[EM] Kristofer reply, 4/14/12

Michael Ossipoff email9648742 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 14 12:43:39 PDT 2012

>**>>* You keep saying anything without FBC is automatically a no-go. How do*>>* you know that?*>**>* [endquote]*>**>* It is a country-specific observation, regarding the electorate of the U.S., where I*>* reside. I don't know that about any other country, though there is evidence for it in various*>* countries where people are used to Plurality voting.*>**>* Yes this is "anecdotal", but I've personally observed favorite-burial in Condorcet voting.*>**>* A safe and prudent rule is "Never underestimate the voter's inclination for resigned over-compromising*>* give-away, if there's any chance that it could help a compromise against someone worse."*
Yet that isn't absolute. Again, consider Burlington. The Burlington
voters, thinking they could now vote as they wished, ranked the
candidates in a manner suggesting a relatively close race between the
three major candidates. They didn't discover this was a bad idea until
after the election, but a Condorcet method would have given them the
right winner.


Sure, Condorcet will only rarely violate FBC. It will only rarely make
someone regret that they didn't
favorite-bury. But I'm saying that the mere _possibility_ of benefit
from favorite-burial has been (in staw-polling)
and will probably often be, sufficient to make people favorite-bury,
ranking compromise over favorite.

You continued:

Given that observation, would not Condorcet acting properly have
encouraged the voters to vote in a non-compromising manner in later


Some of them, sure. Not all of them. Not the diehard no-exceptions
compromisors. The only thing that could
assure them would be a method in which it was _obvious_ that it would
be impossible to need or ever benefit
from favorite-burial. A method in which it was quite clear that you
have no reason to not fully support your

You see, there are methods for which we can assure people that it's
been proven that no one can benefit from favorite-burial.
That would help, and maybe it would be enough to avoid a
favorite-burial problem. But here, again, Approval is incomparably
better, because it's so obvious that giving top (Approved) rating to
your favorite can't possibly hurt your compromise, to whom
you also give top rating.

But what about a method for which it isn't even possible to ask people
to take our word for that assurance? Methods like
Condorcet, for which we have to admit that sometimes favorite-burial
will save a compromise and prevent someone worse from

Without Approval's transparency and simplicity, FBC compliance might
not be enough. But lack of FBC compliance certainly
won't be enough.

You continued:

Or do you prefer the voting method to give an ironclad assertion that
there won't ever be a favorite betrayal problem, so you can be *sure*?


Most definitely. But it isn't I who must be sure. It's the over-timid,
compromise-conditioned voter.

As I said, my own voting would be ok even in IRV, which utterly fails
FBC. In Condorcet, I'd completely
disregard the possibility of FBC failure.But wouldn't it be nice (for
me) if everyone voted like me?

You continued:

can see that. Since I'm in a country where favorite betrayal isn't a
problem, I don't really feel the need to be absolutely sure. That, and I
like Condorcet :-)


More important, you don't feel a need for _the other voters_ in your
country to be completely sure, because
(unlike here) they aren't compromise-conditioned to give it all away.
Yes, it depends entirely on the electorate.

What I'm saying about the need for FBC applies only to this country,
and probably to some other countries
where people are used to Plurality voting.

And, as I was saying, it isn't that _I_ need FBC. Millions of other
voters in this country need it very badly.

*I'd said:
>* Never choose IRV as a way to attain the voter median. For that, I recommend ICT*>* for public political elections. Condorcet(wv), maybe Beatpath, would be ok for organizations.*
You replied:

If it fails to acquire the voter median even when voters aren't
overcompromising, how can IRV be a fine method?

With an electorate that doesn't need FBC, and who are clear and honest
with themselves about
what they consider to be acceptable--that's when and how FBC can be a
fine method.

...because it is entirely defection-proof, and because it meets the
Mutual Majority Criterion.

As for failure to find the voter median, sure, sincere voting won't do
that. But I might not vote
sincerely in IRV. Expectation-maximizing strategy in FBC might require
insincere rankings, sometimes
including favorite-burial. I'd probably sometimes favorite-bury in in
IRV. But favorite-buriers who
really know what they consider "acceptable" aren't going to really
make a mess by favorite-burial in IRV.

As we discussed, someone could rank the acceptables in order of their
ability to thereby take victory
from an unacceptable. That isn't bad, if the voter doesn't think that
"acceptable" means someone corrupt
and bought, who can only be voted for by holding one's nose.

Strategy would tend to elect the CW.

But I'm not necessarily saying that voters would need to strategise. I
mean, if you feel that your faction is
part of a mutual majority, and you don't much care which
member-faction wins, then you can just rank sincerely
in IRV. If winning by mutual majority is what's important then just
rank sincerely. Maybe you think that some
acceptable candidates are a set supported by a mutual majority. Then
you can feel free to rank sincerely, because
you know that if the members of that mutual majority do so, then the
winner must be an acceptable.

So there's actually some truth in the IRVists' claim that you can just
rank sincerely--under the circumstances
described in the paragraph before this one.

But of course all of this depends on there being a kind of electorate
that definitely isn't found in this country. So, here,
IRV is entirely unacceptable due to its particularly flagrant FBC failure.

Mike Ossipoff
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