[EM] [CES #4429] Looking at Condorcet

Andy Jennings elections at jenningsstory.com
Fri Feb 3 11:45:27 PST 2012

On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 10:09 PM, Richard Fobes <ElectionMethods at votefair.org
> wrote:

> On 2/2/2012 11:07 AM, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
>> On 02/02/2012 05:28 AM, Jameson Quinn wrote:
>>  I honestly think that honest rating is easier than honest ranking.
>>> ...
>  As a contrast, to me, ranking is easier than rating. ...
> I too find ranking easier than rating.

I go back and forth on this, myself.  Some thoughts:

- If I had to rank more than ten candidates, I think it would be difficult
unless I put them into three or four tiers first.  Then, perhaps I would
choose to rank the candidates within the tiers or perhaps I would leave
them all tied if I didn't really care that much.  Thus, for me, honest
rating with just a few buckets is more basic than ranking.

- If someone built a computer program that presented me pairs of candidates
at a time as Kristofer suggested, that would make it somewhat easier.  I
think I would still prefer to divide them into tiers first, but if I
divided them into tiers first, I might not need the pairwise comparison
hand-holding.  Also, suppose that I analyzed the candidates in three
different policy dimensions that I consider equally important and I found
that my policy preferences were:
Foreign Policy: A>B>C
Domestic Social Issues: B>C>A
Domestic Economic Issues: C>A>B
Now I prefer A to B, B to C, and C to A.  A cycle among my own personal
preferences when I compare them pairwise.  Then my output ranking would
depend on the order in which the pairwise questions were asked.  ??!?

- If I were trying to cast an honest Approval Ballot, then I would think
about each candidate separately and decide whether I approve them or not.

- If I were trying to cast a strategic Approval Ballot or a fully strategic
Score Voting Ballot, then I would first rank all the candidates, then
decide where to put my cutoff.  So I can definitely see the argument of
those who think that ranking is more fundamental than even approval voting.

- If I were trying to cast an honest Score Voting Ballot, I would have to
feel like there was an objective meaning for the various scores.  Then I
could consider each candidate separately and give them my honest scores.  I
probably wouldn't even normalize.  If I were going to normalize, then I
might as well go fully-strategic and vote approval-style.

- If I were casting an MJ ballot, I think I would consider each candidate
separately and vote completely honestly, knowing that my vote was doing
everything it could to help any candidate where my score was higher than
society's median and, similarly, doing everything it could to hurt any
candidate where my score was lower than society's median.  I realize that
my vote would not be fully strategic if there were two frontrunners and I
liked both of them or disliked both of them, but in that situation, who

- If a real election were being tabulated with Condorcet, I would vote

- If a real election were being tabulated with IRV, I would warn people not
to vote for minor candidates.

Let me admit that a crucial point for me is that the only way to gain
Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives is to tell the voters to evaluate
each candidate independently and vote honestly, which may make me biased
towards rating methods.  FBC is very important to me and I'm still
skeptical of the FBC-compliant ranked-ballot methods recently proposed.

~ Andy
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