[EM] More FARCS problems

Michael Ossipoff mikeo2106 at msn.com
Wed Mar 21 10:32:41 PDT 2007

Chris said that people arrive at the polls intending to vote a certain way 
in a rank method, and then find out that it's (say) Plurality or Approval. 
Say it's Plurality. Their ranking that they arrive with would reasonably 
have their favorite in 1st place (Yes, I know it's a no-no to speak of 
Now, upon finding out that it's Plurality, they have strategic reason to 
give their one vote to a lower choice compromise. But FARCS has them voting 
consistent with their rankings, so that their 1st ranked candidate must be 
the one they vote for in Plurality.

Or, if it's known to be a Plurality election, do they come to the polls 
"intending" to vote a ranking that has their Plurality compromise at the top 
of the ranking? Is there a point at which FARCS gets too silly?

What about FBC? One must not get a better result by burying one's favorite. 
But FARCS and votes-only doesn't allow speaking of favorites. So, what is it 
then, does top-ranked replace favorite?
But then, if the actual ballot has to be consistent with the ranking, the 
top ranked candidate can't be buried.  So how could there be an FBC test?

And Condorcet's Criterion? Doesn't Condorcet fail Condorcet's Criterion, 
with FARCS?

"A candidate who pairwise-beats each of the others must win."

But, the failure example writer is allowed to write the actual ballots in 
any way that is "consistent" wilth the rankings, meaning that it doesn't 
reverse any of the ranking's order. Ok so the exmple-writer can have voters 
ranking everyone equal, or everyone but their top-ranked candidate equal.

What's that you say? Oh, ok, we can't do that with rank ballots. Special 
rule, different rule for rank ballots and nonrank ballots. Only nonrank 
ballots can be contrived so as to fail the criterion's requirement. Sure, 
it's necessary to modify the rankings for a nonrank method, because the 
balloting systems don't match. And, since we can modify them, we're allowed 
to contrive modification that will fail the criterion. And if we aren't 
allowed to do that with a rank method, because the ballotinlg systems match, 
do you see how blatantly FARCS favors rank methods, because their balloting 
matches its privileged ballotng system?

The fact is that, not only did I have to define FARCS because its advocates 
never did, but FARCS advocates haven't made any effort to find problems in 
its application, which is why they didn't find the problems described here. 
Must I do everything for our FARCS advocates?

The problems mentioned in this message further confirm the conclusion that 
FARCS is an inelegant, sloppy mess.

And yet, when people want to believe...

People can have the most dogged determination to rationalize and try to 
explain away the problems of something that they want to believe.

Some criteria are strategy criteria. Even if FARCS worked (but it apparently 
doesn't), it doesn't have my criteria's direct and obvious relevance to 
strategy concerns and considerations.

Mike Ossipoff

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list