[EM] “goal of a better election method”

fdpk69p6uq at snkmail.com fdpk69p6uq at snkmail.com
Sun Feb 12 09:52:20 PST 2017

On Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 6:48 AM, steve bosworth stevebosworth-at-hotmail.com
|electorama electowiki/Example Allow| <9zz1sjkwvt at sneakemail.com> wrote:

> My suggested goal for a single-winner election (e.g. for a president,
> governor, or major) is Balinski and Laraki’s:
> “The purpose of … an election is to select, if possible, some candidate
> who shall, in the opinion of a majority of the electors, be most fit for
> the post…” (E. J. Nanson, quoted by Balinski and Laraki, *Majority
> Judgment*, MIT, 2011, p.209).

I definitely disagree with this quote, after learning of the difference
between majoritarian and utilitarian systems.  I'm solidly in the
utilitarian camp now:

The purpose of an election is to select the candidate who maximizes the
utility/happiness/satisfaction of the voters.  (*All* the voters; not half.)

Also, “... to determine as precisely as possible, the true aggregate wills
> of electorates ….” (Ibid, p. 388).

This sounds more like utilitarianism.  If the electorate's positions on
political issues are plotted in a multi-dimensional issue space, the winner
should be the candidate who is nearest to their centroid (= the aggregate
wills of the electorate).  This goal is incompatible with the previous goal
of majority rule.

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