[Election-Methods] rcv ala tournament

Juho juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Dec 30 04:50:59 PST 2007

On Dec 30, 2007, at 3:23 , CLAY SHENTRUP wrote:

>> This mail stream is about joining forces in defending all the good  
>> methods.
> well, "good" is relative.  combining utility efficiency with
> simplicity/practicality, range and approval are unparalled.  so why
> would we want to spend time defending worse and/or more complex
> methods?

Ok, ranked methods are obviously not included in the list of methods  
that you find acceptable.

>> Range(approval) is a method where voters are expected to vote as in
>> Approval. Additionally voters are allowed to cast weak votes. This
>> wonderful method works quite well also in competitive environments.
> well, it's the same voting method as range(ratings), except with the
> explicit declaration that people should vote strategically.  but
> that's wrong.  the more people who vote honestly, the better.  we do
> _not_ want to encourage people to vote approval-style.

Ok, you seem to promote Range(ratings) and not Range(approval).

>> In (competitive) Range(approval) I would not recommend voters to cast
>> weak votes unless they know what they are doing.
> then you are malevolent.  it is good for voters to cast sincere
> ("weak") votes, as it increases social utility.

Let's assume there is a tight 50%-50% battle between Democrats and  
Republicans. Initially all plan to vote strategically in approval style.

One of the Democrats considers changing from approval to ratings style:
- overall ("absolute"/"idealistic") social utility could go up or  
down or stay the same (depending on which party is "right")
- personal utility would go down
- overall utility as this voter sees it would go down if this voter  
wants to improve social utility
- overall utility as this voter sees it would go up if this voter  
wants to vote for the alternative that decreases social utility (for  
selfish reasons)

The dynamics don't work. Only the last bullet above seemed to clearly  
drive the social utility up, but this was exactly against what this  
particular voter wanted.

If all would vote in (non-normalized) ratings style the (average  
personal) social utility could be better, but for individual voters'  
decisions on how to vote (or for groups) it doesn't make much sense  
to switch to ratings style.

People also tend to have their own understanding on what is best for  
the society. Actually all depend on that and nobody knows the  
"absolute"/"idealistic" social utility. (This makes my first bullet  
point above quite irrelevant from individual decision maker point of  


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