<html><head></head><body><div style="color:#000; background-color:#fff; font-family:HelveticaNeue, Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, Lucida Grande, sans-serif;font-size:12px"><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1474748000888_35266"><font size="3" id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1474748000888_35356">Hi Steve,
<br>Due to your requests I have decided to write out a complete argument that I can refer to. I will
<br>write some other responses below.
<br>1. Under MJ or other median rating methods, there should still be frontrunners. Frequently two,
<br>and they will still tend to be known by the voters in advance.
<br>2. The only useful strategy in this setting is to rate the better frontrunner such that his median
<br>score may be increased, and to rate the worse frontrunner such that his median score may be
<br>decreased. (It usually doesn't matter how you rate anybody else.)
<br>3. In order to do this, you have to estimate the range of scores that those candidates might
<br>end up with, and vote (at least) just outside that range. For example, if you estimate that the
<br>winner will get a median rating in the 5-7 range (out of 10), then you should rate the better
<br>candidate at least an 8 and the worse one at most a 4.
<br>4. I claim that voters won't even be able to estimate the range of the winner's score, because
<br>the individual grades don't have any particular meaning outside the whims of the electorate.
<br>(For example, if a pollster asks a strategic MJ voter what ratings he's going to give, the answer
<br>will depend totally on what other voters are saying.) If that's the case, that you cannot guess
<br>the range, then the only safe way to vote is to use the 10 and 1 ratings for the frontrunners.
<br>5. Suppose I am wrong about #4 and the range of scores of the winner can be estimated. Should we
<br>not expect a vicious circle that makes the range less and less clear, anyway? I just suggested
<br>that if the estimated range is 5-7, then you should *not* use this range, and vote outside of it.
<br>If everyone has the same estimate and the same concern about strategy, the result would be that
<br>neither candidate would receive *any* 5s, 6s, or 7s. Ironically it would prove, in retrospect, that
<br>the size of the estimated range should have been *greater* than 5-7, and so it was not actually so
<br>safe to give 8 and 4 ratings. The further you stay away from the estimated range, the safer you
<br>6. If the electorate so much as knows who the frontrunners of the election are, the resulting
<br>strategies should be expected to thoroughly corrupt the absolute preference/intensity information
<br>being collected by MJ's ratings ballot. Moving frontrunners around on the ballot for strategic
<br>reasons would likely mean you're moving around all the other candidates too.
<br>7. The MJ voter requires information and strategy simply to ensure that his ballot will contribute
<br>(in a desirable way) to the primary (or only) real decision of importance in the race. This seems
<br>unfair to uninformed or non-strategic voters.
<br>8. Consequently any method that simply counted *relative* preferences between two frontrunners,
<br>without intensities, would be more fair, and also would not necessarily be collecting any less
<br>information than MJ (due to #6).
<br>9. Separately we have discussed whether voters actually are inclined to be strategic, or if they
<br>are happy to simply be contributing to a group-determined outcome. I claim that the former is the
<br>case, especially when it is clear which candidates may win, and which ways of voting can increase
<br>one's influence on the outcome.
<br>10. Whether or not I am wrong about #9, I do not think we should advocate methods that will only
<br>work properly under an optimistic scenario. We should assume the worst of the voters. (This means,
<br>it should be said, both the willingness of some to use strategy, as well as others' total
<br>ignorance of it.) The ideal situation is that a sincere vote would not be different from any
<br>strategic variation of it.
<br>>De : steve bosworth <firstname.lastname@example.org>
<br>>À : "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; "email@example.com"
<br>>Envoyé le : Jeudi 22 septembre 2016 0h47
<br>>Objet : Re: [EM] (6) MJ -- The easiest method to 'tolerate'
<br>>Hi Kevin and everyone,
<br>>S: It now seems that the main question between us is whether MJ is, or is not, better than your
<br>>preferred method at providing each citizen with the two voting incentives we both seem to desire:
<br>> 1) to express their evaluations of all the candidates honestly (sincerely) on the ballot, and 2)
<br>>to vote in a way that maximize the chances of their preferred candidate winning?
<br>Yes, that seems right.
<br>>Again, I see MJ as maximally encouraging each voter to evaluate (‘grade’) all the candidates
<br>>sincerely while, at the same, allowing each citizen to vote strategically (manipulatively) when
<br>>they see this as the most likely way to assist their most preferred candidate to win or their most
<br>>opposed candidate to lose.
<br>>You seem to see MJ as more likely than the method you prefer to lead less savvy voters effectively
<br>>to support candidates they would not like if they knew more about how to vote strategically. If
<br>>this is so, please explain your reasons.
<br>I hope you will find the answer above.
<br>> To explain this, perhaps it would be most helpful to me
<br>>if you would compare the different strategies you would adopt when using both an MJ ballot and the
<br>>ballot of the method you most prefer with regard to the following presidential election: 15
<br>>candidates, 5 of whom you would honestly value above Poor (e.g. 1 Excellent, 2 Very Good, 1 Good,
<br>>and 1 Acceptable. Perhaps your strategies would change depending on the different degrees of
<br>>knowledge you might have about how all the other citizens are likely to vote. When using MJ, would
<br>>your strategy be other than simply to grade each candidate honestly? If not, what would it be and
<br>>why? In the same conditions, what would your strategies be while using your preferred method
<br>>instead? What extra ‘mileage’ do see your method providing? Which method is more ‘discerning’
<br>>with regard to the values held both by voters and candidates? Which method is more likely to elect
<br>>the candidate who is most fit for the office? What are the different ‘incentives’ offered by the
<br>>If you would do this, it would help me be clearer about the reasoning behind your position.
<br>Here too I hope you will find the answer above. You are correct that I would want to use any
<br>available information about the sentiments of other voters. (If no information is available, then
<br>I don't think the scenario is realistic enough to worry about.)
<br>>As you explained in your last post, perhaps your preferred method is MAM, as enhanced by the
<br>>addition of Cardinal-Weighted-Pairweis (CWP, as proposed by James Armytage-Green in 2004). I can
<br>>see that CWP could help make the counting of the different intensities of preferences by MAM more
<br>>exact. Unfortunately, the addition of CWP might make MAM even more complicated for most voters to
<br>Yes, that's true. But I won't support a ratings method unless I feel that the method makes good use
<br>of its ratings.
<br>Incidentally I think it makes more sense to advocate Schulze than MAM, since Schulze has seen more
<br>use. I also like River better than MAM, since in River you only need to lock (up to) one defeat
<br>per candidate, so it's easier to solve by hand.
<br>>>> S: [….] 1. Do you agree that the ‘object of … an election is to select … some candidate who
<br>>shall, in the opinion of a majority of the electors, be most fit for the post….(B&L, Majority
<br>>Judgment, p.209)? [….]
<br>>> K: I would answer close to "yes" but I probably would not word it exactly as page 209 does.
<br>>> S: Please try to put it in your own words.
<br>>> S: Do you agree that, other things being equal, grades are more ‘discerning’ (i.e. informative
<br>>with regard to the voter’s values) than ranking?
<br>>K: If other things were equal then sure. Grades also imply rankings, so they could not be worse
<br>>than rankings, in my view.
<br>>> S: I see that MAM has ‘more mileage’ than Approval (as you say), but in what way does it have
<br>>more than MJ? For example, if an MAM voter ranks A>B>C, this does not allow her to express, e.g.
<br>>whether this means A is Excellent, B is Very Good (or Good, or Acceptable, or Poor), and C is Good
<br>>(or Acceptable, or Poor, or Rejected), or A is Acceptable, B is Poor, and C is Rejected, etc.
<br>>K: […] Regarding expressiveness: The MAM voter with A>B>C is not expressing absolute evaluations,
<br>>but it's more likely it is strategically wise for him to vote that way. If he cares about that, then
<br>>MAM is *in effect* more expressive, if the alternative would
<br>>be that he can evaluate independently but it is strategically unwise to use the full range.
<br>>S: Please explain exactly why you think that ‘MAM is *in effect* more expressive’.
<br>This too is answered above (#6 and #8).
<br>>Also, how does MAM allow a savvy voter to be ‘more strategically wise’?
<br>Not savvy but *non*-savvy. MAM allows the non-savvy voter to simply indicate a relative preference
<br>between two candidates, and it will be counted. The MJ voter doing the same thing is not necessarily
<br>voting wisely: He may need to use specific grades to get the same outcome.
<br>>> K: [….]The method should maximize the odds of finding the best winner by reducing the difference
<br>>between a sincere and strategic vote. In principle I think we might actually agree on that.
<br>>> S: Yes we seem to agree on this but do you see any method that more efficiently finds ‘the best
<br>>winner by reducing the difference between a sincere and a strategic vote’ than does MJ? You seem to
<br>>believe that MJ does not ‘make it in the voter's strategic
<br>>interest to express … honest … opinions’. Please exaplain.
<br>>K: [….] It all starts with the difficulty of using middle grades as a strategic voter under MJ. I
<br>>believe this uncertainty will push strategic voters to use mostly the extreme grades. I think this
<br>>is clearer when you expect that elections will continue to have frontrunners, and it will seem unsafe
<br>>to assign them middle grades. [….]
<br>>S: Again, your reasoning behind this key claim is one of the elements I hope to understand as a
<br>>result of your next post.
<br>Ok, hopefully my current effort will help you. I explained the elements of this "uncertainty" more
<br>completely than before.
<br>>> K: Whether some people use many of the grades isn't the question here, is it? The question is
<br>>whether the strategic voter is wrong to think he should exaggerate his grades.
<br>>> S: He is ‘wrong’ if and when by doing so he is not minimizing the chances that one of the
<br>>candidates he honestly evaluates as Rejected will win. For example, he might do this by grading his
<br>>1st choice candidate as Excellent but also Rejects all the other candidates he honestly values as
<br>>either Excellent, Very Good, Good, or Acceptable.
<br>>K: That situation is possible.
<br>>S: Are you accepting that this strategy would not minimize the chances that his most Rejected
<br>>candidate will win?
<br>It mostly depends on who the frontrunners are. If the strategic voter rates both of two frontrunners
<br>"Rejected" (or both "Excellent") then he was (almost surely) wrong.