[EM] Borda?????

Dick Burkhart dickburkhart at comcast.net
Mon Jan 6 10:25:39 PST 2014

>From the point of view of a well-informed and fair voter, score / range /
cardinal voting is by the best, with simplistic comparisons (A or B) being
"ick". But when killing strategic voting is your # 1 concern, not promoting
more thoughtful voting, you want just the opposite. 

Ranking, with Borda-type compilation, is a great compromise:  It's not a
perfect for those with strong opinions, yet it imposes a certain discipline
that, if done properly, minimizes the effects of any strategic voting. And,
of course, it has the overwhelming virtues of being somewhat proportional
while at the same time encouraging strategic alliances (more consensus, less

Borda is often attacked by citing a straw man case - strategic ranking of
all candidates, maybe even with clones. That's why I use only the top few
rankings ('n' rankings for 'n' positions, except at least 3), with a
proportional primary in the most high stakes partisan cases.

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

-----Original Message-----
From: election-methods-bounces at lists.electorama.com
[mailto:election-methods-bounces at lists.electorama.com] On Behalf Of robert
Sent: January 04, 2014 8:44 PM
To: election-methods at lists.electorama.com
Subject: Re: [EM] Borda?????

On 1/4/14 2:50 PM, Dick Burkhart wrote:
> The fundamental problem with criteria based on "X over Y" preferences 
> (Condorcet, Mutual Majority, etc.) is that all such criteria ignore 
> the intensity of the preference (a ranking of 5 to1 counts the same as
> 3 to 2, for example). This is why Borda-type methods are superior - 
> they don't throw away critical information. Donald Saari explains the 
> mathematics of this well in "Decisions and Elections".

didn't expect to see anyone plugging Borda here. Borda is a variant of 
Score voting. like Score, it requires too much information from voters, 
imposes more "meaning" to the ranking than the voters might intend to 
mean, and is totally fraught with strategy/tactic.

pretty much "ick".

first imagine a two-possible-outcome election with a binary choice. 
everyone (even the plurality guys) agree how that election should be 
decided. now it doesn't matter that you really, really, really, really, 
really like your candidate and i only marginally prefer mine. my vote 
counts just as much as yours. by ranking Candidate A higher than 
Candidate B only means that between A and B, i prefer A more. that's 
all. if i rank A>B>C, all that means is that i prefer A over B in a 
mano-a-mano race and likewise B over C and between A and C, all we know 
is that i would vote for A. and whether i nearly prefer A, B, and C 
equally (but if you force me to choose, i take A over B and C and B over 
C) or i hate C's guts, my vote for A or B over C still just counts as 
one vote. that is the fundamental failing of Borda or Score voting.

we're not judges at the Winter Olympics holding up score cards. we're 
partisans. and, depending on the circumstances, with Borda or Score, we 
may end up amplifying our choice insincerely to try to get our favorite 


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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