[EM] Burlington and Condorce methods

steve bosworth stevebosworth at hotmail.com
Mon May 20 15:37:04 PDT 2019

   1. Re: re Burlington (Richard Lung)
   2. Re: Best Single-Winner Method (steve bosworth)


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 20 May 2019 19:52:59 +0100
From: Richard Lung <voting at ukscientists.com>
To: rbj at audioimagination.com, election-methods at electorama.com
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Richard Lung quoted the following:

"But it is only Condorcet that elects the candidate that is explicitly
preferred by voters over every other candidate."

However, if my claims in the next contribution listed are correct, it is only Majority Judgment that guarantees the election of the candidate, whom by implication, is the one most preferred by at least 50% plus one of all the citizens voting.  Also, their is not always even a Condorcet winner even by a plurality.  What do you think.  I'm I mistaken?



Message: 2
Date: Mon, 20 May 2019 19:46:51 +0000
From: steve bosworth <stevebosworth at hotmail.com>
To: EM list <election-methods at electorama.com>
Subject: Re: [EM] Best Single-Winner Method
        <AM6PR06MB5795BF1BA275EFCFD1300EDDB6060 at AM6PR06MB5795.eurprd06.prod.outlook.com>

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Re: Best Single- Winner Method

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.


 [MOU1]Numerical scores

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