[EM] Looking at Condorcet

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Wed Feb 1 19:22:18 PST 2012

Mike offers serious thinking about Approval.  I step up to Condorcet  
as being better and nearly as simple for the voter.

Voter can vote as in:
.     FPTP, ranking the single candidate liked best, and treating all  
others as equally liked less or disliked.
.     Approval, ranking those equally liked best, and treating all  
others as equally liked less or disliked.
.     IRV, giving each voted for a different rank, with higher ranks  
for those liked best, and realizing that IRV vote counters would read  
only as many of the higher rankings as needed to make their decisions.
.     Condorcet, ranking the one or more liked, using higher ranks for  
those liked best, and ranking equally when more than one are liked  

Condorcet is little, if any, more difficult for voters than FPTP and  
.     For many elections, voting as with them is good and as easy.
..     When a voter likes A and B but prefers A - Approval cannot say  
this, but it is trivial to vote with Condorcet's ranking.

In Condorcet the counters consider each pair of candidates as  
competing with each other.  Usually one candidate, being best liked,  
proves this by winning in every one of its pairs.  Unlike IRV (which  
requires going back to the ballots as part of the counting), counting  
here can be done in multiple batches of votes, and the data from the  
batches summed into one summary batch for analysis.

There can be cycles in Condorcet, such as A>B, B>C, and C>A, with  
these winning against all others.  This requires a closer look to  
decide on the true winner, normally one of the cycle members.
.     Here the counters see the cycle, rather than a CW - and how to  
pick a winner from a cycle is a reason for the dispute as to what is  

Range/score ratings have their own way of showing more/less desire.   
Truly more power than Condorcet ranking - AND more difficult to decide  
on rating values to best interact with what other voters may do.

Write-ins?  Some would do away with such.  I say they should be  
allowed for the cases in which something needs doing too late to  
attend to with normal nominations.  True that voters may do some write- 
ins when there is no real need - and I have no sympathy for such  
voters - this needs thought.

Dave Ketchum

On Jan 28, 2012, at 3:13 PM, MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote
   Re: [EM] Propose plain Approval first. Option enhancements can be  
later proposals.:
> The enhancement consisting of voting options in an Approval election
> should only be mentioned when there’s plenty of time to talk, and  
> when talking
> to someone who is patient or interested enough to hear that much.  
> And the
> enhancements should only be mentioned as possibilities, when  
> speaking to
> someone to whom the whole notion of voting-system reform is new.
> Maybe that goes for SODA as well. Don’t propose too much
> change, when talking to someone new to the subject.
> So the method to propose first is ordinary Approval.
> If, in some particular community, there is a committee of
> people interested in working on a voting-system reform proposal,  
> then, though
> the enhancements might be mentioned to that committee, the  
> suggestion to
> include them in a public proposal should come only from other  
> members of the
> committee, people new to voting systems. That’s a measure of their  
> enactment-feasibility in that community.
> For AOC, MTAOC, etc., I’ve spoken of two kinds of
> conditionality :conditionality by mutuality, and conditionality by  
> top-count.
> In an Approval election in which the conditional methods are offered  
> as
> optional ways of voting, any particular voter could choose which of  
> those two kinds
> of conditionality s/he intends to use for any particular conditional  
> vote for
> any particular candidate. There’s no reason why a voter couldn’t  
> specify
> different kinds of conditionality for conditional votes for different
> candidates.
> In the count, the conditionality by top-count should be done
> first, and then, when those conditional votes are established, the  
> calculation
> for conditionality by mutuality, as described in the MTAOC  
> pseudocode, should
> be done.
> Of course, if SODA’s delegation is also an option in the
> same election, then after the entire count is completed (including  
> AERLO’s 2nd
> count if AERLO is offered), then the work of the delegates would  
> begin, just as
> it would if SODA’s delegation were the only option enhancement in  
> the election.
> Of course, for SODA to work as needed, mutual approval
> agreements among candidate-delegates, whether made before or after the
> pre-delegate-work count(s), should be public, officially-recorded,  
> and binding.
> Of course, one would expect that there would be no need for  
> delegates to make
> agreements before the pre-delegate-work count(s).
> Since the current poll’s voting period doesn’t end till zero
> hours, one minute, on February 1st (Wednesday), GMT (UT), or, in
> other-words, at a minute after midnight, Tuesday night,  GMT (UT),
> which is 4:01 p.m. Tuesday, Pacific Standard Time in the U.S., and  
> 7:01 p.m.
> Tuesday, Eastern Standard Time—then I’ll mention that of course the
> above-described variety of conditionality options should be  
> available in a mock
> election too, including the current one.
> Yes, I’ve noticed that no one’s participating in the
> poll. I was glad to provide you the
> opportunity to try out the methods that you advocate.
> On a related subject: The other thing lacking at EM, in
> addition to mock elections, is support for claims that a criterion is
> important. We hear, “I consider this criterion to be very  
> important”. But such
> assertions need to be supported by explanation of _why_ you consider  
> that
> criterion important.  Why should others
> consider it important? What practical problems are present in non- 
> complying
> methods but not in complying methods? What would it be like to vote  
> in a
> non-complying method?
> That kind of criterion-discussion would make EM a useful
> resource for people comparing the merits of voting systems.
> As I said, I’ll be putting some definitions of methods,
> voting-options, and criteria on the electowiki, and will continue to  
> check EM
> and reply when appropriate during that time.
> Mike Ossipoff

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