[EM] [CES #4429] Looking at Condorcet

Jameson Quinn jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 14:21:41 PST 2012

2012/2/2 Juho Laatu <juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk>

> On 2.2.2012, at 21.07, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
> > On 02/02/2012 05:28 AM, Jameson Quinn wrote:
> >
> >> 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.)
> >
> > As a contrast, to me, ranking is easier than rating. When I'm set to
> rate, I tend to think about whether I rated the candidate just right or not
> - did I rate him too high, too low? - but if I rank, I don't have to care
> about that. All I have to do is get a general idea of the order of
> preference, and then ask "do I like X better than Y or vice versa".
> >
> > Maybe I'm uncommon, but I thought I would say it. I've heard the claim
> that rating is easier than ranking before, and maybe it still is -- to most
> people.
> >
> > I'll also note that many of the ranked voting methods can be also be
> applied even if the only information you can get from the voters or  the
> system is "is X better than Y" for pairs {X,Y}. Thus, these can be used to
> determine winners in actual one-on-one contests (e.g. chess matches,
> kittenwar-style preference elicitation) where it would be hard to use
> ratings.
> I agree that it is very difficult to claim that rating would be easier
> than ranking. Let's see what I can do.
> Attempt 1: It is difficult to write something like "a>b>c" on the ballot
> paper, or to push buttons of the voting machine so that all the candidates
> will be in the correct order.
> Answer 1: Don't use such procedures. If you want to be sure that ranking
> at least as easy as rating, use same ballots as with rating. You can derive
> rankings from them.

This is a perfectly satisfactory answer (as long as the election method
does not reward dishonest strategy). But in my experience, it is used more
to dismiss than to answer the question; and for that, it does not serve.

> Attempt 2: Methods that do not allow equal ranking can not use rating
> style ballots.
> Answer 2: Use better methods or use rating style ballots and split the
> vote in two parts (or use random order).
> Attempt 3: If there are very many candidates, it is easier and faster to
> rate them individually, one by one, rather than compare every candidate
> pairwise to others.
> Answer 3: You can do this with rankings too if you are not interested in
> determining the preference order of those candidates that are almost
> equally good. Fast rating is also inaccurate in the sense that one may give
> more points to A than B although A is worse than B.

Again, this is much the same as answer 1, and my response is the same.

> Attempt 4: People have used numbers and ratings in schools.
> Answer 4: Think that you are still in the school and just rate the
> candidates (ratings will be derived from those ratings).

Balinski and Laraki make much of the fact that Majority Judgment uses
ratings which have independent, absolute meaning, rather than being solely
a relative scale. I think there is something to this argument.

> All the arguments are actually based on the fact that rankings can be
> derived from ratings. In the case of rankings the voter need not care about
> the scale of numbers that one uses (1,2,3 is as good as 1,49,50).
> Juho
> ----
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