[EM] Presidential debate ordering

raphfrk at netscape.net raphfrk at netscape.net
Sun Jun 3 13:58:20 PDT 2007

 > [EM] Presidential debate ordering
> Gervase Lam gervase.lam at group.force9.co.uk wrote:
> However, James Green-Armytage mentioned Reciprocal Pairing on this list
> in the past.? I rediscovered it in the following web page:
> <http://fc.antioch.edu/~james_green-armytage/vm/reciprocal.htm>

That is interesting.? However, the objective shouldn't be to have debaters
necessarily debate who they want to debate (as you point out).

> There is one problem I have with allowing the candidates to determine
> who they should debate with.
> <snip>
> The first front runner realises that in a head-to-head debate, he would
> do badly against the second front runner.? Therefore, the first front
> runner does not rank the second front runner.? This means that the two
> front runners will never debate with each other.

Another option is to allow each candidate pick 2 other candidates (via 
submitting a ranking).? The top 2 other candidates would then be paired 
with him.? He would also have to debate the candidates that pick him.

The reciprocal system could be used if there is 'overflow'.? If 4 candidates
want to debate with a front runner then only 2 are allowed (excluding the 
2 the candidate picked).? I would probably break the tie based on popularity 
of the candidates rather than their own rankings.

For example, assuming candidate A is most popular, B next and so on.

A: B>C>F
B: C>D>E
C: B>E>F
D: B>A>E
E: B>C>A
F: B>A>C

Everyone wants to debate with B, B's debates partners would be:

B picks C and D, so is paired with them as they rank B number 1 too.

A,E and F want to debate B.? A and E win as they are most popular.

This results in 4 debates for each candidate, which for a large number of
candidates is much less than N*(N-1)/2.

It is still alot of debating.? In a 6 candidate field, that it 24 debates.

If the number on the panel was increased to 4, then this could be reduced.

What about something like the following process.

Panel sizes are P

Each candidate submits a ranking

The matching is then

Each candidate 'enters' the room.

A candidate may join a non-full panel.

A candidate may replace a member of a panel as long as all other members of the panel either
- prefer the new candidate to the old candidate
- prefer one of the remaining candidates to both the new and to be replaced candidate

A candidate attempts to join the panel of its favourite and works down the list until he gets a spot.? If he fails, he forms his own panel.

I dunno if this is guaranteed to end though.

My thoughts are that once a panel member has a candidate they want to debate with, they have
no further say in how the panel is made up.

> Alternatively, may be James's Debate Inclusion method could be used
> instead:
> <http://fc.antioch.edu/~james_green-armytage/vm/debate.htm>

Interesting too.? There could even be multiple debate panels.? The final
panel before the election might be the first panel elected.

Another issue in this whole thing is how to force the candidates to 
participate.? No candidate will agree to debate with certain candidates
who they find (or claim to find) unsavory.

I guess if a large media organisation ran it, they might be able to swing it.
Who currently runs the US presidential debates ?


Interesting site
"what if anyone could modify the laws"


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