[EM] Some Lomax statements that I hadn't gotten to yet

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 20 09:31:28 PDT 2012


I'd said that, in Plurality, voting for an agreed-upon compromise can be valid strategy, but that
people shouldn't vote for an evil, even if a lesser one.

You said:

That depends on the definition of evil, doesn't it?


I don't define "an evil". Nor do I use the term, except when referring to what others have said, when
they use that term.

Here is how dictionaries typically define the noun phrase "an evil":

"Something morally reprehensible, or something that causes sorrow, distress, calamity, harm, misfortune, or destruction."

Many or most people who vote for a Democrat candidate refer to hir as a "lesser-evil", and to the Republican candidate as the
"greater evil".  It's fair to assume that those Democrat voters are using "an evil" with the above-quoted meaning.

If you're _absolutely sure_ that the only two winnable candidates are both "evils", as defined above, then of course
you could argue that it's pragmatic to vote for the lesser one. 

Two things wrong with that:

1. You don't really know that the Democrat and the Republican are the only winnable candidates. Could it be that they
always win only because you and the other "lesser-evil" suckers keep voting for them because you think that they're the
only winnable candidates? Yes. Self-fulfilling pessimism. Read about Myerson-Weber equilibrium. Read about Duverger's theorem.

If you think that the Democrat and the Republican are both what the Democrat voters are calling them (via the above-quoted
definition), then could it be that you shouldn't base your vote on the _guess_ that they're the only candidates who could win, even if people
voted honestly?

2. There's such a thing as principle too. Even if it were certain that the only candidates who could win are as
described in the above-quoted definition, are you really so without principle that you'd endorse them by
voting for one of them?   --even though they're virtually identical?

You continued by saying that the Democrat voters who call the Democrat a "lesser-evil"  (and then vote for hir) have "cut [themselves] off
from humanity". You tend toward over-dramatic hyperbole. If you said that they've cut themselves off from their own feelings and judgement,
then I might agree with you.

Then you said:

"After all, if a candidate is evil, and might win, and spread his evil, then killing him would become morally justified"


...only according to _your_ beliefs. I disagree. I don't share your beliefs, Abd Ul. Maybe your beliefs call for killing those whom you label "evil",
 but not many here would agree with you.

I suggest, instead, that it's sufficient to not vote for them. 

How much harm can they do when we don't vote for them, and they're no longer in office?

You continued:

"This is the province of obsession and insanity, its a form of paranoia [and a run-on sentence], that readily identifies the other as evil."


All these strong words for the Democrat voters who refer to the Democrat candidate as "the lesser-evil"? 

I don't use the term "evil" (except, as I said, when quoting and commenting on what Democrat voters say). That word is too emotionally-loaded,
too dramatic, and has too many meanings.

I've referred to the Republocrat candidates and parties as corrupt, bought, sleazy, dishonest, etc. I feel that such more-clearly-defined 
and less emotional words are more expressive and useful as a practical description.

And no, you're mistaken if you don't think that others agree with me about that description. Only someone like a drug-dealer is respected
as little as a (Republocrat) politician. The corruption, dishonesty, sleaze and bought-ness of Republocrat politicians is common-knowledge.

I didn't find this part of this posting of yours until now, because, when I first replied to it, there wasn't time to get this far into the posting.

Suggested  Plurality  strategy:

Find the sincere CW.

If there is one, and s/he is acceptable to you:

Communicate with the people whose favorite is that CW or candidates whom you prefer to hir.  Get an agreement 
among those people to vote for that sincere CW.

If there isn't a sincere CW (due to a sincere cycle), or if s/he is unacceptable to you:

Communicate with the people who pretty much agree with you about what and who is acceptable. Determine which of
those mutually acceptable candidates can get the most votes. Get an agreement among that set of voters to vote for hir.

[end of suggested Plurality strategy]

How to find the sincere CW?

I've suggested this before: Do pre-election polling. Preferably by rank balloting. Progressives around the country could
do polls in their areas. In my first posting on this topic, I described the process in detail. It isn't necessary to poll in every
community. There might not be that many poll volunteers. I discussed how to aggregate their results. I made that suggestion
in a posting that I posted soon after returning to this mailing list in October or November of 2011. The posting was clearly
labeled in its subject-line.

What count method should be used? I suggest that the strategy  problems existing in actual elections could also mess up the
results of a Plurality-strategy-informing poll. For that reason, I suggest ICT as the method for counting the rankings. 

Though I like MMPO2 and MDDTR, their burial strategy could prevent the method from finding the sincere CW. I feel
that ICT is the method that is sufficiently strategy resistant, and likely to find a sincere CW.

Of course ICT would also be one of the best choices for the official voting system for elections. So would Approval.
So would Approval with the various options that I've been discussing. Approval, and Approval with options, has the
tremendous advantage that people wouldn't be asked to accept a relatively complicated rank-count, and take our
word for it that it won't have some problem that makes it worse than Plurality. Those options include ABucklin, 
and its various conditional versions too.

One nice thing about Approval is that it's so simple that no "study" is needed. Nor is it necessary to test it
in local municipal elections, to determine that it improves on Pluralilty.

And one nice thing about options is that no one can really object to them. Who could object to the ABucklin
option in an Approval election--an option by which a voter could opt to delay or refuse some of hir approvals?

But start by proposing only plain ordinary Approval.

Anyway, returning to the Plurality-strategy-informing poll: 

It will probably take a long time to get another voting system. Voting system reform advocates, including the
people at EM, mostly want to argue about which relatively complicated method is the ideal best. Many won't even
consider anything other than their own complicated favorite as worthy of proposing. That isn't
very promising for progress.  So it's a safe guess that it will be several generations before there is any actual voting system reform.
If ever.

But, in the meantime, the situation isn't hopeless: We can at least make good use of the method that we already
have (Plurality), as I described above.

Mike Ossipoff

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