[EM] EM] Simmons' "solution" of voting system design puzzle is inadequate

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sun Jan 21 18:47:18 PST 2007

At 05:47 AM 1/21/2007, Chris Benham wrote:

>Warren Smith wrote:
>>--no.  The definition in the problem statement said "slight" 
>>preferences among clones.
>>By slight, I meant, to be formal, infinitesimal.
>Right. And how does a voter express an "infinitesimal" preference 
>in  the Range 0-99 that you advocate?

They don't.

Benham is so fixated on ranked voting that he consistently overlooks 
the implications of what is written about Range. "Slight" preference 
would properly refer to preference strength below the resolution of 
the Range method. This makes sense when Range is expressive to a 
degree that the expressable preference strengths are probably beyond 
what people can sensibly discriminate. As I've written, as have 
others, 0-9 or 10 is actually pushing it. 0-99 or 100 is pretty 
clearly beyond necessity.

"Slight" preference would thus mean preference that exists, perhaps, 
but which is less than the resolution on the ballot. And then the 
question becomes, "How much resolution should the ballot provide?" 
There is a cost to increased resolution, and it would appear that 
beyond a certain point, there is little or no return in value.

If we assume that voters will rank Clones identically, then Range 
satisfies ICC. As we examined in a previous post, the technical 
definition of "clone" is based on an assumption of ranks, i.e., a 
clone is a candidate whom no voter ranks differently than another 
candidate or other candidates. The definition clearly wasn't written 
to apply to Range, it was written in the context of comparing ranked methods.

The point is that Range does not provide a benefit to parties to 
introduce clones, unlike some methods, nor does the introduction of 
clones have any anticipable effect in causing members of a clone set 
to lose. Theoretically, clones under Range would tie. But generally 
noise would prevent that. *We don't care which clone is elected, if 
we did, they would not be clones.*

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