[EM] Best Single-Winner Method- not Condorcet

steve bosworth stevebosworth at hotmail.com
Fri Jun 28 12:45:43 PDT 2019

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2019 13:07:25 -0700
From: "robert bristow-johnson" <rbj at audioimagination.com>
To: "EM List" <election-methods at electorama.com>
Subject: Re: [EM] What should an ideal single-winner method achieve?
        <c72c539139edd923429da315bd373715.squirrel at webmail04.register.com>
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R: 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.?....

S:  Please explain why you think one citizen’s vote should have more weight than another citizen’s vote?  Also, to remove the question about the different intensities with which citizens may *like* or prefer one candidate over another, you may wish to consider MJ’s use of  up to 6 different grades to remove all such ambiguity (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Acceptable, Poor, or Reject).  Preferences can be inferred from a list of grades but grades cannot be inferred from rankings.

R: 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.

S: If so, you would seem to have every reason to prefer MJ to the alternatives.  MJ guarantees this *equal franchise* by treating each vote equally when electing the winner who has received at least 50% plus one citizen’s vote of all the votes cast.  This winner has received this number of grades that are higher than, or equal to, the highest median-grade received by any of the candidates.  Thus, at the same time, the candidate has been elected judge by the majority to be most fit for office, i.e. the one most likely and able to help *maximize* the *utility* of the society represented by the electorate.  What do you think?

R:  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.

S:  Please consider Balinski and Laraki’s explanations of how MJ reduces by almost *half*,  both the incentives and possibilities successfully to vote *strategically* (2010 Majority Judgment, MIT, pp. 14, 15, 19, 187-198, 374).

R:  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.

S: Please note that MJ offers *majority rule* in the context of single-winners by avoiding such *binary decisions*.

R: 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.

S:  MJ fully satisfies all the above conditions.

R: 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

S: No, MJ achieves this more completely, meaningfully, and without wasting any of the votes that are always possible when using any Condorcet method*.


S:  I look forward to our next dialogue.


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