[EM] reply to venzke - range "random skewing" effect is not a problem
juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Mar 13 00:00:34 PDT 2007
On Mar 13, 2007, at 3:51 , Warren Smith wrote:
>> Venzke: These simulations purport to show that Range does
>> relatively well by SU
> when voters are a mixture of strategic and sincere. This is pretty
> tangential to what I wrote.
> --what Venzke wrote was:
>>> Venzke: If I don't want to assume that voters will courteously
>> vote sincerely (even when this limits their power to affect the
>> then I wouldn't use Range, as the result will be rather randomly
>> based on who chose to exaggerate and who didn't.
> --My simulations addressed exactly this. They were not
> "tangential." They were
> "a study designed to examine exactly this question." The plan was
> to set up a situation
> with maximal "random skewing" due to some voters (50%)
> "exaggerating" and some (50%) "not,"
> and choosing who was who "randomly" by coin toss, and having a
> small total # of voters
> (61 and 13 voters in the two tables) exactly to make sure there was
> a large typical
> variation in the numbers of honest & strategic voters in each
> political camp.
> EXACTLY the situation Venzke was worried about.
Kevin Venzke's words maybe left space for interpreting them to
include also a situation where each voter would toss a coin to decide
whether to vote strategically or not. I think the interesting
scenarios are elsewhere. My understanding is that he had something
quite different in his mind.
I guess you, as a Range expert, pretty well know what the anticipated
problematic scenarios are. Problems may arise e.g. when opinion polls
tell that Democrats would get only 49% of the votes (against 51% of
the Republicans) and therefore their supporters decide to put some
additional weight in their votes and vote strategically in Approval
style. This would make the Democrats win.
It is possible that Republicans would counter by applying the same
strategy and the situation gets balanced again. But as a result of
this race on "whose voters are more strategic" Range elections may
become in essence Approval elections. The achieved results of
Approval voting are not very bad in terms of achieved social utility.
The worst scenarios are ones where some parties/groupings vote in
Approval style while others do not. In these cases it seems obvious
that the social utility would not be good.
The essential improvement in the simulations would thus be not to
toss a coin in the same way for each voter (I believe that is what
you did) but to study situations where voter groupings with different
opinions have different percentage of strategic voters (maybe having
"different coins with different strategic and non-strategic voting
Those different percentages may be a result of seeing different poll
results and/or getting different advice from the "parties" on how to
vote. (It is possible that in real life the voting behaviour of
different groupings would gradually become similar, having roughly
the same percentage of strategic voters. In this case the
"equilibrium of recommended voting styles" is however likely to be
close to Approval style voting in elections that are competitive by
nature, i.e. when voters are happy to vote strategically to make
their own alternative win.)
One could thus use the Range method in different ways: 1) use it in
non-competitive elections, 2) allow strategic/exaggerating/"sincerely
strong opinion" voters to have more say and make their favourite win
with improved likelihood, 3) accept the elections to turn into
Approval like elections as a result of widespread Approval style voting.
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