[EM] Historical perspective about FairVote organization

Michael Ossipoff email9648742 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 18 06:58:11 PDT 2013

Regarding the question of whether people will favorite-bury, of course that
depends entirely on what people you're referring to, and under what

I don't claim that favorite-burial will be a problem under general
conditions, or that FBC will be needed under general conditions. For the
"Green scenario", the methods that I like best all fail FBC.

The need for FBC in the United States, under current conditions, results
from a thoroughly pathological and abnormal media situation. I certainly
don't generalize from that, to claim that FBC is essential for every
electorate, under all conditions.

Here's what we know about the U.S. situation:

The disinformational mass media system has thoroughly convinced nearly
everyone that only the Democrat or the Republican can win.   ...and that
therefore corruption in inevitable and just part of the American political
system.  ...and that therefore corruption is acceptable.  Media
commentators who speak for the Democrat and against the Republican always
make it clear that the Republican is entirely unacceptable, and that the
election of the Republican would be an unprecedented disaster. (even though
Republicans have been elected every few years).

Nearly everyone believes all that.

That's what I refer to as "current conditions". For brevity, I'll use the
term "current conditions", to refer to the conditions referred to above.

We don't have experience with the American population voting in official
public elections, via Beatpath (to use Beatpath as an example for the
traditional unimproved Condorcet (TUC) methods).  But what do we know?

We know that current conditions (defined above) obtain.

If we don't have experimental data proving how Americans would vote in
Beatpath, then what can we say?

Well, we can speak of what voters' optimal strategy is, given their beliefs
and assumptions.

Voters' beliefs and assumptions are those that I described in the
definition of current conditions.

Given those assumptions and beliefs, it's uncontroversial that a voter's
best strategy in Beatpath is to rank the Democrat alone in 1st place.

If a method won't have a certain problem, or cause a certain strategy, even
under the worst-case conditions, then we can assure ourselves that, the
problem won't exist with that method.

For example, methods that meet FBC won't have favorite-burial need under
any conditions, even the worst.

Approval and Score meet FBC.

ICT and Symmetrical ICT meet FBC too, and additionally are completely free
of the chicken dilemma. But they're more laboriously-implemented, more
complicatedly-defined (as is Beatpath, because those are rank-methods).
And, because there are so many ways to count rankings, all rank methods
will give people the impression of arbitrariness.

Favorite-burial makes a joke of the election result.

Approval and Score are the voting-system proposals that I recommend, for
current conditions.


Comparison of Beatpath with other rank methods:

Different methods meet different criteria. Beatpath meets a few that
Symmetrical ICT doesn't meet. Beatpath fails FBC. Above, I discussed why
that's unacceptable for current conditions. Beatpath has the chicken
dilemma, fully.

Symmetrical ICT meets FBC and doesn't have the chicken dilemma.

For Green scenario conditions, let's compare Beatpath, Benham and Woodall
(defined in previous posts, and defined again at the end of this post):

Beatpath, Benham and Woodall all meet Smith. That means that they all meet
the Condorcet Criterion (CC) and the Mutual Majority Criterion (MMC).
...and Condorcet-Loser too, but that's only an aesthetic-embarrassment

So how do they differ? Beatpath fully has the chicken dilemma. Benham and
Woodall don't have the chicken dilemma. A chicken dilemma makes compliance
with MMC and CC quite meaningless.

Method definitions:


Do IRV till there's an uneliminated candidate who isn't pair-beaten by any
other uneliminated candidate. Elect hir.

[end of Benham definition]


Do iRV till only one initial Smith-set member remains uneliminated. Elect

[end of Woodall definition]


Of course I understand that discussion of voting systems is more fun than
discussion of practical voting under Plurality.   ...And that the latter is
more fun than discussing the mundane practicality of count-legitimacy.

But I suggest that without a legitimate count, there is no legitimate
election or election result, and there is no democracy.

Cowboy, you're getting all ahead of yourself when you debate voting-systems
when we don't even have a legitimate count.

I refer you to an article, published in Harpers, just before the 2012
presidential elections.

The article points out that we need to demand and get a legitimate,
verifiable, transparent count, before the 2014 elections. That's project
#1. Other suggestions and reform efforts are quite pointless until we
accomplish project #1.

Without that, you can forget all about what voting system is in use, or how
we vote, because it's irrelevant.

Here is a URL for the article. It's also a link to the article:

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