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

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Apr 15 11:42:56 PDT 2012

> 	Let us suppose that so much bad blood exists between Washington and Lincoln that their supporters refuse to rank the other candidate and that Hitler and Stalin have supporters.  Unless one ranks the hundreds of also-rans so that one can make certain that Hitler and Stalin are ranked last, they will be equally ranked with the olso-rans and their supporters might make them win.

In systems that allow "negative votes", like ranking someone "below all others", a typical problem is that people may use this feature to push down the major competitors of their favourite. For example if we have three major candidates and 100 minor ones that nobody takes seriously, then the supporters of candidate C1 might vote C1>all_others>C2>C3. That kind of voting might be common, irrespective of whether that makes strategic sense or not. If many enough voters do so (maybe even all C1/C2/C3 supporters), then one of the John Does may win. For these reasons my default approach is that the voter should be required to mark all the candidates that he ranks above C2 and C3. The default position of unnamed candidates should normally be "last".

Explicit cutoff candidates / tokens could however be used to mark approval type limits. One could for example have a system where the winner of the election will replace status quo only if the winner gets majority or some supermajority or some smaller agreed percentage of the approvals.

I don't se any major risk of electing Stalin or Hitler in typical elections. If all other candidates are minor ones and not well known, then Stalin or Hitler might get elected. In that case the situation may however already be such that people actually want to elect Stalin or Hitler. If people don't want them, then there will probably be some other candidates that will be widely identified as possible / acceptable alternativess to Stalin and Hitler. If we allow "negative votes", then some "Stalin" or "Hitler" might sneak in as one of the John Does.

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