[EM] What is the ideal election method for sincere voters?

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Fri Mar 2 23:06:00 PST 2007

Okay, that rarity of rarities, an original post by me.

A great deal of criticism of voting methods is based on how the 
methods behave with "strategic voters," those who vote insincerely to 
gain some presumably favorable outcome.

However, if we assume sincere voters, what is the ideal election 
method, or the best among the options we know?

This list is about election methods, but it is often assumed that 
these elections are taking place in environments where some people 
will be highly motivated to be deceptive, if they think this will 
benefit them, and some methods, more than others, "encourage" this.

But not all election environments are like that. Further, if we have 
an understanding of what is ideal with sincere voters, then we have 
some means of approaching the problem with insincere voters, because, 
presumably, we may want the same outcome and, in simulations, at 
least, we can see if the outcomes match and thus have an 
understanding of what methods are vulnerable to strategic voting.

A few of us have stated that Range Voting is, of course, the ideal 
method, but it is impractical because it is allegedly vulnerable to 
strategic voting. I've challenged that conclusion, which is typically 
based on considering bullet or Approval-style voting to be 
"strategic," where, in fact, it is merely the expression of strong 
preference, and, I argue, one will only vote Approval style in Range 
if there is a strong preference, in which case it's not insincere! 
(At least this is now sane people will behave, and most people, in my 
opinion, are sane in this way.)

However, is Range ideal with sincere voters? If not, why not?

And, please, explain to me why a method that will work well for 
selecting pizzas, with sincere votes, will not work well selecting 
political officers, similarly with sincere votes. If you think that.

If we cannot agree on the best method with sincere votes, we are 
highly unlikely to agree on the best method in the presence of 
strategic voting, though I suppose it is possible....

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