[EM] What is the goal of a "better" election method?

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Mon Jan 9 01:42:55 PST 2017

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: [EM] What is the goal of a "better" election method?

From: "Sennet Williams" <sennetwilliams at yahoo.com>

Date: Sun, January 8, 2017 9:49 pm

To: "election-methods at electorama.com" <election-methods at electorama.com>

for me, the end goal of a "better" election method (like Ranked-Choice Voting decided by a Condorcet-compliant method) is FAIRNESS and INCLUSION.
Fairness for voters means
1. Level playing field
for *all* voters ("One person, one vote")
2. No burden of tactical voting (therefore no punishment for voting sincerely) in a multi-candidate election.  No voter regret. 
3. Obtain and use contingency preference information from voter. Sincere voting is
facilitated.  Should be obvious to voter how to vote for their second choice.
4. Minimum burden to vote.  No delayed runoff that
Fairness for the candidates means
5. Level playing field for *all* candidates and parties.  The two major parties have no systemic
advantage over the other parties or independent candidates. (Remove Duverger's law and give 3rd parties a level playing field with the major parties.)
6. No advantage realized for "swinging" voting strategy or "gaming" the system.
7. No punishing losing candidate (who
runs sincerely) by making that candidate a spoiler and hurting their allies.
Fairness for everyone means
8. No pathologies.  (No spoiler, no non-monotonicity)
9. Transparency for honest, authoritative elections that nearly everyone can accept and no one can rig. "Precinct
summability" is part of this.
10. Tabulation method and identifying the winner is simple and comprehendable to everyone and generally accepted as "fair".
To this end, I support Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) (but *not* the Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) that is
promoted by FairVote.org).  The tabulation method should be Condorcet compliant which means simply:
"If more voters mark their ballots that they prefer Candidate A over Candidate B than the number of voters who mark their ballot to the contrary, then Candidate B is not
stated less precisely:
"If a majority of voters prefer Candidate A to Candidate B, then Candidate B is not elected."
I want this to be true whether there is a Candidate C in the election or not.  I don't want the presence of Candidate C to change the
apparent preference of Candidate A over Candidate B.
Condorcet is not perfect (Arrow's Impossibility Theorem says no system is perfect), but I think does better than any other system.  I believe that the Ranked Ballot requires just the right amount of information from the voters.
 Score Voting requires too much information and Approval Voting requires too little information from the voters.  So also, of course, the traditional Vote-For-Only-One ballot requires to little information from voters.

> I follow this list when I can, but it is not really clear what the benefit would be of a different election system, except possibly "counting more votes" or "representing more voters."  It seems like a waste of energy unless it will accomplish a goal that the most
eligiible voters will be motivated by. 
> -Personally, I want "better govt."  

> -China  is working to end "multi-party politics" because it results in bad govt. (I think that the Chinese govt. is referring to parliament rather than the two-party system)
well, one-party rule in government is the best.  as long as it's *my* party.
 -The Berkeley Daily Cal editorialized for IRV because "IRV lets you vote for who you really want"  (something to that effect, that was a long time ago and memory fades)
and the Burlington 2009 election (where the IRV winner, the Condorcet winner, and the plurality winner
were three different candidates) is a counter example.  there were about 1/6 of the voters that found out that simply by marking their first choice as #1, they **caused** the election of their least favorite candidate.  they voted for who they really wanted and they were punished for it in
the election result.

> The point is, comments on this list might be more effective if you declare1-what benefit to the organization that your voting system will accomplish.

> Keep in mind that lots of people DO NOT want to enfranchise more voters.  They might not see the benefit of it.  More people voting reduces the influence of the previous voters.
well, then let's take that to extremes and disenfranchise everyone except me.  whoever i cast my
vote for, that's the person who wins.

r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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