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

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Thu Feb 9 08:07:33 PST 2012

On 2/8/12 1:25 PM, Juho Laatu wrote:
> On 8.2.2012, at 7.33, robert bristow-johnson wrote:
> ...
>> if it's not the majority that rule, what's the alternative?
> I'm not aware of any good alternatives to majority rule in competitive two-candidate elections (with some extra assumptions that rule out random ballot etc.).
> Juho

thank you Juho, for stipulating to the obvious.  i will confess that i 
am astonished at the resistance displayed here at the EM list to this 
obvious fact.

so, we all know how Condorcet (i believe) extends this logically to a 
multi-candidate race, right?  if Candidate A is the best candidate to be 
awarded office, that means that Candidate A is better than Candidate B.  
it also means that Candidate A is better than Candidate C.  if Candidate 
A is the best candidate, it means that no other candidate is better than 
Candidate A.

so, how do we determine who is better?  we could make them take an exam 
to show how much they know about job that the elected office entails.  
or we could make the candidates arm wrestle.  but, in a democracy, the 
way we determine that one candidate is better than some other is that we 
ask the electorate.  sorta like Pilate asking the crowd to choose 
between Jesus and Barabbas.  the ranked ballot tells us who the voter 
chooses given any pair of choices.

it's simple.  when a Condorcet winner exists, to elect *anyone* other 
than the Condorcet winner is the same as awarding office to the loser in 
a simple Two-candidate, Simple majority, One-person-one-vote election 
and i cannot see a *single* justification for doing that.  the "weak CW" 
argument does not cut it at all.

i'm willing to let this rest again for a while.  until someone else digs 
up the corpse.


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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