[EM] Best Single-Winner Method (steve bosworth)

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Mon May 20 13:52:27 PDT 2019

> The final version that I proposed was essentially a three slot version of
> Majority Judgment where the grades are Preferred, Acceptable, and
> Unacceptable:

If some candidate is the most preferred on more than half of the ballots,
elect the most preferred, otherwise the most approved.

["most approved" means marked unacceptable on the fewest ballots]

This is simpler than MJ in a few ways: (1) the definition, including how to
count requires fewer words. (2)  Ballots are simpler ... fewer boxes per
candidate. (3) It is the minimum change from Approval that preserves the
FBC, Monotonicity, and Clone Independence, with enough resolution to
distinguish Favorite, Compromise, and Dispised by different grades when so

That said, allowing the proxy option is such a great improvement in
simplicity that it could offset the loss in simplicity incurred by
(unnecessarily) increasing the resolution from 3 to 5, and incorporating
the details of the refined tie breaking scheme of MJ, depending on the

It depends on whether the members of the electorate (i.e. voters) would
appreciate the increased expressivity of the MJ ballot, or consider it to
be a nuisance.

How about a three slot version of Bucklin with a proxy option box, and a
front end check for a ballot CW thrown in at no extra cost?


> Sennet Williams,  Forest Simmons, Robert Bristow-Johnson, Abd dul Raman
> Lomax, and Chris Benham have recently addressed each others? claims about
> IRV, 3-slot Methods, IBIFA, and Asset.  This discussion prompts me to
> request some help later after I have clarified several issues.
> Firstly, please correct me if I am mistaken but currently I am assuming
> that  we all would ideally want the Best Single-Winner Method:
>   1.  To be simple enough so voters  can both use it and understand how it
> is counted;
>   2.  To minimize the wasting of citizens? votes (see below),  and
>   3.  To guarantee that the winner among 3 or more candidates is the
> candidate most supported by at least 50% plus one (an absolute majority) of
> all the citizens voting, and
>   4.  To offer as few incentives and possibilities for voting tactical.
> Given these desires, currently I see Majority Judgment (MJ) as superior to
> all of the above methods on each of these counts.  However, since the above
> discussions have not mentioned MJ, I assume that many contributors would
> reject this claim for MJ.  This is why I would very much appreciate
> receiving any of your clarifications or explanations of how my claim for MJ
> cannot be sustained.  What important flaws to you see in MJ?
> To help you to marshal your criticisms of MJ, please let me explain more
> full my own understandings and reasons for favoring MJ.  Firstly, I see a
> citizen?s vote as being wasted quantitatively to the degree that it fails
> equally to help one of their most trusted candidates to win.  A citizen?s
> vote is wasted qualitatively to the degree that it instead helps to elect a
> candidate whom they judge less fit for office, rather than an available
> candidate judged to be more fit.
> Other than in MJ, such waste is present in all the existing methods,
> whether they ask voters to rank, score, or approve as many of the
> candidates as they might wish.  Of course, most dramatic is the waste
> provided by plurality or First-Past-The-Post voting.
> To counter qualitative waste, Balinski and Laraki (Majority Judgment, 2010
> MIT) argue that our capacity for judging qualities of human behavior can be
> most meaningfully expressed in an election by each voter grading each
> candidate?s suitability for office as either Excellent (ideal), Very Good,
> Good, Acceptable, Poor, or ?Reject? (entirely unsuitable).  These grades
> are more discerning, meaningful, and informative than merely expressing
> preferences or using numeric scores[MOU1] , X?s or ticks.  Such grading
> makes it more likely that the highest quality candidate will be elected in
> the eyes of the electorate.
> Each candidate who is not explicitly graded is counted as ?Reject? by that
> voter.  As a result, all the candidates will receiv the same number of
> evaluations, but a different set of grades from the voters.  The Majority
> Judgment (MJ) winner is the one who has received grades from an absolute
> majority of all the voters that are equal to, or higher than, the highest
> median-grade given to any candidate. This median-grade is found as follows:
>   *   Place all the grades, high to low, top to bottom, in side-by-side
> columns, the name of each candidate at the top of each of these columns.
>   *   The median-grade for each candidate is the grade located half way
> down each column, i.e. in the middle if there is an odd number of voters,
> the lower middle if the number is even.
> If more than one candidate has the same highest median-grade, the MJ
> winner is discovered by removing (one-by-one) any grades equal in value to
> the current highest median grade from each tied candidate?s total until
> only one of the previously tied candidates currently has the highest
> remaining median-grade.
> Also, in contrast to the alternatives, Balinski  explains how MJ reduces
> by almost half, both the incentives and opportunities for effective
> tactical voting.  Thus, each voter has every appropriate incentive, not
> only to vote but to reveal their honest evaluations of each candidate.
> Thus, to me, using MJ should be simpler and more satisfying because
> grading many candidates is both easier and more meaningful than ranking or
> scoring them.  Also, finding and comparing the median-grades of all the
> candidate is quite simple.  Unlike MJ, IRV, Condorcet methods, and Scoring
> do not guarantee the election of the candidate most preferred by at least
> 50% plus one of all the citizens voting.  Unlike IRV but like Condorcet
> methods and Score, MJ does not eliminate any candidate until the winner is
> discovered.
> Finally, I would favor the following Asset option to be added at the
> bottom of each MJ ballot:  Any citizen who currently feels that they do not
> yet know enough about any of the candidates to grade them, can instead give
> their proxy vote to the Register Elector who will do this for them.  They
> could do this  by WRITING-IN the published code of that Registered Elector.
> I look forward to your comments.
> Steve
> ________________________________
> *********
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20190520/e9944ee9/attachment.html>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list