[EM] MJ SFR (preliminary). Score vs Approval, based on considerations discussed.

Michael Ossipoff email9648742 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 11 08:39:48 PDT 2012

Two topics:

1. Brief preliminary comments in reply to Jameson's MJ SFR posting.
2. Score vs Approval based on considerations that have been discussed.


At first I said here that MJ doesn't have SFT. But later I said that
it does have SFR, but that it's SFR is more complicated than that of
Score/Approval. Jameson's recent MJ SFR posting seems to confirm that

Brevity and clarity can be mutually incompatible,and so it is with the
descriptions of MJ's tiebreaking bylaws. As Jameson briefly described
the tiebreaking bylaws of MJ and CMJ, I didn't understand them.

I think we can agree that MJ's and CMJ's tiebreaking bylaws, when
described completely would add a lot of words to the methods'
definitions. I think we can agree that those tiebreaking bylaws spoil
any simplicity or brevity that those method would otherwise have had.


Though Score's SFR can probably be approximated by intuitive
subjective judgement, something indistinguishable from sincere rating,
there is probably a tendency to not rate at extremes when one should.
I used to criticize Score because people who inbetween-rate can be had
by strategizing voters.

But if someone would inbetween-rate a candidate whom s/he should
bottom-rate, in Score--Might s/he not approve the same candidate in
Approval? Which would be worse? Voters tend to overcompromise. Score's
flexible fractional-rating capability lets people rate where they most
feel like, without Approval's stark choice, and would probably lessen,
not increase, the overcompromise problem.

But, as has already been discussed, of course Score-like middle-rating
can be effectively achieved probabilistically in Approval, in public
elections where there are many voters.

It isn't difficult. 0-10 Score can be simulated by drawing one of ten
numbers from a bag. 0-100 Score could be simulated by twice drawing
(with replacement) one of ten numbers from a bag.

For 0-10, if you want to give a candidate 7/10, and the pieces of
paper in the bag are numbered from 0 to 9, then approve hir if the
number that you draw is less than 7.  If the pieces of paper are
numbered from 1 to 10, then approve hir if the number you draw isn't
more than 10--if the number is from 1 to 7.

For 0-100, you should number the pieces of paper from 0 to 9. Draw a
number. Write it down, Replace the piece of paper in the bag. Draw
another number. Right it down to the right of where you wrote the
first number. That gives you a two digit number. If you wanted to
probabilistically give the candidate .87, then approve hir if the
two-digit number you wrote is less than 87.

A big advantage of Approval over Score is the much less
labor-intensive count. Though Score is less computation-intensive than
the rank methods, Approval is a lot easier and less laborious to count
than Score is. As we all agree, count-labor = count-fraud-opportunity.

Better to give the voter a little more to do, for fractional rating,
than to increase the count-labor.

There's nothing wrong with letting the voter be more directly involved
with making the fractional rating, when s/he wants to fractionally

On another topic:

By the way, Chris only suggests ICT as a 3-slot method. To me, because
I don't recommend rank methods for official public elections, the only
value of ICT or Symmetrical ICT is for informational polling. For
that, it's desirable to allow unlimited rankings, because it's
desirable to get as much preference information as possible. Chris
said that more criteria are met by ICT when it's s 3-slot. Maybe, but
I'm impressed and satisfied with ICT's and Symmetrical ICT's
properties even with unlimited ranking.

But I wonder how much less the count labor of Symmetrical ICT would be
if it were only 3-slot. Would it start being competitive with Score in
regards to count labor? Probably not, but I just thought I'd mention
the question.

I don't suppose that the instance-tallying of Score and MJ would work
with a pairwise-count method. With N candidates, there'd still be
N*(N-1) pairwise vote-totals to add up, even though finding which of 2
candidates a ballot ranks higher would be easier on a 3-slot ballot.

Mike Ossipoff

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list