[EM] I now propose a mock 2012 presidential election, by parties instead of candidates.

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 6 13:56:54 PST 2012

I've long advocated that you can't adequately discuss the relative merits or desirability of
voting systems without actually using them.  ...without actually trying them out. For that,
it's absolutely essential to do polling, simulated political elections, using the methods that are
proposed at EM.

You don't know the problems of methods that you consider best, until you use them in
an election, even if a simulated election. 

Therefore, I propose a simulated presidential election. Mainly because we don't know who
the 2012 nominations will be yet, I suggest that the voting be by party, instead of by
candidate. In some ways, that's more meaningful anyway, because policy platforms are,
or should be, the basis of political voting.

Some have claimed that we should do polling at external websites, automated websites. The
main problem with that is flexibility: EM polls have nearly always included balloting by Approval,
Score Voting, and ranking. And they always should, because all of those balloting modes are
used by some of the various methods proposed on EM. My poll includes all three of those
balloting modes...three separate ballots: Approval, Score, and rank.

Another problem with automated polling websites is ballot-stuffing.
Even though polling websites usually register voters by their
e-mail, that only reduces, but doesn't eliminate the possibility of ballot-stuffing. Of course that
problem isn't as important in a poll whose only purpose is to demonstrate what it's like to use
the various voting systems. But, arguably, it still matters, for the purpose of such polls, that the
observed result reliably reflect the 1-per-voter ballots.

This poll could be criticized because EM's membership is international, and I'm proposing a 
simulated U.S. election. I invite non-U.S. members to vote in this poll, because its purpose is
merely to demonstrate the use of the proposed voting systems.

If poll-participants identify themselves, in parenthesis as "international" or "U.S.", then separate
election results can be determined, one of which would indicate what kind of a party is
the EM international winner, and the other of which would indicate which kind of party would
win in the U.S. if EM members are typical.

...And EM members are more typical than some might believe, in terms of their sincere
preferences. I'd suggest that EM members differ from the general public mostly in that they
aren't Republocrat lesser-of-2-evils voters. Even if some EM members actually prefer
the Republicans or Democrats, none will favor one of those parties only as a lesser-evil.

Strategy? I suggest that any strategy used in this simulated election be appropriate to the
EM electorate. If you perceive any difference between the EM electorate and the general
population, then base your strategy on the EM electorate. It makes a poll more realistic
if voting is based on the conditions in the poll.

Should Score voting be sincere, or should it be however you'd vote it in an actual public
political election? I suggest the latter.

Sure, with an Approval balloting, it could be argued that there's no need for Approval
strategy in Score voting, so the Score voting should be sincere, regardless of whether
you'd rate sincerely in an actual election.  I and others have made that suggestion in
previous EM polls. 

But I don't think that's best in this poll. The purpose of this poll is to try out the various
methods, not to determine the sincere Score winner among the EM electorate. So I
suggest voting the Score ballot exactly as you would if it were an actual public political
election, in which Score voting were the only kind in use.

Unless Warren argues for suggesting sincere ratings on the Score ballot, I suggest
voting the same ratings you'd vote in an actual public political Score election. Because
we want to simulate an actual election.

As you know, I advocate, as options in an Approval balloting, the following ways of 

Approval, MTA, MCA, ABucklin, AOC, MTAOC, MCAOC, and AOCBucklin.

I'll define these ways of voting in a subsequent posting.

But I'll briefly outline their definitions here:

You know what Approval, MTA and MCA are.

AOC is Approval, with the option to make some approvals conditional upon mutuality, as defined 
by the MTAOC pseudocode program that I posted here.

MTAOC and MCAOC are MTA and MCA with that conditionality option.

AOCBucklin is ABucklin with that option at each rank position.

When there are ballots using the ABucklin &/or AOCBucklin option, the election is equivalent to
an ABucklin election, and is counted as such. Of course an Approval ballot counts as an ABucklin
ballot that only gives first preferences.

MCA and MTA are counted in the obvious way that I previously described, consistent with and
compatible with Approval and ABucklin.

All of the above remains true when ballots also use the conditionality option.

For AOCBucklin, all votes that have been assigned to a candidate, other than 1st preference votes,
come under the term "middle ratings", for the purposes of MTAOC conditionality.

For AOCBucklin, the conditionality calculations must be done anew after each AOCBucklin vote-assignment
stage.  That's because the new vote assignments change the middle ratings counts that the MTAOC
conditionality calculation uses.

Voting instructions:

For the Approval election:

You can vote a ballot by:

Approval, MTA, MCA, ABucklin, AOC, MTAOC, MCAOC, or AOCBucklin.

If you choose an Approval ballot, approve whichever candidate(s) you choose to. You have the option of
designating any of those approvals as conditional. That indicates that you don't want that approval to be
usable to defeat your approved candidates. You give it conditional upon its being reciprocated as defined
in the MTAOC program pseudocode that I posted. (More about the conditionality option later in this posting).

If you choose an MTA or MCA ballot, then you rate some candidates then indicate that you rate
some candidates "top" and some candidates "middle". As with Approval, you can indicate that some
of your middle ratings are conditional, meaning that you don't want them to be usable to defeat your
coalition-suitable candidates (defined later in this posting). And, as said before, that guarantee is carried
out by making that middle rating conditional upon reciprocity as defined in the MTAOC program pseudocode.

If you choose an ABucklin ballot, then rank any number of candidates in order of preference. At any rank
position, you can indicate, for any candidate, that your vote for hir is conditional, as defined above.

Every method with more than two slots can benefit by AERLO, the Automatic Equal Ranking Line Option.

To use AERLO in MTA or MCA, list your middle-rated candidates vertically in order of preference, with "AERLO" written just
below the lowest-ranked one that you want to be protected by the AERLO option.

In ABucklin, write AERLO just below the lowest rank position that you want to protect with AERLO.

What it means when you have AERLO in your ranking, or your middle MTA or MCA ratings:

If none of your above-AERLO candidates wins, then they are all moved to top-rating or top-ranking. Another
count is conducted after that raising-to-top has done on each such ballot. That winner of that 2nd count
wins the election.

For example, an AOCBucklin ballot with AERLO might look like this:

1. Candidate A
2. Candidate B
3. Candidate C
4. Candidate D (conditional)

The conditionality option, should you invoke it, requires that a middle rating be mutual as defined
in the MTAOC program pseudocode. That program refers to candidates whom you designate
"coalition-suitable". You don't have to actually make those designations.

The default "coalition-suitable" designation is: Your above-AERLO candidates are coalition-suitable.
If you don't use AERLO, then your top-rated or top-ranked candidates are coalition-suitable.

That's the default.

But, if you want to, you could specify that you only want your _initially_ top-rated candidates to be 

Or you could even designate particular candidates as candidate suitable, if you choose to. Doing so means
that you aren't using the default assumption.

But you needn't bother with that, because there is a useful and practical default assumption, stated above.

For the Score election:

Rate the parties as you would in an actual public election. If you strategize, do so with respect to the
actual EM electorate.

(unless Warren asks that people rate sincerely, with strategy only in the Approval election rather than in the
Score election)

For the ranking election:

Best to rank sincerely. Anyone can count the rankings by any method they choose. I'll count them
by MMPO with AERLO. No need to count them by AOCBucklin or ABucklin, since that way of voting is
included as an option in the Approval election. 

Also, because the rankings election is intended to be method-nonspecific, it's best to count it be methods
that don't require much other than just a ranking. Count methods with drastic voting strategy aren't
desirable count methods, of course.

I suggest that the AERLO option should be available for the rank election, because AERLO is useful in pretty
much every rank method that allows equal ranking. I consider MMPO with AERLO to be a good method, and, if there
is participation in this mock election, I'll do an MMPO with AERLO count for the ranking election. 

Voter's Choice:

Though this is not the purpose of this mock election, it's possible to determine an overall winner, by Voter's Choice:

When you vote, designate a method. Your designated method could be Approval, or Score, or any rank-count.

After the counts are completed, each political party receives a score equal to the sum of the numbers of people
designating the methods by which that party won.

The winning party is the one with the highest such score.

(MTA, MCA, ABuckliln, AOC, MTAOC, MCAOC and AOCBucklin don't count as separate election methods, as they are only
voting options for the approval election).


Every election should have a nomination period. I suggest a one-week nomination period. 

I don't know how you feel about having a campaign period, because maybe this list shouldn't
have political advocacy. If people feel that there should be no campaigning, no discussion of the
parties' relative merits, then that's fine.

If people feel that such discussion is appropriate for an election, then there could be a week set aside
for it, after the nominations week.

I suggest that nominations can be made any time starting right now, and continuing till 0 hours, 1 minute
GMT (UT), January 15th.

I'll just start by making a few obvious nominations. Nominating a party doesn't mean that the nominator
likes it. It might just be that (as in the case of some that I nominate) those parties are just felt to be
ones that would be found in an actual election, and are nominated for that reason only.

Of course no one needs to rank or rate all of the parties nominated.

With that understanding, I nominate the following parties, listed in alphabetical order, to avoid
the appearance of favoritism:

Boston Tea Party (not to be confused with the Republican-like "Tea Party Movement")
Democrats (moderate) (example: Mondale)
Democrats (Republican-like) (example: Lieberman)
Democrats (relatively progressive) (example: Kuccinich)
Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA) (The original U.S. Greens)
Green Party US (GPUS)  (The replacement Greens)
Libertarians (as defined by the Libertarian platform on the Internet)
Republicans (Moderate)
Republicans (More Republican)
Socialist Party USA (SPUSA)

That seems to roughly span the political spectrum among the U.S. political parties.

Of course you might want to look up those parties' platforms on the Internet.

Also useful, though biased, might be the "directory of U.S. political parties" on the Internet.

(I'm not quite sure how its name is worded, but the above name will probably find it at a
search engine).

By the way, what if I throw a party and no one comes? Or propose an election and no
one participates? I feel that mock elections are much needed at a voting system discussing
mailing list. I'm doing my part by proposing this mock election. That's so regardless of whether
anyone else thinks there should be a mock election, and regardless of whether anyone
participates. My purpose is merely to propose the election, make it available. Having done so,
I've done my part.

Mike Ossipoff

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