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

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Tue Jan 24 06:21:19 PST 2023

Hi Robert,

Thanks for clarifying. I think we have some miscommunication somehow. This is what I wrote:

>> 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.
>> For example FPP always elects the CW on those ballots. Spoiled FPP elections aren't that
>> common. But we would probably say that's because they tried not to have 3+ candidates on
>> the ballot, not because FPP is so Condorcet-efficient.

I specifically offer the example of FPP's nomination disincentive that you seem to
acknowledge is a thing in your last post. To the first paragraph you replied "I doubt it"
and to the second you said this:

>> "They" are who?  Each party only nominates a number of candidates equal to the winning
>> seats.  Independents (and those signing their petition to get on the ballot) choose
>> independently if they're gonna run or not.

I took this as a rhetorical question. Was it? To me it reads like you deny that FPP creates
any incentives that could affect how many candidates run. Sure, there can always be third
parties and write-ins, but that's clearly not what candidates I would mean in an FPP

> > > > 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.

The point was that the aspect of the analogy you called disingenuous, isn't likely to make
much difference. If FPP elects a majority favorite 95% of the time then its observable
Condorcet efficiency is going to be at least 95% no matter how many ranks you add to the
ballots, because a voted majority favorite is always the voted CW, and adding ranks doesn't
change the strategy.

And the point of all that, is that voted Condorcet efficiency from real elections doesn't
seem like a very reliable indicator of method quality. Most methods will look very good,
because parties and voters have ways to compensate for any mediocrity.

> 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
> n 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.

Ok, noted.


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