[EM] What should an ideal single-winner method achieve?

Toby Pereira tdp201b at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jun 27 07:31:17 PDT 2019

With all the discussion of different single-winner methods and the criteria they pass and fail, I'm interested to know what you think the "ideal" method should hope to achieve. For example, some people might want to maximise utility summed across the voters. Others might want to find the candidate that is closest to the "median voter". For others it might be more about obeying some sort of majority criterion (e.g. Condorcet). Etc.
Personally, the measure that makes most sense to me is to maximise utility. But this doesn't automatically mean score voting (where a score could simply be seen as a utility rating of a candidate), at least in part because strategies that voters adopt might reduce its effectiveness. Obviously a voting method also needs to be simple enough to understand (in terms of voting and understanding how the winner is calculated), and it might be that different types of election suit different methods.
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