[EM] [CES #4445] Re: Looking at Condorcet

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Sat Feb 4 21:01:04 PST 2012

On 2/4/12 10:39 PM, Jameson Quinn wrote:
>          With information like this it should be (in principle) a
>         quite mechanical process to check all relevant available
>         methods against the targets and environment description, and
>         then pick the best method (and ballot format) (and guidance to
>         the voters on how to vote).
>     really?  okay so, with a simple well-defined environment:
>     Two-choice question, Competitive interests, High stakes, Decisive
>     deadline, and Equal franchise for every voter; then what further
>     questions need be settled to adopt a ballot format, tabulation
>     method, and voter instructions?
> Those conditions beg the question.

i confess that i *am* doing that.  i freely admit it.

> Of course, under those conditions, majority is the obvious choice. But 
> you can't necessarily generalize that and say that anything but the CW 
> is always wrong.

well, you're saying here that the CW is the obvious choice in the 
Two-candidate case.  then, to generalize with more candidates, you 
impose another condition of logical consistency; essentially that of the 
"independence of irrelevant alternatives".  how can it be that: given 
more voters agree that Candidate A is a better choice than Candidate B 
means that Candidate B is not elected (as would happen it the 
Two-candidate election), that this preference should be reversed if 
Candidate C is brought into the race as a 3rd option?  when (outside of 
a cycle) should it ever be that Candidate B is elected despite the fact 
that more voters expressed on their ballots that they preferred 
Candidate A?  (and continuing with the conditions of Competitiveness, 
High stakes, Decisiveness, Equal franchise.)

i really think that the problem of working out the paradox of a cycle 
should be approached after this fundamental issue is hammered out 
first.  and, although i don't see it as fundamental, it appears that 
since Schulze, Minmax, and Ranked Pairs (margins) all elect the same if 
no more than 3 are in the cycle, it looks to me that the cycle question 
can be hammered out logically and simply with little chance of being 
unexpectedly skunked by what does get hammered out.  but before that, i 
want to nail down the more fundamental issue of collective utility in a 
governmental election that has conditions of Competitiveness, High 
stakes, Decisiveness, and Equal franchise for every legitimate voter.

i really don't want this question distracted too much with "the guys and 
i are going out for pizza."  a little bit of distraction was okay, but 
the give-and-take relationship with my pizza-and-beer buds is just not 
the same as in a partisan contest that i bring my mace and shield.


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list