[EM] Reply to Lomax

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 3 12:44:07 PST 2012


I might post this when it's only partially finished, and then continue it Monday.

You wrote:

At 04:55 PM 3/1/2012, MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote:
>If you rank your favorite, F,  in 1st place, s/he gets a majority, 
>even though s/he doesn't win, because someone else has a higher
That's apparently quite unusual. Even if multple votes in first rank 
are allowed -- they certainly should be -- most voters will not use them.


You don't have sufficient information to make that prediction.

Yes, the IRVists point out that, when Bucklin was used in the early
20th century, few if any voters would even rank a 2nd choice. My answer
to that is that plumping is a valid good strategy if no one but your favorite
is acceptable to you, or if you're sure that s/he will win if you don't rank
anyone else.

Those were only municipal elections, of course. You can't use them to predict
voting in national or state elections. In important elections, people would soon
learn what voting strategy is in their best interest.

It seems to me that, in ABucklin, most people's best strategy would often or usually
be to just vote certain candidates in 1st place, and not rank anyone else.

You continued:

Sequential approval voting, i.e., a series of polls where voters 
start out with "insisting on their favorite," and then gradually 
lower their approval cutoff until a majority is found, is simply a 
more efficient version of what is standard deliberative process, 
i.e., vote-for-one majority-required, repeated until a majority is found


I have nothing against that, but it would be expensive for large public elections.
ABucklin, would be a perfectly good substitute. AOCBucklin would be better.
You continued:

In any case, to me, if the number of ballots were not to be limited, 
I'd want to see Range polling, with explicit approval cutoff, plus a 
ratification vote that explicitly approves the result.


More expensive still. A good proposal would propose only one balloting.

You continued:

 In some 
organizations, a mere majority margin, thin, really isn't desirable, 
it should be better than that. Popes were elected by repeated 
approval polling, two-thirds majority required. But I'd prefer to 
leave it to the majority to decide what margin is needed. Otherwise 
it is the *rules* which are in charge. I.e., the past is ruling the 
present, which I'm learning is not a great idea, for many reasons. 
Informing and suggesting, yes, but ruling, no.



Ok, I and those who agree with me have a 51% majority. So you ask us how large a
majority should be required, and we reply (guess what) "51%".

I'm not sure how or why you'd implement the flexible majority-magnitude requirement
that you suggest.

>A number of people rank F, and, if you help F get a majority, then 
>they won't give a vote to their next choice.
>That's regrettable, because their next choice could win with those 
>votes, while F can't win. And when their next choice doesn't win,
>someone worse than s/he (as judged by you) wins.
>You got a worse result because you didn't favorite-bury.

You reply:
Mike, I'm not sure I'm following you here, but the situation, 
multiple majorities in the first round, would be indicative of a 
highly unusual context.


Maybe. FBC-failure won't be common in Beatpath either. But it's possible. It's likewise
possible in Stepwise-to-Majority. In any method where there could be a situation where
your best outcome can only be gotten by favorite-burial, you can't assure people that they
have no need for favorite-burial. I believe that voters have shown us, in elections and in
straw-polls, that it's absolutely necessary to assure voters that it's entirely impossible
for there be to be a situation where they can get their best outcome only by favorite-burial.

You said:
Let's see if I understand.


I meant what I said, nothing more or less.

But the first thing you should understand is that I've already said that my
FBC failiure scenario doesn't work for ABucklin. ABucklin apparently passes FBC.
I now am convinced that it does, and that there's good reason to believe that a
failure example cannot be found for ABucklin.

The failure we're talking about, therefore, is only that of Stepwise-to-Majority.
You continued:

If you vote for your Favorite in first 
place, someone else has a higher majority, call him or her A. In the 
first round? There is a third candidate who has a lesser majority, B, 
whom you prefer to A.


B might not have hir majority yet. S/he might get it when the other voters I
spoke of give votes to their next choice, in the next round.

You continued:

If you vote for B in first rank, they might tie 
the other majority candidate. 


Or, then again, they might not. In general, "might" isn't good enough for timid

You continued:

I tend to think of my own votesg as 
being representative of a class of voters, i.e., what I do, others 
may do


Of course.

You continued:

, so this might flip the result to B, an improvement from my perspective.

"Might" won' do.

You continued:

But if I really fear this, I can vote for B in first place in 
addition to F. That's not burying, that is normal Approval/Range 
strategy. It's equal ranking, not preference reversal.


...and there's no assurance that it will keep A from winning. Maybe A
_needs_ those votes that those other voters will give to hir if you
don't give F a majority.

You continued:

The optimal number of ranks in a Bucklin ballot would be such that 
nearly all voters bullet vote in the first rank.

Nonsense. If there are unacceptable candidates who could win, your best
strategy is to rank all the acceptables in 1st place, and to not rank anyone

Further, even if it isn't a u/a election, in my posting about voting-options in Approval elections, I said that the
seeming (often) suboptimality of the ABucklin option in an Approval election
suggests that voting only at 1st rank is often the best ABucklin strategy,
even if it isn't an unacceptables/acceptables election. You might not agree with
that conclusion. I admit that it's only a subjective impression.

You continlued:

When there are more than two viable candidates, I'd expect majority 
failure to occur in the first rank, routinely. The scenario presented 
won't occur, at all


Wrong. Of course it could. If you want to actually _demostrate_ that it
won't often happen, then I invite you to do so.

But of course it could happen.

You continued:

, so a voter worrying about it is worrying about 
something quite unlikely.


As I've said, I've watched someone favorite-bury in a Condorcet-counted
rank-balloting election. If you can't firmly assure voters that they can't
possibly benefit from favorite-burial, then timid overcompromisers are going
to favorite-bury.

(The below-quoted question has been answered: ABucklin can't fail FBC)

>Does anyone know if there's actually a proof that ER-Bucklin meets FBC?
You answered:

It's an Approval method, so this depends on how you define "Favorite 
Betrayal." If equal ranking is betrayal, yes. But that's weird.


Favorite-betrayal is favorite-burial. Voting someone over your favorite.

And no, not all Approval-related methods pass FBC. For instance,
Stepwise-to-Majority and Stepwise-When-Needed fail FBC.

Those are stepwise Approval methods.
>Can it be shown that the verbal FBC-Failure scenario described above 
>couldn't really happen?
>Might ABucklin fail FBC?

You continue:
I don't see how what you described is Favorite Betrayal

Voting someone over your favorite is what I mean by favorite betrayal
or favorite-burial.

(I don't capitalize it, except as part of the name of the Favorite
Betrayal Criterion)

You continued:

, but I 
probably don't realize details of the method you are considering.


1. I'm no longer considering Stepwise-to-Majority
2. I posted all of its details.

I'd be glad to answer any questions about what I meant when I defined it,
but remember that I don't propose it, due to its FBC failure.

You continued:

haven't been reading the list, but "Stepwise Bucklin"


All Bucklin is stepwise. Bucklin is a stepwise Approval. Not the only one, but the
only kind I know of that passes FBC. I propose the method described in the electowiki
as "ER-Bucklin". I call it ABucklin.

Must quit for now and resume on Monday.

Mike Ossipoff

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