[EM] MUMA like method with MJ style ballots

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Wed Oct 5 13:35:55 PDT 2016


All of your comments are accurate and relevant, and the chicken problem is
the greatest; my proposal is no better than plain Approval in that regard.

Still as a public proposal it might be relatively easy to sell, especially
if we call it ...

:"Fewest Grades Below Average versus Most Grades Above Average"

 (abbreviated FGBAvsMGAA),

and bill it as an instant runoff between the candidate given the fewest
number of below average grades and the candidate given the greatest number
of above average grades by the voters.

[A grade of C is considered average.]

Simplify it by sticking with the traditional A, B, C, D, and F grade
options, with D as the default grade.

This method shares with ordinary Instant Runoff the perception that it is
completely safe to vote your favorite strictly above your compromise
candidate, only in this case it's much, much closer to the truth.

There's room to distinguish Favorite (Green), Compromise (Libertarian),
Blah(Gerald Ford), LesserEvil(Stalin), and Greater Evil(Hitler).

The biggest complaint against Approval by IRV supporters is that Approval
requires you to vote your compromise equal with your favorite (or not
approve your compromise at all).

So I propose it as a good method that could compete successfully against

We could call it the "Lake Wobegon" method because (according to Garrison
Keillor) that's where all of the women are strong, all of the men are good
looking, and all of the children are above average.


On Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 4:35 AM, Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>

> I think Forest's proposed method is quite a good one in practice. But as
> soon as you bring pairwise into the picture, you fall into a trilemma:
> 1. If you do pairwise between more than two candidates, you need a
> Condorcet tiebreaker, and so complexity explodes.
> 2. If you do pairwise between two candidates selected by different ballot
> thresholds, then only one of the chicken-dilemma allies will make it; this
> means that the chicken problem will be as bad as in approval.
> 3. If you do pairwise between the top two candidates at one ballot
> threshold (ie, above-bottom), then you encourage cloning.
> Forest's proposal falls into 2. Personally, I think 3 is the best of those
> options. For instance, I'd like a 3-slot "pairwise winner of the most
> acceptable" (PWMA) method: 3-slot ballots, elects pairwise winner between
> the two with fewest explicit bottom-ranks.
> Or, for a system that falls into 1, "pairwise MUMA": eliminate as in MUMA,
> choose the CW if one exists, otherwise fall back to MUMA (most upvotes).
> I think any system falling into 1 or 3 will in practice get results as
> good as MUMA. In fact, slightly better: it helps deal with center squeeze.
> I have my doubts about 2; it could spoil over chicken strategy.
> Also, a minor point: any method that brings a pairwise race into account
> is n²-summable, not n-summable. This has implications for ballot-counting
> machines.
> All in all, though, I still favor MUMA as the simplest robust system that
> beats approval.
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