[EM] RE : Chris: Approval

Michael Ossipoff mikeo2106 at msn.com
Mon Mar 19 09:33:29 PDT 2007

I’d said [regarding the fictitious-ranking criteria system]:

I've already answered about that. It's based on a privileged balloting  
system. My criteria make no mention of any balloting system.

Kevin replies:

But you also can't demonstrate that they are unambiguous for any possible 
election method.

I reply:

I can prove that the statement you just made is ambiguous: Do you mean that 
I can’t demonstrate that they’re unambiguous for all methods, or do you mean 
I can’t demonstrate that they’re unambiguous for even one method?

If you think that my criteria are ambiguous, then you need to show an 
example of the ambiguity.

Hint: “Any” is a good word to avoid when you don’t want to be ambiguous:

“I can beat _anyone_ at chess. Can you beat anyone at chess?”

Perhaps you could re-word your statement without the “any”?

And since when was anyone ever asked to prove that a criterion was 
unambiguous for all conceivable methods? Can you prove that your 
nonexistent-ranking criteria are unambiguous for all methods? You said they 
had a problem with Approval.

My criteria describe some ways that a method can limit strategy need. What 
reason is there to believe that they are or might be ambiguous for some 

I’ve repeatedly asked you to show that Approval and CR pass or fail 
Condorcet’s Critrerion, by your fictitious-ranking approach. You never did. 
I asked Chris. He couldn’t either.

I’ve asked for a thorough and precise definition, and application to 
Approval and CR, for Condorcet‘s Criterion. If you can’t provide that, you 
have to consider that maybe you don’t know the details of what your 
criterion system is.

You’re saying that I can’t demonstrate that my criteria are unambiguous for 
all methods, and you can’t show if Approval and CR meet or fail Condorcet’s 
Criterion in your criteria system. Apparently neither can Chris.

I’d said:

>Though you go to great lengths to avoid mentioning preferences, you don't > 
>mind saying that the voter intends to vote a ranking, when s/he votes in > 
>Plurality. I've talked to voters, and many of them are adamantly opposed > 
>to > any voting system other than Plurality. They don't intend to vote a > 
>ranking > when they vote Plurality. Doesn't matter.

You said:

That's not the point of speaking of "intent."

I reply:

What does that mean? For one thing, not only are the rankings fictitious, 
but the intent to vote rankings is fictitious too. Anyway, as I said, you 
don’t want to speak of preference, but you think it’s ok to speak of intent.

The difference is that you enshrine a privileged balloting system, and tell 
an elaborate story about a voter who wants to vote a ranking, and, for the 
purpose of meeting criteria’s premises, you pretend that the voter voted a 

My criteria don’t speak of any pretending, and, as I said, they don’t 
mention a balloting system.

I’d asked Chris:
>Could you demonstrate why Approval and 0-10 CR fail Condorcet’s  Criterion, 
>  in your system?

You said:

Personally I don't have anything to add on these topics.

I reply:

…and yet you are posting on these topics now.

Apparently Chris, too, doesn’t have anything to add, when asked if he can 
apply his criteria system to Approval and 0-10 CR, for Condorcet’s 

You continued:

I gave an example of dealing with CR

I reply:

You didn’t do so when I asked you to. Can you tell the approximate date of 
that posting? Or copy and repost the example?

You continued:

, and acknowledged that Approval is a weak point.

I reply:

In other words, your criteria system doesn’t apply so well to Approval.

>Aside from that, why is it ok to speak of intent, but not preference? 
>Intent is post-strategy. Here's an example of the process: 1. Say my 
>"sincere preferences" are A>B>C>D>E. 2. Then I apply whatever reasoning and 
>decide that I will be voting D>A>B and truncate the rest. Then that D>A>B 
>is my "intended vote." 3. At this point I the voter do not make any more 
>decisions. Suppose the ballot format is such that I can only vote for two 
>candidates equally and nobody else. Then my "cast ballot" is either D=A or 

I comment:

Voting B over A?

You mean A=B, instead of D=B.

You continue:

, according to arbitrary resolution.

What’s that? Is it like binding arbitration? Those criteria are getting more 
elaborate all the time.

You continued:

So an advantage of using intent over preference is that the voter only has 
input at one stage.

I reply:

1. I don’t know what that means, or how it applies to my criteria or your 
fictitious ranking criteria system.

2. If you tell what it means, will you also tell why it’s important?

That's exactly as if you were only considering cast ballots, except that you 
don't have to worry that perhaps the voter was not allowed by the ballot to 
cast his preferred vote. Preference and intent really take the same approach 
to not having to worry about ballot restrictions, in that they both try to 
regard voter input before it hits the paper

I reply:

So why the need for the elaborate, Frankenstein-stitched, inelegant fiction?

You sketch the criteria, and you talk about them, but you can’t actually 
apply them to Approval and CR.

Mike Ossipoff

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