[EM] Election thinking,

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sun Apr 22 20:02:56 PDT 2012

Mr. Ossipoff writes much about Approval, saying that is as far as we  
can get.

I say elections are important and that readers should respond to the  
importance.  I go thru the series, hitting on the reasons for stepping  
thru Plurality, Approval, and Condorcet, suggesting that Condorcet is  
a target more should be working toward.

I was in a hurry, so did not go into detail about Condorcet.  Since I  
handed this out a couple hours ago there has been little time for  
others to react.


On Apr 22, 2012, at 9:49 PM, Adrian Tawfik wrote:
> I think it is good to have the issue analysed from multiple  
> perspectives.  If someone want to write a different article than Mr.  
> Ossipoff, than we can definitely incorporate it on the website.  I'm  
> not sure what you believe Mr. Ossipoff left out, can you clarify?  I  
> think the best thing is to print Mr. Ossipoff's article and also  
> have different articles that look at other solutions.  There a  
> million articles lurking in the work that you all do.  I would love  
> to have any of you write about election method reform but also any  
> aspect of democracy that you think is important.  Democracy is a big  
> subject and very complex but it is the foundation of modern life.   
> What do you think?
> From: Dave Ketchum <davek at clarityconnect.com>
> To: election-methods Methods <election-methods at electorama.com>
> Cc: Adrian Tawfik <adriantawfik at yahoo.com>
> Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 8:41 PM
> Subject: Election thinking,
> Seemed to me Mike left out some important thoughts - can we do better?
> On Apr 21, 2012, at 3:41 PM, Michael Ossipoff wrote, as:
>       Article, with the added paragraph and some better wording
> >
> > Adrian and EM:
> >
> Elections are important to many organizations - and important that  
> they help the voters express their desires effectively.  Important  
> enough that voters should see to it, whatever it takes, that they  
> get the information they need and that their thoughts find their way  
> correctly to whoever is responsible for responding.
> This article's topic is election methods.
> Normally candidates get nominated, and can campaign as needed.  Even  
> with these, write-in voting should almost always be permitted -  
> there is almost always the possibility of a nominated candidate  
> becoming unsuitable too late for formal replacement.
> >
> > Our current voting system, of course, is the vote-for-1 method.  
> Also  called
> > "Plurality", or the "single mark method".
> >
> > In our Plurality elections, we often hear people saying that  
> they're going
> > to vote for someone they don't really like, because he/she is the
> > "lesser-of-2-evils". Note that they're voting for someone they  
> don't like,
> > and not voting for the people they really do like, because the  
> people they like are
> > perceived as unwinnable.
> A related possibility is voting for the unwinnable candidate and  
> letting the "worst-of-2-evils" win.
> A possibility that helps, sometimes, is to be permitted to Approve  
> as many candidates as the voter likes best - protecting against the  
> "worst-of-2-evils" winning.
> This Approval method is a trivial expense and trivial improvement  
> over Plurality voting.
> >  The candidate with the most
> > "Approved" ratings wins. The result? Well, we'd be electing the most
> > approved candidate, wouldn't we.  Who can criticize that?
> The voter who did not have equal liking for all Approved.  There are  
> many voting methods to choose from, so we will only mention a few  
> here:
> .    Condorcet - really a family of methods - variations on a design  
> using ranking.  One can use a single rank value for one candidate  
> (same value as Plurality), or several (same value as Approval).  A  
> voter can also use different ranks, using higher ranks for those  
> most preferred, and leaving unranked those least-liked.
> Here each pair of candidates is in  a two-party race counting how  
> many voters rank one, or rank one higher than the other.  The  
> candidate winning all of its races wins but, if none, the one coming  
> closest wins.
> .    IRV - a Condorcet method, though a voter can use each rank  
> number only once and the counting is different.
> Considering only each voter's top rank, see if there is a winner.   
> If not, discard the top rank for the least-liked candidate and move  
> each such ballot to next candidate.
> The discarding sounds good, and usually discards truly least-liked.  
> Trouble is. the truly best-liked may have been hidden behind lesser- 
> liked by enough voters to have been discarded as least-liked.
> ..    Score - voters rate each candidate and ratings are added to  
> determine winner.  Tricky because making a rating higher or lower  
> can affect who wins.
> ----
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