[EM] smith/schwartz/landau

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Sat Mar 24 21:21:00 PDT 2018

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

Subject: Re: [EM] smith/schwartz/landau

From: "Curt" <accounts at museworld.com>

Date: Sat, March 24, 2018 11:30 pm

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


> Yes, I’ve used the same kind of argument. If, in a two-candidate democratic election, A has more votes than B, should A be the winner? I would argue yes.


> If, in a 99-voter democratic election, A has 50 votes and B has 49, should A be the winner? I would argue yes.


> If, in a 99-voter democratic election, A has 50 unenthusiastic votes and B has 49 wildly enthusiastic votes, should A be the winner? I would argue yes. There are others that argue no, that B has more social utility. I would say this is a difference of opinion that rests not on logic or voting
criteria, but personal values. The two camps can respectfully disagree with each other. Call it the “Majority” versus “Utility” disagreement. I also think there are election types (private organizations, clubs, whatever) where the “Utility” direction might be more
appropriate than the “Majority” direction. That’s fine.

> But, for those elections where we believe that A should be the winner in that scenario -- the “Majority” believers -- that is what leads us to the Condorcet camp, as opposed to Borda, score, range, etc.


> And expanding to multiple candidates, if Candidate A would beat all other candidates head to head, then A should be the winner. A is the Condorcet Winner, just the same as if A is the Condorcet Winner if he has more votes in a two-candidate election.


> (In your final paragraphs, I am not sure if you are talking about a candidate other than the Condorcet Winner, or, a candidate from a multi-candidate Smith Set that would (in the case of a cycle) by definition have another candidate that is preferred over it.)


> But yes, I definitely agree that there should be a bright line between methods that

> A: “elect a Condorcet Winner if one exists”

> and methods that might

> B: “elect a winner other than the Condorcet Winner”.


> For us “Majority” believers, we are in violent agreement that group A is superior to group B.


> But I also believe that there should be a bright line between methods that

> C: identify a “candidate or candidates that would defeat all other candidates head to head”

> and methods that might

> D: “elect a single winner that is not a Condorcet Winner if a CW does not exist”.


> Group C stops with the identification of the Condorcet Winner, or the Smith Set if the CW does not exist. (Or, Group C might stop with the identification of the Weak Condorcet Winner, or the Schwartz Set if the WCW does not exist, *if* beats-or-ties is deemed allowable.)


> Group D contains ranked-pairs, beatpaths, etc.


> The reason I believe in the distinction is because D fails criteria that C does not. And if C and D are conflated, it does a disservice to C. When in large elections with a limited number of candidates, a CW is much more probable than a cycle. It does Condorcet proponents no favors to have
Condorcet Methods described as “flawed” in the way group D is.

> Group D is “decisive” where Group C is not. In these cases I would argue decisiveness is overvalued.

well, organizations and governments have to move on.  they *need* answers and elections are held to provide answers.

for a single-seat (usually executive) office, what would you suggest?  a runoff?


> What do you believe the Smith Set signifies? Is it meaningless to you other than something from which a winner should be algorithmically selected?

it's not meaningless.  it just need not be a concept coded in election law.  remember (i am not sure you got this point), Ranked-Pairs and Schulze do **not** select a winner from the Smith set.  RP and Schulze select a winner from the entire field of candidates using a
consistent rule and, it turns out, that the winner selected by RP or Schulze **is** the CW if a CW exists.  that's in Group A.

"Group A" is a crappy term.  as bad as "turnip".  so here's a quite abridged taxonomy:

Mark-Only-One ballot:

   1. FPTP  (plurality.  decisive)

   2. FPTP runoff if no majority

Mark as many as you want:

   3. Approval
Mark ballot scoring candidates:

   4.  Score voting or Range voting

Ranked-choice ballot:

   5. Bucklin

   6. Borda

   7. IRV

   8. Ranked Pairs (let's say based on margins)

   9. Schulze (margins)

 10. Min/Max

 11. IRV-BTR

then there are all of these esoteric methods that are promoted by some people in this group.
what should be the term that differentiates 8, 9, 10, 11 from 5, 6, 7?

r b-j                         rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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