[EM] Trees and single-winner methods

Chris Benham chrisjbenham at optusnet.com.au
Thu Mar 15 09:20:16 PDT 2007

Juho wrote:

>On Mar 14, 2007, at 19:23 , Chris Benham wrote:
>>Juho wrote:
>>>Here's one more election method for you to consider....
>>>Let's start from a Condorcet method (it doesn't matter much which   
>>>one). Then we allow the candidates to form groups. Each group will  
>>>be  handled as if it was a single candidate.
>>I reject this on the same grounds that I reject the "candidate  
>>withdrawal option" (in say IRV) and
>>"Asset Voting":  I am only interested in single-winner methods  
>>where the result is purely determined
>>(as far as possible) by voters voting, and not by the machinations  
>>of candidates/parties.
>>Chris Benham
>That sounds quite strict. The voters still have all the power  
>although the algorithm threats different candidates slightly  
>different (depending on what the candidate tree looks like). A  
>majority of the voters can pick any candidate they want.
>Note that it is very typical in elections that the parties will  
>decide on what candidates will be offered to the voters to choose  
>from in any case. So the parties will have some impact in most  
>elections anyway. They may arrange preliminaries, decide if they  
>nominate more than one candidate etc.

Yes of course, but I don't regard the nomination process as part of the 
election method.

>How about multi-winner elections - do you say that open and closed  
>list elections are no good and only flat candidate structures like in  
>STV, are ok?
I regard STV as vastly preferable, but list systems can be partly 
excused because they achieve
approximate party-proportionality with much greater simplicity and maybe 
philosophically we
can regard a whole list as a "candidate" with the special feature that 
it can be fractionally elected.

>I see candidate withdrawal related problems to be quite different  
>from what I see in the proposed three based method. The biggest  
>problem I see in candidate withdrawal is that if the person/group  
>that makes the decision on withdrawal already knows the given votes,  
>then it is possible to decide the winner in a small group, partially  
>bypassing the opinions that the voters expressed in the ballots. This  
>also opens the door to horse trading or even blackmailing. The  
>proposed method at least is based on giving full information to the  
>voters already before the election and letting the voters decide.
Yes, I agree that your idea (with everything up front before the vote) 
is much better (less bad)
that CWO.

>Maybe you have some examples where the proposed method would behave  
>in some unacceptable way. That would help evaluating what the method  
>is good for.

I have none to hand, but like I said, it doesn't interest me.

Chris Benham

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list