[EM] Fwd: U/P voting: new name for simple 3-level method.

Jameson Quinn jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Thu Sep 8 08:09:31 PDT 2016

2016-09-08 0:52 GMT-04:00 Kevin Venzke <stepjak at yahoo.fr>:

> Hi Jameson,
> MCA (the one with three slots) has the simpler description surely? If
> there's a majority preferred, elect the most preferred; else elect the most
> approved (least disapproved).

Using parallel language to yours, here's U/P:

If there's a majority acceptable (minority unacceptable), elect the one of
those that's most preferred. Else elect the most preferred.

That's 4 words more complicated. You could do it in fewer than 4 extra
words if you really wanted.

> There is another method where you elect the approval winner unless there
> are multiple candidates with a majority, in which case preferred ratings
> break the "tie."
> Your earlier message says "The winner is the non-disqualified candidate
> with the most approvals" but I assume this should say "most preferred."
> So you are saying if nobody manages to get majority approval, you will
> only be using the top ratings and ignoring "acceptable" ratings? That is
> unusual; my instinct is that if we can't find a majority we should try to
> find votes to get as close as possible. There's a risk that you are
> collecting enough information to permit concluding e.g. that a simultaneous
> approval and Condorcet winner lost.

Yes, this is possible. But consider the kind of scenario where it happens:

20: A>B
20: A,B
19: B
2: C>B
39: C

In this case A wins, even though B is approval and Condorcet winner. But I
find this kind of thing very implausible in practice; and if such a
pathology occurred, it would not be a horrible outcome. It's implausible
because the electorate above is bizarrely top-heavy in its ratings; except
for the C>B voters, who could make B win by voting C,B, in view of the fact
that C is a clear loser against A and B.

It's not a horrible outcome because a majority of the electorate is fine
with A, and there are more voters enthusiastic about A than about B.

> I don't see why you are making rules for unmarked candidates if your
> intended advantage is simplicity. I believe you explained why you have this
> to somebody else, so I won't ask you to repeat, but I wonder about the
> effect of the sentence that starts "And second." You're saying that if A
> has majority preferred+acceptable, but is not top two on preferred ratings,
> to count blanks as disapproved in hopes that this might remove A's majority
> approval (or rather, non-disapproval)?

No. I'm saying that if the top two preferred are both disqualified, then
all blanks should count as "unacceptable", including for those top two.

Consider a scenario like the following:

48: A>...>B; C?
48: B>...>A; C?
1: A>...>C; B?
3: C>...>A,B

Both A and B are majority disqualified. So all the ? count as unacceptable,
C is disqualified, and A wins. If ? were acceptable, then C would win.

Contrast with:

48: A>...>B; C?
48: B>...>A; C?
1: A>...>C; B?
3: C>...>A; B?

Now, B is not majority disqualified, because the C voters explicitly
dislike A more. The ? count as acceptable, and B wins.

> Aside from the weird Clone-Loser issue in having a top-two rule on a
> ratings ballot,

The chances that one faction would go to all the trouble of a clone
campaign simply to get the uncertain advantage of guaranteeing that ?
counts as unacceptable... seems very remote to me.

> it feels a little schizophrenic to me that you really want winners to have
> majority non-disapproval yet do not actually think it indicates a worthy
> candidate.

I think that majority explicit non-disapproval does indicate a worthy
candidate; and that majority implicit non-disapproval is better than
majority disapproval IF the candidate achieved sufficient scrutiny (which
we can assume is true for the two frontrunners). But I think that unless we
have evidence that a candidate got scrutinized, majority of combined
unacceptable or didn't-bother-rating is as bad as a majority of

> I tend to think we will be lucky if we can consistently get even one
> majority non-disapproved candidate in elections.

I disagree. The people who hate both frontrunners in the current system are
louder than those who are OK with either; and in the current presidential
election, they might well be more numerous; but in the average election, I
think that "either one is acceptable" is more common than we might realize.

In a U/P race with two major candidates, one of those is basically
> guaranteed to get the label penalty in the next race.

Note that in the current system, "you lost last time" usually means you
don't get to run again. Gore, Kerry, McCain, Romney... didn't run again
after being nominated. Clinton... waited a cycle. So this rule would mostly
matter only for those who won in a NOTA election (that is, one in which all
candidates had majority unacceptable). I think that there should be some
difference between "won with majority acceptable" and "won despite majority
unacceptable", and that a label penalty that the voters can choose to
ignore is not excessive.

> Kevin
> ------------------------------
> *De :* Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>
> *À :* EM <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>;
> electionsciencefoundation <electionscience at googlegroups.com>
> *Envoyé le :* Mercredi 7 septembre 2016 12h59
> *Objet :* Re: [EM] U/P voting: new name for simple 3-level method.
> The main advantage of U/P voting over other systems like MJ or MCA is
> simplicity of description. So I'm going to try to describe it as simply as
> possible.
> To vote, you rate each person running as "preferred", "acceptable", or
> "unacceptable". You can rate any number at each level.
> If more than half of voters rate a person "unacceptable", that person
> can't win, unless the same is true of all the people running. Of those
> remaining, the winner is the one rated "preferred" by the most voters.
> If you leave all three ratings blank for a candidate, that usually means
> the same as rating them "acceptable". There are two exceptions. First, if
> you made a mark to rate some candidates "acceptable", then the ones you
> didn't make any mark for are counted as "unacceptable". And second, if the
> two most-preferred candidates both can't win, because more than half of
> voters marked them "unacceptable", then candidates with no mark count as
> "unacceptable". That way, you don't end up letting a weak candidate win by
> mistake.
> 2016-09-06 13:17 GMT-04:00 Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>:
> I've recently posted a few messages discussing a simple 3-level graded
> Bucklin method:
> Ballot: For each candidate, you may rate them “preferred”, “acceptable”,
> or “unacceptable”. Any candidate, including an incumbent, who had gotten
> over 50% "unacceptable" in the prior election would have a note to that
> effect next to their name on the ballot. (In prior messages, I'd suggested
> not allowing them on the ballot. I now think that allowing them on, but
> with a note, would be better.)
> Counting: For the current eIection, if some but not all candidates have a
> majority (50%+1) of “unacceptable” votes, then they are disqualified. The
> winner is the non-disqualified candidate with the most approvals.
> My new name for the above system is U/P voting. It stands for
> "unacceptable/preferred", and can be pronounced "up voting" for quick
> discussion; or "you pee voting" if necessary to avoid confusion.
> ----
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