[EM] RE : Re: Are proposed methods asymptotically aproaching some limit of utility?

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Tue Mar 13 00:03:07 PDT 2007


--- Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd at lomaxdesign.com> a écrit :
> I used to think that I understood what "strategic" voting in Range 
> was, i.e., say I prefer A>B>C. And, say, I would rate them 1, 0.5, 
> and 0 respectively. Ah, but I really want A to win. So I rate B, not 
> at 0.5, but at 0.

I guess this example shows you didn't understand it. "I really want A to
win" isn't a strategic consideration. It's a statement of sincere
preference that clearly contradicts what you had just said about the
sincere preferences.
> Seemed simple, I was "exaggerating."
> But wait! If I vote this way, it must be that I prefer A to B with 
> more strength than I prefer B to C. So the conditions of the problem 
> are contradictory. I assumed that the preference strength was equal, 
> and thus the ratings would be equally spaced. But then I essentially 
> assumed that they were *not* equal, because by downrating B to zero I 
> was equating B and C, risking victory by C, my least favorite.

This example is unfortunate since with candidates with an average
utility of .5, and no information on any candidates' viability, it doesn't
matter strategically how you rate a candidate worth .5.

Let's say B is only worth .4. Now strategically you should exaggerate
and rate B 0. That's because on a single puny vote, it's inefficient to
try to save some voting power to help B beat C when the same power could 
be helping A beat B for a greater improvement.

You could also need to rate B as 0 if you do not believe that your last
choice C has a good chance of winning. This is because spending your
voting power to help B beat C is relatively pointless if C isn't going
to win. Again, you have one puny vote; it's different if yours is the only

Kevin Venzke


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