[EM] Approval & 1-Person-1-Vote, & other Approval reply-answers.

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Fri Mar 29 13:59:10 PDT 2024

> On 03/29/2024 2:40 PM EDT Closed Limelike Curves <closed.limelike.curves at gmail.com> wrote:
> Oof, yeah, that's a big problem. rb-j—I know you're trying to keep things simple, so have you tried proposing Copeland//FPP or Copeland//Approval? Copeland is very easy to explain, and the Copeland set is a subset of the Smith set, so you get all the strategy-resistance properties of the Smith set.

Michael said: "I’ll reply this time, but this is the last time." and I didn't want to really draw this out.  It was also a long post with a lotta formatting issues and I wasn't sure when Michael was talking to me or a wider group.  If we delimit the terms of debate into single list postings each, I am willing to re-engage Michael about it.  I just don't wanna deal with a long, sorta stream-of-consciousness, multiple point/issue email where this could be split up and more concisely discussed.

Copeland RCV is pretty simple.  Not sure what Copeland/FPTP or Copeland/AV would be.  I just think that anything with points (and half-points for ties) is still more to sell to legislators than simple, straight-forward contingency language for what to do when there is no CW.

For H.424 https://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2024/H.424 , the two methods we considered were BTR-IRV and Condorcet-Plurality.  We used the latter.  It's not just the simplicity of the method, but it also has to be the simplicity of the *justification* of the method.  The method has to be simply justified and simply consistent with fundamental principles of our democracy in elections (which include One-Person-One-Vote, Majority Rule, and Process Transparency).

Nobel laureate and Harvard prof Eric Maskin presented another simple Condorcet-consistent method (and a modification to IRV) to the Vermont House Government Operations committee: https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2024/WorkGroups/House%20Government%20Operations/Bills/S.32/Witness%20Documents/S.32~Eric%20Maskin~Washington%20Post%20Article,%20Opinion-%20Alaska's%20ranked-choice%20voting%20is%20flawed,%20but%20there's%20an%20easy%20fix.%20~4-18-2023.pdf https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2024/WorkGroups/House%20Government%20Operations/Bills/S.32/Witness%20Documents/S.32~Eric%20Maskin~An%20Improvement%20to%20Ranked-Choice%20Voting,%20Slide%20Presentation~4-18-2023.pdf

but the first thing that the committee chair asked was if they were violating One-Person-One-Vote (and, in a sense they were, but *only* in the metric for the elimination phase of the runoffs), so that method, even coming from a Nobel laureate, didn't get very far.

BTR-IRV has a possible promotional advantage because it is just like Hare IRV with one extra step (the BTR) added to the elimination determination for each round.  But, at least in the case of 3 candidate, it always elects the same winner that Condorcet-Plurality does, and making the latter precinct summable (which is another selling point) appears easier.  The N(N-1) number of tallies is increased to a simple N^2 number of tallies.  25 summable tallies for 5 candidates (as opposed to 205 tallies for Hare).

So, the decision was made by the legislator (and my friend), who introduced H.424, and the legislative counsel, who wrote the language, to go with Condorcet-Plurality instead of BTR-IRV.  If we were to go to a technically better method, I think it would be Ranked-Pairs, but even RP was scary legislative language.  Schulze even moreso.  And even simple as it is, H.424 is going nowhere.

Fortunately, from my perspective, so also S.32 (which is just Hare and promoted by FairVote and VPIRG and LWV) is also not moving along and we're past the time limit for the bill to get out of committee.  So, so far, I feel halfway successful in both introducing legislation for Condorcet RCV and stopping the latest effort from FairVote.  They *could* possibly do a legislative maneuver (suspending rules) and revive S.32, but I don't think they will.

Because of the rarity of cycles, I still feel simplicity in legislative language makes a better, easier sell for a Condorcet method than the best resistance to nefarious strategic voting.  If a cycle occurs, what we need to worry about is selling to the public **why** we are electing the candidate we elected and Condorcet-Plurality is an easier sell.


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

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."


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