[EM] Borda-likes (was: Just to let you know...)

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Tue Jan 17 05:58:54 PST 2023

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your response. I am always confused when you write about a relationship or
similarity between traditional STV and BSTV, given that in the single-seat 3-candidate
case of BSTV which has been detailed, there seems to be no need to invoke STV, and the
results of the two are certainly not similar.

> Borda may have the last word, however. The Quark and the Jaguar, by
> Murray Gell-Mann discusses series patterns found in nature. (I made a
> few notes on it, in an e-book, Science and Democracy Reviews.) For
> instance the statistics of city populations follow a common series. The
> biggest city as unity population, the next biggest city as roughly half
> the size and so on. I forget now, all the examples, whether they were
> harmonic, geometric or arithmetic series. Gell-Mann said they didn't
> know why they did that. Maybe they have found out, by now. It may be
> that similar marked patterns will also be found in voting data. In fact,
> we already know that there is an exponential falling off in voters
> stating their orders of preference. It may be possible to state more
> precise similarities.

Just to check my memory, in the past haven't you stated that elections with partial rankings
are flawed? If voter truncation patterns are dictated by laws of nature, maybe it's best
not to disturb this.

> Binomial STV differs from the general usage, and Borda, in that it
> counts all the preferences, including abstentions, relative to the
> available vacancies.

Well, I only want to ask about the single-winner case. I'm not familiar with any definition
of multi-seat Borda.

> The law of conservation of information is an inter-disciplinary rule
> that, in a closed system, information, like energy, can neither be
> created nor destroyed. In physics, energy and information are being
> translated. The holographic principle was introduced to refute the
> supposed loss of information from an object passing beyond the point of
> no-return, the event horizon, to a black hole. (Leonard Susskind
> discusses it online.) In "electics" or election method, all the
> preference votes are counted. The binomial count is by STV, because
> traditional STV already makes the best use of the information, in a
> rational election count. Binomial STV duplicates a rational count in the
> exclusion count, replacing a crude "last past the post" type exclusion,
> not a lot better than first past the post or simple plurality. ----- For
> Binomial STV, I use a more convenient form of Gregory method, the keep
> value, introduced by Meek method, but capable of much wider use.

Above you say that traditional STV "already makes the best use of the information" but I am
not sure whether you are suggesting that traditional STV obeys the "law of conservation of
preference information." The latter I am sure is not true, because traditional STV will
never regard some lower preferences. So in what way could it be called "conserved," if
nothing ever sees it or uses it.

>  Two candidates are always in a cycle, with just two perms: AB versus
> BA. Three candidates perms display only some cyclicity, which decreases
> exponentially with the number of candidates.

Are you talking about candidate sequences that might occur on individual ballots?

Usually "preference cycle" refers to group preferences. So A and B can't be in a cycle
alone, because the electorate *as a whole* will prefer one of the two (or it's a tie).


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