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

Scott Ritchie scott at open-vote.org
Sat Mar 3 19:52:18 PST 2007

On Sat, 2007-03-03 at 02:06 -0500, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
> 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....

The answer for pizza selection should be fairly obvious - SOME form of
proportional representation.  No one is stupid enough to insist on
buying 10 pizzas of the exact same type for a large party.

It's interesting you bring up the pizza example, as it's one I so often
like to use when describing voting systems.  Sometimes people have very
strong preferences (say, vegetarian), and we let them have a veto over
meat unless we can order more than one.  Sometimes people's favorite is
very very bizarre (anchovies), but pepperoni is a good compromise.

Importantly, though, just about everyone understands how proportional
representation "works" for pizza selection with large groups - it simply
doesn't matter what others are eating.  This isn't quite so for real
elections; people care that extremists are in the parliament (even if
they're only 1% of it), but they don't care that some weirdos are eating

Scott Ritchie

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