. Sometimes it also makes sense for one candidate (in a  
sincere loop) to withdraw to avoid electing (from his/her point of  
view) some reasonably good candidate instead of a bad candidate.

One option to reduce the problems would be to require a court  
decision on if strategic manipulation of the election outcome was  
likely (or a possibility), and only then allow candidates to  
withdraw. Of course the decision would still be very difficult, and  
in some cases one would not know if independent individuals decided  
to vote strategically (e.g. based of reading the EM list). Having  
such a "court decision" rule could make at least public  
recommendations to vote strategically less tempting.

I also note that strategic voting and recommendations to vote  
strategically appear to be quite rare in current systems like top two  
runoff (based on my personal relatively limited visibility to them).  
Good morale, uncertainty of the opinions, heterogeneous voters and  
the difficulty of controlling the voters may often be enough to keep  
strategic voting at low levels although there could be some strategic  
options open (theoretically).


On Dec 3, 2007, at 17:43 , Steve Eppley wrote:

> Perhaps I failed to emphasize, when I mentioned the withdrawal  
> option a
> few days ago, that it sharply reduces the incentive to vote
> strategically?  A candidate strategically raised over the sincere  
> winner
> could withdraw if necessary to elect the sincere winner, and typically
> would have strong incentives to do so, so why would voters bother
> organizing to misrepresent their preferences?
> If it is agreed that the withdrawal option sharply reduces the voters'
> incentive to vote strategically, then it makes little sense to  
> choose a
> voting method based on comparisons only of methods that don't permit
> withdrawal, and then graft withdrawal onto the chosen method.  It  
> makes
> more sense to include methods that permit withdrawal in the set of
> methods being compared, and choose a method from this larger set.
> --Steve
> -------------------
> Juho wrote:
>> On Nov 30, 2007, at 19:33 , Diego Santos wrote:
>>> I think that cloneproof violation is not severe when a method meets
>>> Smith. Probably near all majority rule cycles in contetions
>>> elections will be caused by burying. Then, additional resistance to
>>> this strategy will be desirable for a Condorcet method. If clone
>>> independence is desirable too, "Smith,IRV" is an alternative.
>> Why do you expect burying to be the main reason to cycles? Does this
>> apply to exceptionally contentious elections only or to all typical
>> elections?
>> The cycles may also be caused also by "random like" variation in
>> opinions in close races. Also natural cycles where the voter opinions
>> really are cyclic are quite possible.
>> Factors that may reduce the probability of strategic cycles are e.g.
>> changing opinion poll results before the elections and inability of
>> the voters to use the strategies in the strategically optimal way.
>> In general I tend to think that Condorcet methods are at their best
>> when strategic voting is not widespread or is not well organized
>> (=hopefully reduces to just noise). I really wouldn't like to see
>> general public use all the various Condorcet strategies that are
>> discussed on this list. In most cases Condorcet based methods are
>> maybe immune enough to strategic voting (especially when compared to
>> other commonly used methods). If this is the case then the best
>> method may be the one that performs best with sincere votes (possibly
>> slightly random and marginally strategic).
>> Juho
> ----
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