[EM] ¿Why do some absolutely hate ScoreVoting and insist on Ranked Ballots?

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Fri Apr 13 22:34:03 PDT 2012

On 4/13/12 5:46 PM, ⸘Ŭalabio‽ wrote:
> 	2012-04-13T:17:09Z, “Robert Bristow-Johnson”<Rbj at Audioimagination.Com>:
>> 	On 4/13/12 3:11 PM, ⸘Ŭalabio‽ wrote:
>>> 	I have had interactions with people on this list hating rated ballots.  I have a question for them:
>> 	and my question for you is: how high should a voter rate his/her contingency choice?
> 	As high or low as the voter likes.

doesn't answer the question.  the voter likes Candidate A the best and 
will, in a mano-a-mano race, vote for Candidate A against any other 
candidate.  Candidate C is Satan from hell.  This voter will vote for 
*anyone*, even Stalin, if such a candidate was in a two-person race 
against Candidate C.  Candidate B is someone else.  voter doesn't like 
him as much as A but certainly more than C.

how should this voter score Candidate B?  this voter will have regrets 
if he (and other voters like him) scored B too high and B defeated A.  
and this voter will have regrets if he (and other voters like him) 
scored B too low and C beat him and won the election.

Score voting *inherently* saddles the voters with a tactical voting 
burden.  So does Approval voting.

>> 	he/she does not want to harm their favorite candidate (that would indicate rating the 2nd choice with 0) and he/she does not want to help their last choice (which would suggest ranking the 2nd choice higher).
> 	You have a legitimate point.  That is why I favor multiple rounds.

oh, c'mon!  multiple rounds?  decisiveness is not a desirable property?  
voters have to deal with multiple rounds?  one of the reasons we adopted 
IRV (and this was one goal that IRV *didn't* fail at in Burlington 2009) 
was so we would need no runoff.  we settle the election on Election Day, 
no matter what the contingencies are.  we just need to collect from the 
voters what their contingency votes are.  and the simple way to do that, 
which does not ask from the voters *more* information (like "how much 
*more* do you like Candidate A over Candidate C, compared to how much 
you like A over C?") than they want to have to deal with.  all they know 
is who they like and, given any hypothetical contingency, who they would 
vote for.  we should not ask them to be Olympic gymnastic judges and 
score each contestant logically and consistently because they likely 
don't know.  and that's not the point: voting should be simply "One 
person, one vote."  you may like Candidate B a lot more than Candidate 
A, and i may like Candidate A just a little better than Candidate B, but 
my vote should count just as much as yours (because my franchise as a 
citizen and voter is equal to yours and i do not surrender that even if 
my preference is less strong than yours), and Score voting literally 
fails that voting norm.

>    I even wrote a post about this just a few days ago called
> 	“A procedure for handling large numbers of candidates using scorevoting with primaries and runoffs.”
> 	2012-04-10T01:57:49Z
> 	If you do not have the post, I shall forward you a copy, at your request.

if you posted it here, lemme know the date and i'll look for it.  or 
else send it to me.

but i am going into it dubious and skeptical.  i already know why simple 
Ranked-Choice Voting collects exactly the necessary information from 
voters (single-mark or plurality and Approval don't collect enough and 
Score demands too much information from the voters) and why Condorcet 
(over IRV or Bucklin or Borda) is the correct way to tabulate that data 
collected from the voters and to identify a winner (it's because 
Condorcet is the most compatible with a simple mano-a-mono for any 
two-candidate subset drawn from the multi-candidate field and everyone 
agrees how a simple-majority two-candidate race should be decided).  but 
i'll lokk at your post if you identify it.

>>> 	If the ballot would allow both ratings and rankings, ¿would that be acceptable?
>> 	sounds simple.  i'm sure the electorate or the legislature will go for that.
> 	I like sarcasm.

sorry.  but i am battle-scarred here in a town that has more than two 
viable parties and we've been trying out some attempts at Election 
Reform and have, unfortunately, been back-sliding.  i have heard and 
read the most ridiculous arguments from both the pro-IRV advocates and 
the anti-IRV advocates and the ironic thing is, the reason why we have a 
third party and later adopted IRV in the first place is that sometimes, 
in a two-party system, we're stuck with a choice between Dumb and Dumber 
(like the movie).  no one dares vote for the Smart alternative because 
they'll be wasting their vote and risk electing Dumber, so they vote for 
Dumb.  it's like "yer either fer us or yer agin' us!"  well, that's how 
the pro and anti-IRV debate here turned out between 2009 (when we had 
this anomalous IRV election) and 2010 (when we tossed the baby out with 
the bathwater, repealed IRV, and returned to plurality voting).  so i am 
a little bit cynical, i will admit.

>> 	it's also important to have a consistent rule that applies to every voter.  while every voter has a choice of ranking vs. rating, it's not particularly consistent.  it's consistent regarding the *choice* but the actually quantitative measure is not
> 	I included a table as an example about how to quantify it.  The algorithm is thus:
> 	1 divided by ranking.  Take the resulting fraction and multiply it by 99.  Round the result to the nearest integer.

but your mapping makes the ranked ballot synonymous with the score 
ballot.  that is my point.

>>> 	The ballot could allow ranking or ratings with equal rankings or ratings allowed.  The rankings would then be converted to ratings like thus:

so you're saying that we can have our choice between rating and ranking, 
as long as we choose rating.

because, given your system of quantifying it, it still boils down to 
rating.  it is *not* ranking where there *is* no information in the 
ranking for how *much* you like Candidate A over Candidate B, only that 
you *do* like A over B.  that's the essential difference.

your combination of rating and ranking becomes essentially rating.

>>> 	¿Would this be acceptable?
>> 	as acceptable as Borda.
> 	The thing is that it is not Borda.

Borda is a form of Score ballot.  it *is* like Borda.

>> 	you think that Borda count is a good idea?
> 	In Borda, the second-placed candidate gets n-1 points of the first-placed candidate.

that's a score.  i guess i could score my second choice less by not even 
marking a number 2 choice.  maybe i'll mark Number 1 (my favorite), and 
then mark the next candidate Number 4 and mark no one else.  that is a 
legitimate way to mark a Ranked-Choice ballot, and with Borda that is a 
crude way of scoring the candidates.  it's really no different from the 
Score ballot except for the quantization step-size.  the resolution of 
the score that gets added up when ballots are tabulated.  it's the same 
basic thing.

>    That means that in polarized elections with much burial, the lack-lusters who get placed second for burying the competition can get more points than the serious candidates.  In Borda, one can also win by running a clone-army for the same reason.

yeah, i know what's wrong with Borda.  what's wrong with it is that it's 
too much like Score voting.  and you just spelled that out.

> 	In this system, the second-placed candidate only gets half the votes of the first-placed candidate.  It is more like The Oklahoma primary electoral system, but differs in that one can vote against candidates in addition to voting for candidates and can equally rank.
>> 	it's just a mapping and is, whatever you call it, is a Score ballot.
> 	Yes, but those insisting on ranking can rank.  That should make them happy.

but ranking is no different than Scoring because you map the rank to a 

the only difference between ranking and scoring with your ballot is 
simply one of quantization stepsize (or resolution).  just like Borda.


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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