[EM] [CES #4429] Looking at Condorcet

Jameson Quinn jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Wed Feb 1 20:28:56 PST 2012

Dave gives good reasons for Condorcet. I'd like to present the other side.

Condorcet systems have many advantages. So what's wrong with Condorcet?

It comes in a bewildering array of forms, thus reducing the unity of its
supporters. But that's not the real problem.

It admits both betrayal and burial strategy, thus encouraging dangerous,
negative-sum strategizing from its voters. And that could be significant.
But I think that voters will realize that they will almost never have the
information and unity to pull off a successful strategy, so that's not the
real problem.

It is complicated to understand, and impossible to easily visualize, how it
works. But that's not the real problem.

As a ranked system, it is hopelessly caught in the contradictions of
Arrow's theorem. But that's not the real problem.

Some voters will mistakenly imagine that it's Borda. But that's not the
real problem. (They'll imagine that MJ is Range, too. I don't see how
they'd significantly misapprehend SODA, though.)

The real problem is that I think that people just don't want to do that
much work to vote. Yes, I know, you can just vote approval-style if you
want to, but most people would feel guilty about not really doing the whole
job then.

I honestly think that honest rating is easier than honest ranking. (How's
that for honesty per square word?) MJ is the only system which allows
honest rating to be full-strength in practice; and SODA is the only good
system which allows anything easier. (And no, approval is not easier than
MJ, because approval forces some amount of strategizing.)

Most voters are lazy. And they'll resent any system which rubs their nose
in that fact. Which Condorcet does.

(SODA, on the other hand, brings lazy voters together, and gives their
representative as much negotiating power as possible without diluting the
winner's leadership mandate.)


2012/2/1 Dave Ketchum <davek at clarityconnect.com>

> 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 equally.
> Condorcet is little, if any, more difficult for voters than FPTP and
> Approval.
> .     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 best.
> 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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