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

Ted Stern araucaria.araucana at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 15:26:18 PST 2012

Hi Mike,

May I suggest that you also include a 3-slot ballot option?  I.e.,
Preferred, Acceptable, Reject.  You could call it a Fallback Approval
ballot if you like.

Many methods (e.g., most Condorcet methods, ER-Bucklin) that don't
meet the Participation criterion will do so when restricted to
3-slots.  It would be interesting to compare behavior with that level
of compression.


On 06 Jan 2012 13:56:54 -0800, MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote:
> 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
> voting:
> 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
> coalition-suitable.
> 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).
> Nominations:
> 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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araucaria dot araucana at gmail dot com

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