[EM] A modification to Condorcet so that one can vote against monsters.

Michael Rouse mrouse1 at mrouse.com
Sat Apr 14 07:59:52 PDT 2012

On 4/14/2012 5:42 AM, Andrew Myers wrote:
> On 4/14/12 8:31 AM, robert bristow-johnson wrote:
>> On 4/14/12 3:45 AM, ?U(alabio? wrote:
>>> ¡Hello!
>>> ¿How fare you?
>>> It is tedious to rank hundreds of candidates, but sometimes monster 
>>> is on the ballot and all unranked candidates are last. If the field 
>>> is so polarized that the voters idiotically refuse to rank other 
>>> serious candidates other than their candidate and the evil candidate 
>>> has followers, the bad candidate might win. I suggest that Condorcet 
>>> should have a dummy-candidate:
>>> 0 The ranked candidates.
>>> 1 The unranked candidates.
>>> 2 The dummy-canditate.
>>> 3 The monsters.
>>> All unranked candidates have higher ranks than the monsters. One can 
>>> then rank the monsters by how terrible they are.
>>> Basically, it is a way to vote against monsters in Condorcet without 
>>> having to rank all of the hundreds of also-rans.
>> all this is complicated crap that gunks up elections. it has an 
>> ice-cube's chance in hell.
> I've been observing experimentally how people use a Condorcet election 
> system in practice over the past ten years (since 2003) and in fact 
> the use of a dummy candidate to signal approval has become 
> increasingly common. It seems to be intuitive, at least to web users, 
> and effective. I do agree that trying to distinguish 0 vs. 1 is 
> probably overly complicated.
> -- Andrew
> ----
> Election-Methods mailing list - seehttp://electorama.com/em  for list info

You could say "Rank all candidates you approve of" or even "List the 
candidates you like in order of preference. Ignore all other 
candidates." Such a ballot would be easier for the average voter to 
understand and fill out. If there are fifteen people running for office, 
and you like three, hate three, and don't know anything about the 
remaining nine, you can just say the equivalent of A>B>C, and ignore the 
rest. No dummy candidate would be necessary Sure, it wouldn't give as 
much information as a ballot that has all of the candidates ranked, but 
it would make certain forms of strategic voting (such as burying) more 
tedious and less attractive.

Then just use the ballots to find the Condorcet winner. Such a ballot 
could be used with Approval-Completed Condorcet or Ranked Approval 
Voting, or any other completion method that takes into account  Approval 
votes. For example, you could say "If there is a cycle, compare the two 
candidates with the lowest Approval score in the cycle, and drop the 
pairwise loser. Continue until there is a single winner." Or whatever.

Mike Rouse
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