[EM] Why the concept of "sincere" votes in Range is flawed.

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Dec 2 21:34:12 PST 2008

--- On Mon, 1/12/08, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd at lomaxdesign.com> wrote:

> > One approach to sincerity is to compare voter
> behaviour to the requested behaviour. In Approval if the
> request is to mark all candidates that one approves then
> placing the cutoff between two main candidates is often
> insincere..

("Insincerely" is not the best word here since
that carries a meaning "morally wrong". I could
have said e.g. "Not based on the sincere opinion

> Approval is a special method from this point of
> view since it is often described as requiring the voter to
> plan what is the best strategic vote (where to put the
> cutoff).
> It requires no such thing. Voters, however, will maximize
> their expected outcome if they vote optimally.

"Optimally" means something like "following the
best strategy" here.

> And they vote
> optimally by making a sincere expression

"Sincere expression" is obviously meant to be
different than "sincere opinion".

All I need is clear definitions and terms for
various levels of strategic behaviour. A
generally used term for the starting point is
"sincere opinion". That refers to the
independent internal preferences of the
voters. After that there are different levels
of strategic/optimized/... behaviour.

1) Sincere opinion
2) Sincere opinion modified as requested (e.g.
normalize ratings to full scale so that all
voters will have roughly the same weight)
3) Optimize vote as requested (e.g. place the
approval cutoff between some of the front runners)
4) Optimize vote as well as possible but within
generally accepted limits (e.g. exaggerate in
Range as much as you can)
5) Optimize vote beyond generally accepted limits
(e.g. try to bury in Condorcet)
6) Optimize results beyond what is allowed (e.g.
vote twice)

I'm quite used to use term "strategic" to refer
to all technical changes in the vote that make
the vote different to one's sincere opinion. Term
"sincere" is often used to refer (technically) to
the "sincere opinion" or resulting "sincere vote".

Any terms are ok as long as there is a common
understanding of their meaning. Neutral and
descriptive terms are better than confusing ones
and ones with hidden meanings (or ones that are
planned to present some particular viewpoint in
better or worse light than others).



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