[EM] Chicken Dilemma--To whom is it a problem?

Dick Burkhart dickburkhart at comcast.net
Sun Oct 20 19:52:38 PDT 2013

Ranking, of course, will never reveal one's exact preferences. On the other
hand, I can't recall a single instance where in a cardinal voting situation
that I actually was anywhere near certain of my exact preferences. It was
always a crap shoot. 

That's why I think ranking is better: It imposes a certain discipline that
will often get more satisfactory preferences than the total freedom given by
cardinal voting, even disregarding the strong temptation to do strategic
voting with the latter.

Dick Burkhart
4802 S Othello St,  Seattle, WA  98118
206-721-5672 (home)  206-851-0027 (cell)
dickburkhart at comcast.net

-----Original Message-----
From: Kristofer Munsterhjelm [mailto:km_elmet at t-online.de] 
Sent: October 20, 2013 3:24 PM
To: Dick Burkhart
Cc: 'Kevin Venzke'; election-methods at electorama.com
Subject: Re: [EM] Chicken Dilemma--To whom is it a problem?

On 10/20/2013 10:34 PM, Dick Burkhart wrote:
> The problem with Condorcet, SDSC, and the like is that they ignore 
> crucial information - namely, the strengths of the voters preferences 
> of one candidate over another. That is how mathematician Donald Saari 
> can argue for the superiority of Borda, and why others argue for cardinal

On the other hand, preference strength is not well defined - at least not
unless one provides some kind of utility standard. A rating could be an
opinion (going from bad to good) or an expected value (taking dynamics of
the "game" of the election plus polls into account). The more it is akin to
the latter, the more it moves the calculations from the method itself to the
minds of the voters.

(I wrote about this once before. See
, where I probably explained it better than I am now.)

So if ranking has a problem in that it reveals to little, then rating has a
problem that exactly what a rating means is ambiguous. It can be solved
objectively, by stating a standard scale or saying the people define such a
standard themselves. It can also be solved subjectively, by saying a vote
means what the voter wants it to mean and thus its instrumental purpose is
what is important. But neither case is without problems of its own: the
former in that one has to show why exactly this objective standard is right,
and the latter in that it can hollow out the method, requiring the voters to
do calculation that the method should properly do.

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