[EM] RE : Re: When and how can we speak of "individual utility" and "social utility"?

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Thu Mar 1 10:33:46 PST 2007

At 07:11 PM 2/28/2007, Kevin Venzke wrote:
>--- Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd at lomaxdesign.com> a écrit :
> > While it is already true that Range and Approval *do*
> > satisfy that Criterion, in my opinion, on the argument that the
> > majority has consented to a different outcome,
>"Majority criterion" has a specific meaning. It in effect says that a
>majority can elect their first preference without concealing lower
>preferences. You can hardly say that Range satisfies MF on the argument
>that a majority could have concealed their lower preferences. That
>would be like saying a product is free of charge to you because you can
>choose not to buy it.

Yes. It has a clear meaning. I'm suggesting, 
however, that the Majority Criterion is based on 
an deeper criterion, which is Majority Rule.

This phrase has been ripped from context, which 
actually weakened the apparent claim by 
acknowledging precisely what Mr. Venzke points 
out, that there is a degree of constraint imposed 
on the "consent" involved. And this phrase came 
only as an aside to the central point, which was 
that the Majority Criterion is fully satisfied by 
a Range election in which a top-two runoff is 
held between the Range winner and the Condorcet winner, if they differ.

(I have not at all examined the question of how 
to handle Condorcet cycles, but the essence of 
the idea, with relation to the Majority 
Criterion, is that the alternative to the Range 
winner be one who satisfies the Majority Criterion.)

(I will also note that the bare-minimum, simple 
election process where a candidate is presented 
for election, and the motion to elect may be 
amended, satisfies the Majority and Condorcet 
criteria, and, if preceded by a Range poll, also 
fully considers social utility as imputed by the 
poll. Quite properly, the majority may reject the 
Range results. The problem is when we try to 
stuff all this into a single deterministic poll, 
we lose necessary flexibility. The Range poll 
followed by the runoff reasonably satisfies this 
as a limited election process, full deliberation 
is always superior, except possibly from the 
point of view of efficiency. And the efficiency 
issue could be resolved with ... delegable proxy.)

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