[EM] Comparing CW with "write-in pairwise" CW

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Mon Oct 28 18:17:09 PDT 2013

On 10/27/13 11:26 AM, Kevin Venzke wrote:
> Recently I wrote about the concept of allowing write-in votes in individual pairwise contests. I prefer the "approval" formulation which depicts each pairwise contest as an Approval race. In effect the meaning is that an ordinary pairwise win of X over Y is replaced by a tie, when more voters prefer some other candidate Z to both X and Y, than the number of voters who prefer X to Y.
> The motivation behind this concept is to try to come up with a pairwise relationship with some intuitive relevance to the election as a whole. If candidate X has no possibility of winning the election, then I want to recognize as "noise" his pairwise wins, because they don't (or should not!) aid him, and any effect they do have will be arbitrary.

again, i just don't see the need.  if X has no possibility of winning 
the election, he/she will lose to at least one (likely more) other 
candidate in a pairwise comparison.

i know this doesn't fit with your "approval" formulation, but i still 
have trouble connecting "approval" to Condorcet since the ballots and 
marking of the ballot are different.  truly Approval (using the Approval 
ballot) requires less information from the voter than a Ranked ballot.  
(and, in my opinion, requires more voting tactics from savvy voters than 
a ranked ballot which is why i don't like Approval for political 
elections.  i could maybe see it work for "non-partisan" judicial or 
commissioner elections.)

> Furthermore, there should be no shame in being indecisive, considering that Condorcet is often indecisive as well.

how often, really, is Condorcet indecisive in a real election?  in 
Burlington in 2009, we had a sorta "indecisive" election where the IRV, 
FPTP, and Condorcet winners were three different candidates.  yet the 
Condorcet preference was clear, all the way down the line (if the CW was 
removed, there was a clear CW among the remaining candidates).



r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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