[EM] Condorcet Meeting: Narrowing the Field

Richard Lung voting at ukscientists.com
Sat Sep 2 01:50:49 PDT 2023

In principle, the Hare system, as advocated by mathematicians, Clarence 
Hoag and George Hallett in "Proportional Representation. The key to 
democracy" does not need primaries. The point about "Proportional 
Representation with a single transferable vote in large constituencies" 
to quote HG Wells, in turn quoted by Hoag and Hallett, is that STV is a 
general election, primaries and plebiscites combined into one, as 
pointed out by Joe Rogaly in "Parliament for the People." Joe Rogaly 
coined the term "the super-vote" for STV, which is a sometimes unpopular 
term, even while people liked the system.

Hoag and Hallett explicitly said STV did not need separate primary 
elections, when discussing the prospective New York city STV elections.

Even when there are more candidates than the voters can be familiar 
with, separate primaries may not be needed. This is because all voters 
can home in on the issues most important to them, and the specific 
candidates, who state their concerns with them.

The volume of candidates is determined by the level or area of 
government. Hence local elections; the candidates entry arena of 
politics, may have thousands of candidates, but they will tend to focus 
on the areas they come from, and know about, and are known in.


Richard Lung.

On 02/09/2023 07:48, Toby Pereira wrote:
> If we're talking about a field as large as 500, different voters  > could be randomly given different ballot papers for the primary with 
 > not all the candidates on. It could be, say, 10, on a ballot paper > 
but there wouldn't be just 50 types because you'd want the candidates > 
to be against different candidates on different ballots to make it > 
fairer (so there'd be more than 50). These ballots would be randomly > 
distributed to the voters (each candidate would appear on the same > 
number of ballots). If you made it approval voting, you could > probably 
just combine all the ballots together and use a proportional > approval 
method to determine the candidates that make the final > election. > > 
Toby > > On Saturday, 2 September 2023 at 00:21:17 BST, Kristofer 
Munsterhjelm > <km_elmet at t-online.de> wrote: > > > I think I'm more or 
less done with this subject, as I don't feel > like I'm getting anywhere 
much. But I will reply to this: > > On 9/1/23 17:47, Colin Champion 
wrote: >> It seems to me that the position is this. Condorcet voting 
works >> well under certain assumptions, which include voters sincerely 
 >> ranking all candidates in order of preference. Strategic voting >> 
turns out to be less of a problem than one might fear, but drastic >> 
truncation is fatal. The merits of Condorcet voting lie partly in >> its 
not penalising minor parties, so you'd expect it to lead to an >> 
explosion in the number of candidates. So you're organising a >> 
presidential election, hoping to take advantage of the merits of >> 
Condorcet voting, and you expect 500 candidates to put themselves >> 
forward. What do you do? One no-brain solution is to run a >> Condorcet 
election with 500 candidates. Another is to rely on >> administrative 
procedures, eg. only the 5 candidates with most >> supporting signatures 
get onto the ballot. This isn't a bad idea; >> something like it is 
widely practised. I think the Virginia meeting >> is intentionally 
allowing it as an option. Can we do better? > > I guess that with 
numbers around 500, nothing will really work well, > and that we would 
bump against the, for lack of a better term, > "aristocratic nature" of 
elections. That is, if we don't do anything > to counteract it, such a 
field will naturally thin itself out by > who's got the best marketing; 
by what candidates are able to amplify > their voice and get their 
message out the most, and that undoing this > bias will require a more 
thorough redesign than changing the way > votes are tallied. > > If 
that's right, then it would seem the only option is to augment > the 
electoral procedure itself. Do something like asset voting or > have a 
representative sample dig deep into the candidates policies > and pick 
the finalist set. For 500 candidates, the voters would > otherwise face 
a burden just getting to know what they're about, no > matter the voting 
system, and the 100:1 "compression ratio" down to a > finalist set of 5 
is so high that it's very difficult to get the > right set if they skip 
on that burden. Any consistent bias will > greatly shrink that 
500-candidate set with time. > > If we suppose that all of the 500 have 
a chance to get into the > finalist set, there has to be a considerable 
period before the > general happens, so that finalist set can inform the 
electorate of > their positions. > > The more we consider the 
possibility that anybody could be a good > winner, the more elections, 
as a mechanism, is at a disadvantage > from the start. My intuitive 
feeling is that at a 100:1 ratio, if you > only choose centrists, then 
the non-centrists are disincentivized as > you say. If you don't only 
choose centrists, then there's not enough > room for the full variety of 
the 500 to be represented in a set of > size 5 anyway. So something has 
to give. > > Even if I'm wrong, the contention about clone dependence 
suggests to > me that we don't really know how to make a voting system 
that does > what's asked of such a primary. In a sense, it's not just 
that we > don't know how to solve the puzzle, but we're uncertain what 
kind of > puzzle it is (what the desiderata and dynamics are). But you 
said in > another post that > >> I posted some figures a while ago 
indicating that as the level of >> truncation increased, some strange 
reversals set in just after the >> half-way mark: the Borda count 
briefly gained in accuracy while >> Condorcet methods started a headlong 
fall. > > This in turn suggests that you could at least determine if a > 
particular suggestion would be good by simulating the two-stage > 
process: > > - Lots of candidates present themselves - Voters vote in 
the primary > according to the method to be tested (possibly with some 
noise) - > Then the voters' hypothetical correct no-truncated ranking 
(of 500 > candidates!) is used as a basis for the general method, but 
after > everybody but the finalist set is eliminated. - Now determine 
the > VSE, strategic resistance, or other figure of interest wrt the 
winner > of the general. > > Maybe by tinkering with this, it would be 
possible to get some idea > of what works and what doesn't. But note 
that it doesn't incorporate > the idea that getting acquainted with 
candidate positions is very > expensive when there are 500 of them, 
unless the primary deliberately > takes that into account. > > -km > > 
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infoepresentation with a single transferable vote in large 
constituencies" to quote HG Wells, in turn quoted by Hoag and Hallett
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