[EM] MAV on electowiki

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Tue Jun 18 20:35:38 PDT 2013

At 04:25 PM 6/18/2013, Juho Laatu wrote:
>I quickly read the article. Here are some observations.
>- Term "Bucklin system" has not been defined. I can guess that it 
>probably refers to Bucklin style stepwise addition of new approvals, 
>but that may not be as obvious to all readers. If there is no 
>definition of "Bucklin system", maybe one could say "As in Bucklin" 
>instead of "As with any Bucklin system".

There is a link to Bucklin voting in the article.

>- Sentence "if there are more than one with a majority, the "B" 
>votes are removed and the highest sub-majority wins" is ambigious in 
>the sense that it is not clear if "highest sub-majority" refers to 
>all candidates or to candidates that had majority after adding the "B" votes.

It's poorly worded, all right. Minor point: "There are more than one" 
grates. (I find the use of the singular or plural with "more" to be 
ambiguous. I'd avoid it.)

An example is given when the principle has not been stated.

The method does not make sense as stated. The "back-up" is a 
tie-breaker, considering multiple majorities as if they were ties. 
They *are* ties in median vote. The tie-breaker only selects a member 
of the tied set.

Something went south. What was proposed was a Bucklin system. Bucklin 
does use, I've suggested, a range ballot, but the way that it does 
this is with a ranked structure. I ran into this when trying to 
design a set of votes to show a problem that I have not seen examined.

The description on the wiki page makes the system seem more complex than it is.

It's been designed to be five-rank, with explicit F. That's a fish 
bicycle. "No support" means merely "no support." No vote. Introducing 
the D vote is a later possible reform, it is an unapproved category. 
It makes the ballot considerably more complex, and the explanation is 
more complex.

>*D: Oppose unless there are no other majorities at all.

Is that clear? I don't think so. Bucklin as Approval Voting doesn't 
have a "disapproved rank." All blanks are disapproved.

>- It is not quite clear what happens and if it is possible that 
>there is no majority after the "F" votes have been counted.

The F votes are never counted, first of all. Listing them is a 
mistake. (If the F votes continued the amalgamation, then someone 
would be voting *for* a candidate rated F. That was the intention for 
the D rating.

It is far better, however, to introduce a D rating in combination 
with a runoff system, where the D rating could improve runoff 
candidate selection.

When a voter rates a candidate as "D", they are opposing the election 
of that candidate.

The Bucklin system required amalgamating three ranks. It's looking 
like MAV requires five, but that could be reduced to four, but the 
whole idea here was to have a *simple* next step beyond basic 
Approval Voting, and, as well, a clear similar method for use in a 
runoff system.

(We basically need a step up from approval as a plurality method, and 
from approval as a primary method in a runoff system.)

>- The grades could be letters or numbers, but they could also be 
>e.g. columns without any letter or number. This part of text 
>discusses what the ballots might look like. I'm not sure if ballot 
>different ballot formats should be seen as an essential part of the 
>method definition, or if the method should be defined abstractly 
>without referring to what the actual ballots might look like. I tend 
>to define the methods abstractly without assuming anything on the 
>ballots, and then discuss possible ballot formats as a separate 
>topic, but I'm not saying that's the only and best approach. The 
>current text is thus ok. I just first read the grades of the 
>definition as abstract grades, not as definitions on what would be 
>written in the ballots.

*Something* should be on the ballot that expresses the *function* of 
a vote. Jameson took this concept from me. A voter should be able to 
see the ballot and have a reasonably clear idea, just from it, what 
the vote *means* ... and the meaning is the *effect* that the vote causes.

The original Bucklin ballot, however, simply instructed voters to 
mark "1st choice," "2nd choice," or '3rd choice." The googlebooks 
copy is 

Page 95. It looks like they actually instructed people to vote for 
all but one. But that part is quite unclear. In the first set of 
instructions, at the top of the ballot, they did suggest not voting 
for one candidate. There may be another copy of this ballot 
somewhere. Bucklin was widely covered.

MAV *assumes that voters err if they approve two candidates by a 
majority.* That's why it backs up. But what, indeed, if it backs up 
and the multiple majority candidates are not the plurality winner in 
the previous round? What if there are *no* votes for those candidates 
in that round, or the vote is small.

It said: "

>- The linked definition of "evaluatve" says that ranked systems can 
>not give same ratings to two candidates. I think that's confusing and wrong.

Well, that's a common assumption of "ranked systems." It's 
essentially a definition, which is why we have said that Bucklin is 
*not* a ranked system. But, really, it's a ranked system that allows 
equal ranking. (Original Bucklin allowed equal ranking in the third 
rank only. We have simple expanded the approval principle to all 
ranks. *That is a convenience to voters.*)

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