[EM] Suppose, for a moment, there were never any cycles...

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Mon Jan 23 09:07:41 PST 2023

> On 01/23/2023 9:08 AM EST Kevin Venzke <stepjak at yahoo.fr> wrote:
> Hi Robert,
> Ok, you make your position clear that you don't really think choice of method imparts
> different incentives on anyone.

uhm, is that what I said?  How did you come to such clarity on my position?  You said:

> > To the extent a method deals badly with spoilers, the interested parties will aim to avoid
> > the issue through their nomination choices or voting advice.
> > 

And I replied:

> I doubt it.  I doubt that, on the local, state, or national level, anyone will be looking at this to strategically nominate candidates that somehow will prevail if FPTP fails to get a majority or if IRV fails to elect the CW or if a Condorcet method has to deal with a cycle.  I predict zero nominations will be materially affected by such considerations.

I'm saying that parties will nominate who they nominate based on the party's internal politics and whether the general election is FPTP, IRV, or a Condorcet method, will not likely change who is *nominated*.

It certainly could change who is elected in the general election.  And whether FPTP, IRV, or Condorcet is used in the primary election process, *that* could change who is nominated.  But the subtle complexity of the method in the general will most likely never affect the nomination debate where Republican A will say "I will prevail against the Democrat if IRV is used whereas my opponent, Republican B, will fail to."  That conversation will never happen at any essential level.

> I would think you would at least agree that if the Alaska race had been determined under
> FPP, Begich would probably receive fewer votes, assuming he would insist on running,

I do.  But if it was FPTP and Palin didn't run, I am quite confident that Begich would be in the U.S. House at this time.  Certainly he would have been in October.

> given
> an expectation of placing third, with a greater likelihood of playing spoiler. (Ditto this
> basic idea for most three-way IRV races.)

Yes, but it wasn't Begich who was the spoiler in August.

> > > For example FPP always elects the CW on those ballots.
>> > Oh, that seems to me to be a little disingenuous.  There's only one ranking level other than
> > unranked.  You don't know who the CW is if voters were allowed to be more specific about
> > their preferences.  It's like the Approval folks insisting that their better at electing the
> > CW than IRV.
> So what do you think would happen if FPP was actually conducted with rank ballots?

Oh, c'mon, Kevin...  If the voters were issued ranked ballots and told that **only** their first-choice vote will count and the candidate with most first-choice votes in the one-and-only round will be elected, what I think would happen is massive voter confusion.

> I dare
> speculate that most FPP elections are won with a full majority,

I agree.  In fact, most FPTP elections have only one or two candidates on the ballot.

> so the use of rank ballots
> would probably not dent FPP's observable Condorcet efficiency by much.

So what?  FPTP will also elect the Hare winner or the Borda winner or the Bucklin winner or even the Approval winner if all you have is one ranking level other than the implicit unranked level.

> Although maybe you have the belief that while method choice doesn't affect voter behavior,

I **never** said that.  I said that I doubt that the method used in the general election will change who is nominated.

> ballot format does,

Well, yah, you can confuse the hell outa voters with a ballot format that is incongruent to the method.

> and so using rank ballots for FPP would result in half of elections
> getting spoiled by voters refusing to use FPP strategy. I don't believe that, myself.

WTF??!!  Using ranked ballots for FPTP will result in confused voters and a potentially massive lawsuit.  It's a goofy scenario.

I consider FPTP strategy *only* with mark-only-one ballots and plurality rule in the tallying method.  I consider IRV or Condorcet *only* with ranked ballots and there should be enough ranking levels that no voter (or very few) are denied their right to *fully* weigh in on their relative preferences with *every* candidate.

The only difference in voting strategy (I would call these voting tactics, my semantic is that "compromising" is a *tactic* and less a "strategy") I would attribute to Hare vs. Condorcet is, if it's Hare *and* the election is perceived as a close 3-way race, there may be voters on either the Left or Right wing (the wing that is perceived as weaker) that may choose to compromise and vote for the centrist so that the spoiled election that happened in Burlington 2009 or in Alaska in August 2022 will not happen to them.  That's the only effect on different voting tactic I would predict between RCV decided by Hare vs. Condorcet.


r b-j . _ . _ . _ . _ rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."


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