[Election-Methods] Fwd: FYI - FairVote MN Responds to Lawsuit Against IRV

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Thu Dec 27 12:58:09 PST 2007

On Thu, 27 Dec 2007 09:35:44 +0200 Juho Laatu wrote:
> Dave already explained the use of the equal sign. I was just lazy to  
> invent any specific order in my example ballots so I used simple  
> ties. Voters are free to list all of them in their order of preference.
And equal unites a pair of candidates, while the pair can be united with 
others with more equals.

> Condorcet methods are good methods in such sense that they are not  
> very vulnerable to strategic voting and on the other hand they allow  
> voters to give quite a lot of information on their preferences (and  
> all this info will be taken into account when determining the  
> winner). In some other methods ballots carry more information (like  
> numerical candidate ratings) but they have more difficulties with  
> strategies.
> Condorcet methods are not very widely used today. Partly this may be  
> due to the higher complexity of Condorcet methods. They are  
> relatively tedious in large scale with manual counting. But computers  
> can do the calculations easily. One just needs to collect locally all  
> pairwise comparison results (how many voted X>Y etc.) and then send  
> this data upwards.

Yes, computers just do tedious without getting excited.

Each election needs just one array:
      Arrays from precincts, etc., can be summed into one complete array.
      Write-ins can be handled by adjusting the array - PROVIDED - the 
counting routines are properly prepared for such a complication.
> Another reason why Condorcet methods are not used in wide scale today  
> is that there are quite number of them and it is not quite obvious  
> which one to take into use. Actually all of them may be good enough  
> when compared to many methods in use today but selecting one can be  
> difficult. Experts also have different opinions on which of the  
> "Condorcet completion methods" is the ultimate best. All Condorcet  
> methods elect the same winner when one of the candidates beats all  
> the others (=the Condorcet criterion). But Condorcet methods have the  
> interesting property that in some situations A may be preferred to B,  
> B to C and C to A. This is where different Condorcet completion  
> methods differ from each others.
> Third problem of Condorcet methods is that there are some nasty  
> strategies that may be used. It is however quite difficult to apply  
> them, especially in typical large public elections where voters make  
> independent decisions. And if someone tries to apply strategies they  
> easily fail and may rather hurt the strategists. In most practical  
> situations the voters can just forget the strategies this and rank  
> the candidates sincerely. Condorcet methods are thus relatively  
> strategy resistant although some strategic voting scenarios exist (in  
> the most commonly iscussed one voters can try to introduce an  
> artificial loop in the opinions and thereby fool the system).
> I listed some of the problems of Condorcet methods above, but in  
> general Condorcet methods are really good general purpose single  
> winner methods for typical political elections.
> There are also Condorcet methods that have been enriched with  
> additional information like approval cutoffs, numeric ratings and  
> preference strengths. These enhancements are an interesting area of  
> study but in most cases the basic (pure ranking based) Condorcet  
> methods are good enough and already provide most of the benefits and  
> avoid strategic voting related risks (and are simpler).
> Juho
  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.
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