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

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Wed Feb 8 21:48:31 PST 2012

On 2/8/12 5:53 PM, Kevin Venzke wrote:
> I would +1 to Bryan Mills' post.

i still have trouble with all of the contrived assumptions that are made 
just to avoid coming to a conclusion of "simple majority" vote and "one 
person, one vote" for a simple 2-candidate or 2-choice election.

i was expecting resistance when i would then logically extend this to 
multi-candidate elections as, i believe, would Condorcet.

but you guys aren't even willing to grant the first fundamental 
principles in a fair election process.  i can't even get to the same 
"square 1" as you guys.  i just cannot fathom that anyone here would 
countenance *anything* other than Equal franchise, which is 
One-person-One-vote, and for a simple two-choice election always leads 
to "simple majority" decision.  it's amazing to me that anyone here 
would have any problem embracing that election principle.

> >in the two-candidate case, you would have to assume unequal treatment 
> for voters
> Yes, utility inherently does this. It's trying to maximize "happiness" 
> which is a different ideal from giving everyone equal weight

so who do we choose to weight their happiness with a larger coefficient 
and who gets their happiness reduced?

> (e.g. even people who don't have a strong opinion).

if they have no differentiating opinion, they won't be voting regarding 
that particular race to begin with (and in a multi-candidate race, we 
can express that by equal ranking).  if their opinion is strong enough 
that they prefer one candidate over the other candidate, who here says 
that their vote should count less that someone else who is voting for 
the other candidate and strongly supports him/her.

if you sorta like your candidate and i really, really, really like the 
other candidate, are you guys *really* suggesting that, in a 
governmental election, my vote should count more than yours?  if so, if 
instead i really, really, really, really, really, really like my 
candidate, can i amplify my vote even more?  what if i really^99 
("really" raised to the 99th power) prefer my candidate, can i bury 
everyone else's vote with my strong opinion?

> >but when Clay says that Score or Approval is better at picking the 
> Condorcet winner than is a
> >Condorcet-compliant method, *that* is no tautology is obviously 
> controversial, since it says that there is
> >a number closer to 3 than the number 3 itself.
> What Clay means is that score/Approval are better at picking the 
> *sincere* Condorcet winner. Yes, that's obviously controversial.

it's also obviously misleading.  whose to say who is the "sincere 
Condorcet winner"?   who are you going to believe?  what Clay says, or 
what your lying eyes see on the ballot record?

> It could be true if it so happens that nobody wants to vote truthfully 
> under
> Condorcet methods, while Approval in practice never has any bad 
> outcomes, etc.

it could be true that hundreds of people who have testified to such have 
actually been abducted by extraterrestrial aliens who poked needles into 
them and did experiments on human subjects.  but it's an extraordinary 
claim that requires extraordinary evidence.

> >if it isn't 0 (for when you don't get who you voted for) and 1 (for 
> when your candidate is elected), then
> >some voter is diluting their utilities and i think it's pretty useless 
> and in bad taste to ask voters to do that
> >explicitly with a Score ballot.
> "Utilities" refers to what voters actually "feel," not what they are 
> putting on the ballot.

and how do you know how voters actually feel?  unofficial exit polls?  
when we are going to decide actual policy (or who is leading us in the 
capacity of elected office), we use ballots that voters mark secretly to 
find out how they feel.

gotta be consistent.  if we're saying that what voters put on the Score 
or Approval ballot is what they actually "feel", how is it that what 
voters put on the Ranked ballot is not what they actually feel?


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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