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

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Thu Jan 26 16:30:57 PST 2023

Hi Robert,

> > On 01/24/2023 9:21 AM EST Kevin Venzke <stepjak at yahoo.fr> wrote:
> > Hi Robert,
>> > Thanks for clarifying. I think we have some miscommunication somehow. 
> We do.  But I am not satisfied with the apparent meaning you construe to what I have written.

Well, I think we are getting closer now.

> > 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.
> WTF??  What was it that I "seem to acknowledge"?

Essentially it's the concession/clarification you wrote below. When you agreed that Begich's
situation would probably be different under FPP, I'm not sure to what else you might attribute
this other than incentives stemming from FPP.

(You also stated that most FPP elections have only 1-2 candidates on the ballot, which led
me to suspect you might see FPP itself as a cause of this. But I admit that you didn't
actually say that.)

> > To the first paragraph you replied "I doubt it"
> There is no convincing evidence provided that parties will nominate different candidates
> based on the method used in the **general** election.  Of course the method used in the
> **primary** election might affect who gets nominated.

Interesting distinction. I'm not sure what to think of that.

> > 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.
> A concession (or clarification), now that you first bring this issue up:  FPTP *may* very
> well affect whether a party proffers a candidate at all to run for an office.  In fact, not
> since 2012 has the Republican party in Burlington Vermont (essentially the "third party" in
> our city) run a candidate for mayor.  They know that all they will do is split votes with
> the Democrats and that will help elect the Prog, whom they least want elected.  Perhaps,
> RCV will encourage them to run a candidate, but after the experience the GOP in Burlington
> had with Hare RCV (that their candidate became the spoiler anyway and the candidate they
> hated was elected anyway and unnecessarily), they might *still* distrust the system to the
> point of not wasting money and running a GOP candidate.
> I didn't consider "no candidate" to be one of the nominating choices.  Indeed, I still
> think that *if* a party is nominating actual people to run for an office, *which* person
> that is nominated will not be affected by the method used in the general election.

> > Sure, there can always be third
> > parties and write-ins, but that's clearly not what candidates I would mean in an FPP
> > context.
> What *did* you mean?  Did you mean that the two major parties will make calculated
> adjustments to whom is nominated (that is not the same as *if* someone is nominated) based
> on the method used in the general election?

No, in an FPP context I much more mean *if* someone is nominated.

Though I do think it's likely that some candidates viable under a Condorcet method might
very well choose not to run in an IRV contest. Maybe there are unchangeable realities of
the world we live in which cause this to be untrue. That would be disappointing, though.

> It is to that, that I have consistently said "I doubt it".

Yes, and I have not missed that. I think I took your statements as broader than you meant.

> > 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,
(adding back the rest of the quote)
> > because a voted majority favorite is always the voted CW, and adding ranks doesn't
> > change the strategy.

> oh, no, no.  That's false.  If you add more ranking levels (than just one), the apparent CW
> may very well be a different candidate.  That is because voters will rank some candidates
> at different levels whereas in FPTP they were all at one level, specifically unranked.

When there's a majority favorite, I don't agree with you (I can't see a reason for the
voters' inclination to vote strategically to change simply because ranks are added), but in
any case it's probably more valuable to understand why I'm using this argument than for you
to necessarily accept it.

In some ways it's unfortunate to have to seek an analogy in FPP, due to its ballot format.
But FPP does provide us with a striking demonstration of how a seemingly very poor method
can still manage to avoid presenting one disaster after another.

> > 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
> > > 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.
>> > Ok, noted.
> really???

I thought it better to leave it in and acknowledge reading it than delete it and make you
wonder if I saw it or not. "Strategy under Condorcet" seems too broad for me to want to try
commenting directly. The difference you suggest is reasonable.


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