[EM] (Kevin Venzke) and James Gilmour.

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Sat Feb 18 13:30:50 PST 2012

Hi David,


De : David L Wetzell <wetzelld at gmail.com>
À : election-methods at lists.electorama.com 
Envoyé le : Samedi 18 février 2012 14h10
Objet : Re: [EM] (Kevin Venzke) and James Gilmour.

You are supposed to get the EM list to agree first, before writing Soros directly.

If there were such a pot at the end of the rainbow then maybe the EM list would have an incentive to agree.   

I like to think we don't agree because we think other people are mistaken. But if there were incentive to compromise I could see writing more posts on the subject of
reaching one.

>>But in the context of a 2-party dominated system, there aren't as many serious candidates 
>That doesn't make much sense to me. The election method is a part of the system and it has an obvious effect on how
>many candidates could run.

dlw: It depends on the size of the effect of the election method.  There still are cost-benefit rationales that would keep the number of serious candidates down, depending of course on the size and importance of the election.  Ceteris paribus, to have a party institution behind you will make a difference regardless of what election method gets used.  

Well, in SODA's case, I think the size of the effect is probably massive. It reminds me of the open party list in Brazil.

>and so what relative advantages there are of SODA over IRV will be less, which then makes the first-mover marketing problem more significant, especially if IRV can be souped up with the seemingly slight modification of the use of a limited form of approval voting in the first stage.
>If I remember correctly your idea is to use approval to pick finalists. I don't think this is a good idea because it breaks
>clone independence, which is an IRV selling point. 

But does it break it strongly?  Let there be A, B, and C.  Let BB be a B clone.
The field is split 30.1-40-29.9.  Normally B wins.  If BB enters then either B or BB gets eliminated in the first round but then their votes transfer to whoever remains and so the outcome wouldn't change.  You'd need to have a crowded field so that an original finalist and their clone would both get eliminated.  If either the original winner and clone(s) got eliminated, which would be harder, in all likelihood, or you might change the order of elimination in the 2nd round so that there'd be a different winner. 

I don't think you get the concern. It's not clone-winner, it's clone-loser. Suppose the original winner was 3rd place on approval. Then clone one of the other two candidates to 
shut out the original winner. They don't even need to know whether 3rd place was going to win, it should just be the standard nomination strategy. If you nominate three, you 
could even win the entire race just on approval. There's some risk to this strategy (voters may not agree to approve everyone their party wants), but if a party so much as tries
to use this strategy the method will look dumb. You should be really clear on what you're trying to do if you want to tell people to use a mechanic that looks manipulable.


For me, I think there are real world safeguards against clones in politics and so to be 100% clone independence is not important.  

I kind of agree with that, but only for cloning winners.

If your goal is to e.g. not elect Condorcet winners who place third,

I don't think my goal is not to elect CW's who get 3rd amount of top-rankings among the three finalists.   I think the goal is to reduce the distance between the de facto center and the true center, 
while allowing that we don't know the true changing center and don't want to chase it too easily.  

That's a pretty unusual goal that I still don't quite get. (Why do you pick the terms "de facto" and "true"? Wouldn't it be "anticipated" vs. "actual" or something? If the "true
changing" center is the actual location of the median voter, how on earth does "de facto" contrast with this?)

I think you should use the Approval-IRV hybrid that eliminates the least approved candidate until there is a majority 
>favorite. I call it AER... I think Woodall called it Approval AV.

dlw: IRV+ is easy to tabulate at the precinct level.  One could get the 3 finalists on election night.
The next day the votes can be sorted into 10 categories, once again at the precinct level, and the results used to find the winner.  
This is  more important than clone independence, cuz the true winner(for normal irv) would be more immune to the existence of clones than other finalists.
I wish I understood what you feel makes IRV good and how you are trying to improve it. I'm pretty sure that if those were nailed down, you could find something easier and
better. Using approval you are already discarding the LNHarm guarantee. Why stick to something relatively difficult to tabulate? I don't think you can ride IRV's coattails if you 
won't keep the (demonstrable) properties of it. And picking finalists using raw approval... That is just a basic thing not to do, like plurality-at-large for multiple seats.

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