[EM] not fair.

Jameson Quinn jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 14:25:26 PST 2012

2012/2/3 David L Wetzell <wetzelld at gmail.com>

> [sarcasm]Thanks for the constructive criticism of the model building
> process.
> I'm so sorry I haven't had as many pseudo-experimental models to buttress
> my args on this list.  They so commonly shed so much light on the matter,
> it's no wonder you all agree on so much...[/sarcasm]

We actually do agree on a lot. We talk about the stuff we don't agree on.

> Once again, you're the one w.o. any institutional backing.

OK, I'll go back to writing the voting server for Ubuntu then.

Seriously, you can do better than sarcasm. I think "simplify, simplify,
simplify" is in fact very constructive feedback on model-building. It's
exactly what I want to hear when I'm doing it.

>  I'm the guy defending a modified version of the status quo single-winner
> electoral alternative.  The burden of proof is on you more so than me,
> simply because the amount of time/energy spent educating folks about IRV is
> o.w. a sunk cost that will likely have to be repeated if we theoretically
> were to start over again.

Yes. What percent of US voters understand IRV? (Even if I substituted "US"
with "Cambridge" or "SF", I doubt you'd reach even half.) The sunk cost is
trivial relative to the size of the task.

> dlw
> On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 3:06 PM, Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Please, stop talking, and start calculating. If you're not ready to
>> calculate, then at least stop arguing with us, and start arguing with the
>> fuzzy beast, until you are.
>> Jameson
>>  2012/2/3 David L Wetzell <wetzelld at gmail.com>
>>>   dlw: When you try out a new piece of technology, you can't expect to
>>>>> get it right right away.  A democracy is a function of both the rules and
>>>>> people's habits.  If GOPers had seen that their party couldn't win then
>>>>> some of them wd've voted Dem first and the CW wd have won....
>>>> David!  That's the point!  That's the problem!  IRV promised that you
>>>> could vote for your favorite candidate and that would not help elect your
>>>> least favorite.
>>> dlw: They promised it to those who had to vote strategically way too
>>> often with FPTP.  They did not promise it was always true.
>>>> it explicitly failed to do that on the second try.  In this town that,
>>>> at least 3 years ago, had 3 major parties (so the spoiler wasn't some kinda
>>>> Ron Paul or Ralph Nader gadfly who had no hope of election but could still
>>>> rob victory from the majority candidate).  In the context where the 3 (or
>>>> more) candidates are *all* plausible, Condorcet would have elected a
>>>> candidate where, by definition, no other candidate was preferred over this
>>>> CW and, at least in the Burlington 2009 example, would not have suffered
>>>> spoiler, punishment for sincere voting, non-monotonicity, and
>>>> non-summability/transparency.
>>> dlw: non-monotonicity is not at fault here, unless you expect a large
>>> no. of GOP supporters to have a huge change of heart to support the Prog
>>> party first....Neither was there a problem with summability/transparency...
>>> And how do you know there wouldn't be other foibles that emerge as folks
>>> got adjusted to a Condorcet method?
>>> Perhaps the number of candidates would proliferate so much that it'd be
>>> a vote-counting nightmare...
>>> At the end of the day, 3-way competitive elections for single-seat
>>> positions are hard to sustain.  IRV wd have made the parties around the
>>> true center be the major parties.  Now, it seems that won't be the case...
>>>> rbj: It *failed*, David.  (but it still beats Plurality and,
>>>> unfortunately the voters of Burlington, who adopted IRV by 65% in 2005,
>>>> tossed the baby out with the bathwater in 2010 and *really* did in 2011
>>>> when they rejected the 50% threshold.)
>>> dlw: Depends on your loss-function and whether you take a single-period
>>> or multi-period assessment of the outcomes.
>>> I refuse to accept a pass-fail assessment of IRV wrt Burlington.  It's
>>> not appropriate.  It's playing into the hands of the opponents of electoral
>>> reform by repeating their frames.
>>>> rbj:  now, elections are something that we (any particular group of
>>>> people) do not do every day.  it's not like you got your iPhone or iPad and
>>>> it worked the day you bought it, and had trouble the second day, but you
>>>> are willing to see how well it works the next day.  it's more like a
>>>> high-rise building technique or bridge-building technique (e.g. Tacoma
>>>> Narrows Bridge).  if you use some new technique and it fails the first time
>>>> you use it, you better believe there will be hesitation and controversy the
>>>> next time its use is proposed.  and very similar if it happens the second
>>>> use.
>>> It depends on the severity of the loss.  You are exaggerating the
>>> practical bads of the election of a non-CW somewhat left of the CW.
>>> Micronumerosity says we got to not draw strong conclusions from very
>>> limited use of something new.  It tells us we need to turn away from our
>>> fallen human natures driven by our fears.
>>>> rbj: on the other hand, if the technique was used 50 times before it
>>>> failed, you would more likely look at the failure as a fluke or outlier.
>>>>  elections happen once or twice a year (if you're politically active, if
>>>> you're not it's more like once in four years) and their consequences are
>>>> significant, in some cases worse than a building collapse.
>>> dlw: Once again, assess the "damage" and take the longer view of how
>>> this will play into the next election.  If IRV had been continued the Prog
>>> candidate wd have moved to the right some to woo Democrats so the outcome
>>> wd have been preferred by most people.
>>> "a failure that occurs so soon after adoption might very well be an
>>> indication of something systemic, not just an outlier."
>>> dlw: It ain't necessarily so... and you got to consider the relative
>>> import of type one vs type two errors.  A sample of type 2 is not going to
>>> be powerful and when you try to make it powerful, you increase the
>>> likelihood of a type one error, ending the use of a good election rule
>>> before it had a chance to prove itself among a populace that understands it
>>> better.
>>>>> dlw:To prevent all tactical voting is not the greatest good.
>>>> The *primary* reason for adopting ranked-choice voting, the greatest
>>>> good promised, is to remove the *burden* of tactical voting from voters so
>>>> that they do not experience voter's regret the day after the election
>>>> (which, here in Burlington, soured many voters that do not return to the
>>>> polls, thus reducing participation in democracy).  i don't suggest that we
>>>> can prevent all tactical voting, but the common burden of tactical voting,
>>>> the tactic called "compromising", is avoidable and *should* be avoided
>>>> where at all possible.
>>> Think about it.  Really?  Preventing anyone from being pressured to
>>> tactical voting is the greatest good?  Shouldn't it be to make the parties
>>> responsive to the general views of the population?  To reduce the distance
>>> between the de facto and true political center?
>>> I don't have a problem if a major party chooses to get ideologically
>>> stuck so some of its supporters have to abandon it because of its
>>> non-electability.
>>> In our context where $peech is so strong the "tactical voters" are more
>>> likely to be the ones who've been gaming the system for their own bottom
>>> line for quite some time.  It isn't the same thing for them to be pressured
>>> to vote insincerely as it is when third party dissenters from "dumb and
>>> dumber" get pressured to vote that way.  The former bonds the de facto and
>>> true center.  The latter severs the two.
>>> dlw
>>> ----
>>> Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list
>>> info
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