[EM] Fixing Narkive (Re: help with advocacy)

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Fri Apr 16 00:08:08 PDT 2021

I agree with VoteFair Richard that voter friendly naming is important.

Round Robin and Head-to-Head are familiar concepts ... good for introducing

Beats All is another good descriptor.

If we ever need the concept of Smith, ... a Smith candidate has Beat Paths
to all of the other candidates.

Shifting gears ...

IRV false claims should be challenged in court, and court injunctions
issued against false and misleading verbiage...

Three of the most common misleading claims ...

1. IRV always finds a majority winner. In reality, this is impossible when
majorities prefer A over B and B over C and C over A. It is true that the
winner is preferred by a majority of the unexausted ballots over the last
candidate to be eliminated ... but nothing more can be claimed truthfully.

2. The optimum strategy is to rank the candidates sincerely. ... This claim
assumes zero information about preferences of other voters.

3. If you rank Y immediately after X, then in the event X is eliminated,
your vote will be transferred to Y.  That holds only if X is eliminated
before Y is eliminated.

In my previous message I explained why (unless most ballots are exhaustied
before the final round) this promise cannot be kept on more than half of
the ballos if there is no majority first place candidate ... the only case
that justifies ranked choice style ballots in the first place. So this
claim is not just a tiny white lie that hardly ever occurs in practice ...
its pervasive violation is inevitable (except perhaps when rankings are
woefully incomplete).

Try to find even one reasonable scenario with complete rankings where this
claim holds true on most ballots.

On Thursday, April 15, 2021, Forest Simmons <fsimmons at pcc.edu> wrote:

>  Rob,
> I was trying to find Eppley's July 2007 article in the Pasadena weekly by
> Googling Eppley VPR, and that Narkive result came up.
> Besides BTR-IRV some other minimal tweaks to greatly improve IRV (though
> not as viable as your idea) are Voting Published Rankings (VPR) and the
> Candidate Withdrawal option, ... both thoroughly expounded by Eppley.
> Also we could mimic the movement of states pledging their Electoral
> College votes to the plurality winner ... by pledges to support the
> Pairwise Winner in the context of ranked choice ballots.
> That doesn't confer Smith compliance, but the following version would do
> so for a small cost ... very small compared to the total cost of IRV:
> If the base method is loser elimination like IRV, then as soon as there is
> a Pairwise Winner among the remaining candidates, the pledge takes effect.
> If there are not enough pledge votes to render further rounds moot, then
> the rounds continue until pledged votes are sufficient to give the
> (current) pairwise winner (among the remaining candidates) an outright
> majority of the votes still in play.
> Ideally the technology should accommodate voter pledges as well as
> candidate pledges.
> Way too much for the current Burlington situation, but a way to respect
> voter wishes when the base method is incapable of delivering as advertised:
> "... your second choice will be there to take effect should your first
> choice be eliminated..."
> For that promise to be fulfilled at every stage for some voter, the
> candidates would have to be eliminated in the same order as the ranking
> order of that voter. If that promise is kept to most voters, then most
> ballots would have the same first choice, so nobody's second choice would
> matter. So IRV propaganda makes a promise that cannot be kept  to more than
> half of the voters except vacuously ... i.e. when the IRV winner is
> identical to the Plurality winner, i.e. when IRV does not improve on
> Plurality.
> So any advantage IRV has over Plurality depends on a disingenuous promise
> ... it cannot give different results from Plurality without violating that
> promise on at least half of the ballots.
> It's not that IRV fails to keep that promise once in a while ... pervasive
> failure is inevitable!
>  It sounds to me like grounds for a law suit!
> My Best,
> Forest
> On Thursday, April 15, 2021, Rob Lanphier <roblan at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Forest,
>> You linked to Narkive in a very recent message, referring to Steve
>> Eppley's rhetoric from long ago:
>> On Thu, Apr 15, 2021 at 4:19 PM Forest Simmons <fsimmons at pcc.edu> wrote:
>> > https://election-methods.electorama.narkive.com/8HqX0Gjr/
>> single-winner-election-data-from-the-openstv-database
>> Your email led me to visit this URL:
>> https://election-methods.electorama.narkive.com/
>> It appears as though Narkive has stopped archiving EM-list since 2018.
>> I did a little bit of checking the website for more information:
>> https://narkive.com/legalese
>> I would love to figure out how to restore that, but I'm not sure how.
>> Can you (or anyone) find contact information for the maintainer(s) of
>> Narkive?  I have some ideas, and I'm planning to follow through on
>> them, but it could be that I'm missing out on an obvious FAQ that
>> tells me where to go for technical questions, but my hunch is that
>> it's deliberately vague, since the website is a small-time operation
>> (much like this mailing list)
>> Rob
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