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

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Thu Jun 27 13:07:25 PDT 2019

1. One person, one vote.  this does **not** maximize utility because it says that if I really really like my Candidate A much more than Candidate B and you only slightly prefer your Candidate B over A, your vote for B>A counts no less (nor no more) than my vote
for A>B.  This does not maximize utility but sticks with the principle that all of we citizen voters have an equal franchise in government, which is fundamental to me.  More fundamental than maximizing the mean utility over the electorate..
2. Removing the burden of tactical
voting from voters and removing the temptation of strategic voting from campaigns.  This implies some method to prevent or at least impede spoilers from swinging an election.
3. Majority rule, which is strictly defined only for binary decisions.  This leads to Condorcet: If more
voters mark their ballots preferring Candidate A over Candidate B than the number of voters marking their ballots to the contrary, then Candidate B is not elected.
4. Election integrity.  This means paper ballots (and, i presume, optical scan ballot box).  The physical instrument
that the voter marks must have the candidate names on it, so there is no "registration" or alignment problem where the voter thinks they're voting for "A", but somehow "B" gets marked.  Another thing this means is simple straightforward rules for tallying votes and
deciding the winner.  Another would be precinct-summability.
That pretty much leaves me with ranked-choice ballots where ties on the ballot are allowed.  Enough ranking levels that every candidate on the ballot can be ranked (so no one is
"disenfranchised").  And a good and simple Condorcet method.  I am still leaning toward Tideman RP Margins.
and FUCK THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE!!!   line them all up against the wall and shoot them.
(still pissed about today's Supreme Court
gerrymandering decision.  the bastards.  we should shoot the five of them.)
r b-j

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

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

From: "Toby Pereira" <tdp201b at yahoo.co.uk>

Date: Thu, June 27, 2019 7:31 am

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


> 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.
> Toby----

> Election-Methods mailing list - see https://electorama.com/em for list info



r b-j                         rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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