[EM] Losing Votes (ERABW)

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km_elmet at lavabit.com
Thu Dec 13 11:31:37 PST 2012

On 12/13/2012 05:28 PM, Chris Benham wrote:

> Of the various proposed ways of weighing "defeat strengths" in
> Schulze, Losing Votes is the one that elects most from the "tops of
> the ballots". Given that we are seeking to convert supporters of FPP
> (and to I hope a lesser extent, IRV), I think that is a marketing
> advantage.

On the other hand, we know that only paying mind to the tops of the 
ballots is a bad idea. That's what Plurality does. IRV pays less 
attention to the top (so that it can pass mutual majority, for 
instance), but Australia and Burlington seem to indicate it's not enough 
unlike Plurality.

So we might ask ourselves how much attention we should pay to the top. 
Of course, it's easy to find a method that pays very much (or very 
little) attention to the top and still gives bad results. To Plurality 
there is Antiplurality. Thus the question, inasfar as mechanism design 
goes, doesn't actually seem to be "how much attention should we pay to 
the top". The method should provide good results and/or strategy 
resistance and then whether or not it pays attention to the top is 

Which leads to marketing. Perhaps having the method elect most from the 
tops is a marketing advantage. However, it may come at a cost of results 
(or strategy resistance). In that case, what is better? Should one pick 
a method for marketability and try to build upon it to go further later, 
or try to make one leap instead of two?

I'm asking as that question has come up before. It has, for instance, in 
the question of whether to support IRV or go straight to Condorcet. How 
much do we give for marketing?

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