1 Mar 2008 18:13

### [Election-Methods] MCA's IIB problem fixed

```
Hello,
I've been thinking about 3-slot methods that combine
Top Ratings, Approval and Pairwise Opposition
information (all concepts that are compatible with FBC
and Independence from Irrelevant Ballots) to produce a
method that meets those criteria and also 3-slot
Majority for Solid Coalitions and mono-raise and also
which has its LNHarm and LNHelp problems in
approximate balance.

In my last message in this thread I suggested "one
possibility" to be:

"If  any candidates have a top-ratings score not
smaller than their  MPO score, disqualify the other
candidates.  Elect the undisqualified candidate with
the highest Approval-minus-MPO score".

This has now firmed as my preferred 3-slot (FBC
complying) method.

Any comments?  I have no idea what it should be
called.

Chris Benham

Get the name you always wanted with the new y7mail email address.
www.yahoo7.com.au/y7mail

```

1 Mar 2008 20:16

### [Election-Methods] Minimum Distance Condorcet Completion

I was doing some mathematical doodling at work one day, and I came up with something I jokingly call the 1700 voting method (I actually wrote down "Minimum Distance Condorcet Completion," but the acronym reminded me of the copyright dates in old books and movies).

I make no claims of originality, just simplicity and verbosity (grin). I actually did a brief check to make sure I wasn't reinventing the wheel, and I didn't find another example of it, but it was more fun to play with the system than to try to hunt down prior art. If someone has already suggested it, just let me know.

Anyway, here it is:

Minimum Distance Condorcet Completion (MDCC)

1. Use Range ballots.
2. Treat the relative positions of the candidates as in a rank-order ballot, and see if there is a Condorcet winner.
3. If there is no Condorcet winner, find the shortest distance (sum of individual ranges) necessary to produce a Condorcet winner.

If there is more than one possibility, use one of the of the following tiebreakers:

4a. Find the lowest order of ranges that need to be counted, e.g., ranges from 0 to 1 are considered before ranges from 9 to 10. Continue to step 4b, if needed.
or
4b. Find the fewest number of ranges that need to be counted. Continue to step 4a if necessary.

(I'm also working on a spinoff method based on step 4a)

****************************

That's all it is. Of course, it wouldn't be much of a post if I left it there, so I might as well provide some examples that I scribbled out.

Here is a circular tie sometimes used to illustrate Condorcet completion methods.

40 A>B>C
35 B>C>A
25 C>A>B

A over B, 65-35
B over C, 75-25
C over A, 60-40

Let's assume people *really* like their favorite, but don't really care for their second and third choices (or they may be attempting to vote strategically).
We might end up with the following set of Range ballots:

40 A(10)>B(1)>C(0)
35 B(10)>C(1)>A(0)
25 C(10)>A(1)>B(0)

If you count the ranges of 20 of the C(1)>A(0) votes) the total score is 20.
If you count the ranges of 30 of the A>B votes (25+45 -- 25 A(1)>B(0) plus 5 A(10)>B(1)), the total score is 70.
If you count the ranges of 50 of the B>C votes (40+90 -- 40 B(1)>C(0) plus 10 B(10)>C(1)), the total score is 130.

With this example, it takes a distance of 20 to make A the Condorcet winner, 70 to make B the Condorcet winner, and 130 to make C the Condorcet winner. A should be the overall winner, and the complete order is A>B>C.

Let's take the opposite possibility -- people really like their top two candidates, but don't like the third at all.

40 A(10)>B(9)>C(0)
35 B(10)>C(9)>A(0)
25 C(10)>A(9)>B(0)

If you count the ranges of 20 of the C(10)>A(9) votes, the total score is 20.
If you count the ranges of 30 of the A(10)>B(9) votes, the total score is 30.
If you count the ranges of 50 of the B>C votes (35+135 -- 35 B(10)>C(9) plus 15 B(9)>C(0)), the total score is 170.

In this case as well, A is the overall winner (A=20, B=30, C=170), and the order is A>B>C.

Now let's see if it's possible to make each candidate the winner by adjusting their scores, without changing their ranking. Since A was the winner in the first two examples, let's try B and C:

An example of B being the winner:

40 A(10)>B(9)>C(0)
35 B(10)>C(9)>A(0)
25 C(10)>A(1)>B(0)

Total distance for A equals 180 (either 20 C(9)>A(0) or 20 C(10)>A(1))
Total distance for B equals 30 (30 A(10)>B(9))
Total distance for C equals 170 (35+135 -- 35 B(10)>C(9) plus 15 B(9)>C(0))

B is the winner (B=30, C=170, A=180), and the order is B>C>A.

An example of C being the winner:

40 A(10)>B(1)>C(0)
35 B(10)>C(9)>A(0)
25 C(10)>A(1)>B(0)

Total distance for A equals 180 (20 C(9)>A(0))
Total distance for B equals 70 (25+45 -- 25 A(1)>B(0) plus 5 A(10)>B(1))
Total distance for C equals 50 (40+10 -- 40 B(1)>C(0) plus 10 B(10)>C(9))

C is the winner (C=50, B=70, A=180), and the order is C>B>A -- a different result from merely cutting the circular tie.

Now, a question arises on whether or not we are simply using Range voting as a Condorcet completion method. Here is a counterexample:

40 A(10)>B(1)>C(0)
35 B(10)>C(9)>A(0)
25 C(10)>A(7)>B(0)

Total distance for A equals 60 (20 C(10)>A(7))
Total distance for B equals 220 (175+45 -- 25 A(7)>B(0) plus 5 A(10)>B(1))
Total distance for C equals 50 (40+10 -- 40 B(1)>C(0) plus 10 B(10)>C(9))

C is the winner with this method (C=50, A=60, B=220), and the order is C>A>B. Using Range voting, the winner is A (A=575, B=390, and C=565), and the order is A>C>B.

Finally, as a test to see if it was potentially original (still not 100% sure it is, but hey), I tested the following two possibilities against the 68 methods and variations on the range voting calculator at http://rangevoting.org/VoteCalc.html

Example 1:
40: A=10 B=1 C=0
35: A=0 B=10 C=9
16: A=7 B=0 C=10
9: A=8 B=0 C=10

Total distance for A equals 51 (18+33 -- 9 C(10)>A(8) plus 11 C(10)>A(7))
Total distance for B equals 234 (112 + 72 + 50 -- 16 A(7)>B(0) plus 9 A(8)>B(0) plus 5 A(10)>C(0))
Total distance for C equals 50 (40+10 -- 40 B(1)>C(0) plus 10 B(10)>C(9))

C is the winner (C=50, A=51, B= 234, or C>A>B)

Example 2:
40: A=10 B=1 C=0
35: A=0 B=10 C=9
14: A=7 B=0 C=10
11: A=8 B=0 C=10

Total distance for A equals 49 (22+27 -- 11 C(10)>A(8) plus 9 C(10)>A(7))
Total distance for B equals 236 (98 + 88 + 50 -- 14 A(7)>B(0) plus 11 A(8)>B(0) plus 5 A(10)>C(0))
Total distance for C equals 50 (40+10 -- 40 B(1)>C(0) plus 10 B(10)>C(9))

A is the winner (A=49, B=236, C=50, or A>C>B)

MDCC was the only one that gave C as the consistent winner for Example 1, and A as the consistent winner for example 2. The dividing line between the A-winner/C-winner domains is:

40: A=10 B=1 C=0
35: A=0 B=10 C=9
15: A=7 B=0 C=10
10: A=8 B=0 C=10

Using the tie-breaker in step 4a at the top of the post, C is the winner. If we use the tiebreaker in 4b, A is the winner.

*******************

Finally, as I mentioned at the very top of this post, I am also looking at a spinoff method based on step 4a above. Basically, it considers the distance between 0 and 1 to be shorter than the distance from 9 to 10. The reason I'm looking at it that way is because of how the margin of error tends to grow in voting as you get further away from your top picks, either because you don't know as much about everyone ranked really low (people tend to rank those they don't know as lower than the average candidate they know), or because they are strategically burying them. Anyway, I'll probably have a stretch or doodling again at some point, so I may inflict it on an unsuspecting election methods group (hehe).

Michael Rouse

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```
2 Mar 2008 16:45

### [Election-Methods] Partisan Politics

```This site focuses on methods of conducting elections, but most posts
address only a single aspect of that topic; the way votes are counted.
Is not the object for which votes are cast a matter of even greater
concern?  When our public officials are not representative of the people
who elect them and are masters of misdirection, obfuscation and deceit,
ought we not ask ourselves whether there is a taint in the method by
which they are selected?  Ought we not consider the role of political
parties in the political process?

OVERVIEW
Political parties are quasi-official institutions designed to acquire
the reins of government.  They sponsor candidates for public office by
providing the resources needed to conduct a campaign for election.  As a
condition of their sponsorship, they require that the candidates support
the party, thus giving the party ultimate control of the elected officials.

In the United States, our governmental system is defined by our
Constitution, and nothing in our Constitution expresses or implies the
need for political parties.  They are an extra-Constitutional invention,
devised to advance partisan interest.  The problem of partisanship was
well understood by the framers of our Constitution:

"When the Founders of the American Republic wrote the U.S. Constitution
in 1787, they did not envision a role for political parties in the
governmental order.  Indeed, they sought through various constitutional
arrangements such as separation of powers, checks and balances,
federalism, and indirect election of the president by an electoral
college to insulate the new republic from political parties and
factions." Professor John F. Bibby
http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/election04/parties.htm

A "party system" developed in our nation because our early leaders used
their standing to consolidate their power.  Politicians in a position to
do so institutionalized their advantage by forming political parties and
creating rules to preserve them and aid their operation:

"The Democratic-Republicans and Federalists invented the modern
political party -- with party names, voter loyalty, newspapers, state
and local organizations, campaign managers, candidates, tickets,
slogans, platforms, linkages across state lines, and patronage."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Republican_Party_(United_States)

These features advance party interest at the expense of the public
interest.  They show how political parties are an embodiment of human
nature; they put self-interest above all other considerations.  They
function precisely as a thoughtful person would expect them to function.

PARTISANSHIP
Political parties are grounded in partisanship.  Partisanship is natural
for humans.  We seek out and align ourselves with others who share our
views.  Through them, we hone our ideas and gain courage from the
knowledge that we are not alone in our beliefs.  Partisanship gives
breadth, depth and volume to our voice.  In and of itself, partisanship
is not only inevitable, it is healthy.

On the other hand, partisans have a penchant for denigrating those who
think differently, often without considering the salient parts of
opposing points of view.  They seek the power to impose their views on
those who don't share them, while overlooking their own shortcomings.
Communism and National Socialism showed these tendencies.  Both had
features that attracted broad public support throughout a national
expanse and both degenerated into destructive forces because their
partisans gained control of their governments.

The danger in Communism and National Socialism was not that they
attracted partisan support; it was that the partisans gained control of
government.  In general, partisanship is healthy when it helps us give
voice to our views. It is destructive when it achieves power.  All
ideologies, whether of the right or the left, differ from Communism and
National Socialism only in the extent to which their partisans are able
to impose their biases on the public.

Partisanship is a vital part of society ... provided it is always a
voice and never a power.  The danger is not in partisanship, it is in
allowing partisans to control government.

OLIGARCHIC PARTY STRUCTURE
The political parties that control all political activity in the United
States are in no sense democratic.  The American people do not elect
those who control the parties.  In fact, most Americans don't even know
who they are.  They are appointed by their party and serve at the
party's pleasure.  We, the people the parties are supposed to represent,
have no control over who these people are, how long they serve, or the
deals they make to raise the immense amounts of money they use to keep
their party in power.  They constitute a ruling elite above and beyond
the reach of the American people.

When we allow those who control our political parties to usurp the power
of governing our nation, it is foolish to imagine that we retain the
power bestowed on us by our Constitution.  It is a tragedy that so few
of us recognize (or are willing to acknowledge) that we have
relinquished our right to govern ourselves to unknown people who
proclaim themselves our agents.

CORRUPTION
Corruption pervades our political system because the parties control the
selection of candidates for public office. Candidates are not chosen for
their integrity.  Quite the contrary, they are chosen after they
demonstrate their willingness and ability to dissemble, to obfuscate and
to mislead the electorate. They are chosen when they prove they will
renounce principle and sacrifice honor for the benefit of their party.

The result is a circular process that renounces virtue and is ruled by
cynicism:

* Candidates for public office cannot mount a viable campaign without
terms.

* The party, assured of the loyalty of its candidates, attracts donors
because it can promise that its candidates will support the objectives
set by the party, i.e., the goals of the donors.

* From the donors, the party obtains the resources it needs to attract
appealing candidates and bind them to the party's will.

This cycle makes political parties conduits for corruption.  Businesses,
labor unions and other vested interests give immense amounts of money
and logistical support to political parties to push their agenda and to
secure the passage of laws that benefit the donors.  The political
parties meet their commitment to the donors by picking politicians who
can be relied upon to enact the laws and implement the policies the
donors' desire.  The politicians so selected are the least principled of
our citizens, but are the only choices available to the American people
in our "free" elections.

None of this is a secret.  The parties conduct their business with our
knowledge and tacit approval.  We know, full well, how they operate.  We
know about the "party bosses", "pork barrels", "party loyalty", "slush
funds", "party whips", and the whole lexicon of political manipulation.
Since we know these things exist and do not prevent them, we are party
to the very corruption we decry.

THE MYTH OF CORRUPTIBILITY
Some believe we cannot remove corruption from our political systems
because humans are corruptible.  Why should we believe such a canard?

We are misled by the high visibility of deceit and corruption in our
culture.  The idea that it is inescapable leads to the self-defeating
notion that trying to correct it is futile.

The reality is that the vast majority of humans are honorable,
law-abiding people.  They have to be, for society could not exist
otherwise.  By far, the greater percentage of our friends, our
relatives, our co-workers and our neighbors are trustworthy people.

The reason our political leaders are corrupt is that party politics
elevates unscrupulous people by design.  It does so by heeding the
rewarded".  Since the goal of a party is to advance its own interest, it
rewards those who do so, unfettered by the restraints of honor.  Once
these unprincipled people achieve leadership they infect our society
because morality is a top-down phenomenon.

The idea that we can't remove corruption from our political systems
because we are corruptible is nonsense.  It is a myth.  The problem is
not the people; it is a political system that demands subservient
politicians at the expense of integrity.  The vast majority of our peers
are honest, principled people.  When we make probity a primary concern
in our electoral process, the pervasiveness of dishonesty in our society
will diminish.

PASSION VERSUS INTELLECT
Political parties appeal to emotion by applying the principles of
behavioral science to manipulate the public.  They mount, finance and
staff campaigns designed to inflame the passions of the electorate.

Communication during election campaigns is one-way.  There is no genuine
attempt to consult the public interest and the serious issues are seldom
those raised during a campaign.  Surveys are conducted to find "hot
buttons" which generate a desired response and professionals use the
information to mold "messages" which the candidates and the parties feed
the public in a flood of misinformation.  It is a rabble-rousing technique.

Intelligent decisions require dialogue; assertions must be examined, not
in the sterile environment of a televised debate, but in depth.  The
electorate must be able to examine candidates and discuss matters of
public concern, and, with the knowledge so gained, make decisions.  They
have no opportunity to do so.

SEPARATION OF POWERS
The U. S. Constitution separated the powers of government in such a way
as to operate as checks upon each other.  Separation of Powers is lauded
as a cornerstone of our Constitution.  I'm unaware of any substantive
disagreement with this view of the intent of our Founders.

Political parties persistently attack the Separation of Powers.  They
use their immense resources to maximize their power by forcing our
public officials to vote en bloc on crucial issues, making a mockery of
the safeguards we rely on to protect our freedoms.  When a single group
of people with a common interest succeeds in controlling multiple
branches of our government, it is ludicrous to imagine we have a system
of checks and balances (as was vividly demonstrated by our recent
experience with the baneful effects of single party dominance.)

SEEKING IMPROVEMENT
Political parties, in their omnivorous quest for power have, during my
lifetime, gone a long way toward destroying the greatness of my
homeland.  Unrestrained, they will succeed.

It need not be so.

Those who seek good government need not tolerate the corruption of party
politics.  We do not need partisanship, which sets one person against
another; we need independent representatives who will think for
themselves and reach intelligent decisions on matters of public concern.
In other words, to improve our government, we must change the way we
select our representatives.

We have the technological ability to support a more democratic method;
the big hurdle is to get people to acknowledge the problem.  Many fall
victim to the common malady of believing our press clippings.  We've
been told so many times through so many years that our political system
is the best in the world, some of us can't admit it is a cesspool of
corruption, funded by special interests that buy the laws we endure.

Most Americans assume political parties are legitimate centers of power
under our Constitution.  That is untrue.  Nothing in our Constitution
authorizes, institutes or enables political parties.  The laws that do
so are enacted in the various states.

Breaking the stranglehold the parties have on our political process is
non-trivial.  It depends, not on our Constitution, but on our will.  We
must want to build a political system that puts public interest above
partisanship, a method that responds to vested interests but is not
controlled by them.

Political systems are always an embodiment of human nature.  Until we
learn to harness our own nature, we can improve neither our politics nor
our society.  There is no Constitutional bar to devising a more
democratic process; the only impediment is ourselves.  Since we can not
divorce our political institutions from our own nature, we must make
virtue a desirable attribute in those who seek political advancement.
That may be difficult ... but it is not impossible.

Such changes occur slowly.  Ought we not start to consider the methods
by which they can be accomplished?

Fred
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```
2 Mar 2008 19:46

### Re: [Election-Methods] Partisan Politics

```Hi,

Fred Gohlke wrote:
> This site focuses on methods of conducting elections, but most posts
> address only a single aspect of that topic; the way votes are counted.
> Is not the object for which votes are cast a matter of even greater
> concern?  When our public officials are not representative of the people
> who elect them and are masters of misdirection, obfuscation and deceit,
> ought we not ask ourselves whether there is a taint in the method by
> which they are selected?  Ought we not consider the role of political
> parties in the political process?
>
-snip-

My view is that the reason we have two large parties that each nominate
one candidate per office is the bad voting method, which punishes people
who fail to form the largest coalition. It also punishes those who seek
the best compromise, by reducing the "votes" cast for them (if they
bothered to compete) by squeezing them between other candidates.  Fix
the voting method to change the parties and promote cooperation.

Regards,
Steve
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```
2 Mar 2008 21:20

### [Election-Methods] Using range ballots as an extension of ranked ballot voting

Just an addendum from previous post (Minimum Distance Condorcet Completion). I'm curious about voting methods that take ranked ballot methods and adapt them to range ballots. For example, with Baldwin's method, you take drop the candidate with the lowest Borda score, recalculate, and so on. A range variant might drop the candidate with the lowest range score, normalize the remaining scores, and repeat. It should still give the Condorcet winner (if any) but it might fit different election criteria than standard Baldwin. Likewise, a range generalization of the Kemeny-Young order might be interesting.

I figure Warren Smith would know the names of range variants, but I'm sure others would as well. Anything with pretty graphs involved is also cool. (grin)

And as always, I probably saw something like this a year ago and just forgot. A lot of time these things sit in my mind, and then something triggers the interest.

Michael Rouse

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```
2 Mar 2008 21:58

### Re: [Election-Methods] Using range ballots as an extension of ranked ballot voting

Check also James Green-Armytage's cardinal-weighted pairwise comparison method if you haven't don that yet. => http://fc.antioch.edu/~james_green-armytage/cwp13.htm

Can you also clarify a bit how step 3 is counted when some candidate X is beaten by two other candidates (Y and Z).

I find the proposed method interesting since it seems to aim at electing good winners (using a function minimizes the problems caused to the voters, from one point of view).

Juho

On Mar 2, 2008, at 22:20 , <mrouse1 <at> mrouse.com> wrote:

Just an addendum from previous post (Minimum Distance Condorcet Completion). I'm curious about voting methods that take ranked ballot methods and adapt them to range ballots. For example, with Baldwin's method, you take drop the candidate with the lowest Borda score, recalculate, and so on. A range variant might drop the candidate with the lowest range score, normalize the remaining scores, and repeat. It should still give the Condorcet winner (if any) but it might fit different election criteria than standard Baldwin. Likewise, a range generalization of the Kemeny-Young order might be interesting.

I figure Warren Smith would know the names of range variants, but I'm sure others would as well. Anything with pretty graphs involved is also cool. (grin)

And as always, I probably saw something like this a year ago and just forgot. A lot of time these things sit in my mind, and then something triggers the interest.

Michael Rouse

----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info

```----
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```
3 Mar 2008 00:45

### Re: [Election-Methods] Using range ballots as an extension of ranked ballot voting

juho4880 <at> yahoo.co.uk:

>>Check also James Green-Armytage's cardinal-weighted pairwise comparison method if you haven't don that yet. => http://fc.antioch.edu/~james_green-armytage/cwp13.htm

Thanks, I'll do that!

>>Can you also clarify a bit how step 3 is counted when some candidate X is beaten by two other candidates (Y and Z).
>>I find the proposed method interesting since it seems to aim at electing good winners (using a function minimizes the problems caused to the voters, from one point of view).

I'd be happy to try. Do you have an example election for me to play with? I'm assuming you mean where I said

3. If there is no Condorcet winner, find the shortest distance (sum of individual ranges) necessary to produce a Condorcet winner.

An example in the form of

A: X>Y>Z (Value for X=100, Z=0, Y=somewhere in between)

B: Y>Z>X (Value for Y=100, X=0, Z=somewhere in between)

C: Z>X>Y (Value for Z=100, Y=0, X=somewhere in between)

would be great. If it's more than three candidates or ballot profiles, just make the range from 0 to 100 (0-10, A-F, or whatever you want). An example also helps make certain I'm answering the right question. (heh)

Thanks!

Michael Rouse

BTW, if anyone thinks of a more interesting variation -- or better yet, a webpage for one -- I'd love to see it, especially since there are several on the mailing list that are much better at the math than I! (grin)

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2 Mar 2008 23:45

### Re: [Election-Methods] Partisan Politics

```On Mar 2, 2008, at 17:45 , Fred Gohlke wrote:

> SEEKING IMPROVEMENT

> We do not need partisanship, which sets one person against
> another; we need independent representatives who will think for
> themselves and reach intelligent decisions on matters of public
> concern.
>   In other words, to improve our government, we must change the way we
> select our representatives.

This sounds like you would be happy with something like STV. Parties
do cause problems but also the other extreme where the
representatives are all totally independent has some problems. I'd
expect the totally independent representatives to associate
themselves with some known groupings or ideologies to clarify their
position. And this is not that far from having a new party structure.

Another approach to expressing how the political system (of USA and
many other countries too) should change is to say that the party
behaviour and rules of behaviour should be improved. (Parties need
not be tyrants and nests of evil but just free groupings of people
with similar opinions.) Typical problems are having individual
representatives that have no own power but that need to follow the
policies set by the party leaders. Another might be too strong
connections to some interest groups. Third one might be lack of
contact to the voters and their true needs/interests. And fourth one
use of cheap propaganda instead of open discussion.

Any system has some tendency to corrupt in time. Political parties
and the political system are no exceptions. One needs to stay awake
and not let the system slide into something less good than what it
was or what people expect it to be or become.

One could also start by seeking the problems from the voters. There
is a saying that citizens will get as good government as they
deserve. I mean the voters that are well educated and that are
offered good information on the state and plans and actions of the
society throughout the election period may be capable of making wiser
decisions in the elections than those who are just briefly targets of
the marketing campaigns before the elections.

> Political systems are always an embodiment of human nature.  Until we
> learn to harness our own nature, we can improve neither our
> politics nor
> our society.

Yes. One viewpoint to the evolution of our societies is that we are
on a journey from the laws of jungle towards societies that take the
human needs better into account. There is no reason to believe that
the current systems would be perfect. We have taken many steps from
the pure "laws of jungle" model but certainly also further improving
steps are possible.

> Such changes occur slowly.  Ought we not start to consider the methods
> by which they can be accomplished?

Yes.

I do believe that many of the shortcomings of politics do have strong
links and may be traced back to the incumbent political parties and
the way they operate. But that doesn't necessarily mean that parties
would be evil as such, or that political systems without parties
would automatically perform better. Thorough understanding of the
dynamics of the political system is needed to make its operation
better (in small or large steps).

Juho

___________________________________________________________
Try the all-new Yahoo! Mail. "The New Version is radically easier to use" – The Wall Street Journal
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3 Mar 2008 05:08

### Re: [Election-Methods] Partisan Politics

```On Sun, 02 Mar 2008 10:45:42 -0500 Fred Gohlke wrote:
> This site focuses on methods of conducting elections, but most posts
> address only a single aspect of that topic; the way votes are counted.
> Is not the object for which votes are cast a matter of even greater
> concern?  When our public officials are not representative of the people
> who elect them and are masters of misdirection, obfuscation and deceit,
> ought we not ask ourselves whether there is a taint in the method by
> which they are selected?  Ought we not consider the role of political
> parties in the political process?
>
A direct attack on the party system, demanding that it release control.
The party system, having the power to do so, retaliates - nets much
pain and no gain.

I have two thoughts:
Let Fred establish a group for his goal.
Let Election Methods stick with its current efforts.

EM can and should think more of our environment, toward making our
proposals more salable.  Burying Plurality voting deserves to be an easy
sale   Think of three Presidential elections (though I am NOT ready to
touch the Electoral College - that would need careful separate thought):
2000 and 2004 - with main race in a near tie, interaction as to how
Plurality handles third parties caused much pain.  NOTE that we are not
against third parties; just against Plurality's handling.
2008 - Hillary and Barack are in a desperate struggle grasping for
the single slot the Democrat party can offer due to Plurality's weakness.
Letting both get to the general election and be handled reasonably would
be better.

Note that eliminating Plurality makes for healthier elections and more
power to third parties.  However, it does not prevent major parties from
adapting and continuing - assuming they earn this.
...
--

--
davek <at> clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
If you want peace, work for justice.

----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info

```
3 Mar 2008 14:46

### Re: [Election-Methods] Strategy/polling simulation for simple methods

```At 11:40 PM 1/21/2008, Kevin Venzke wrote:
>For each round of polls I can also note the rate of agreement between the
>poll winner and the sincere CW (if there is one), sincere MF (if there is
>one), and social utility maximizer given the voters who show up.

Other writers have long noted this, and I've, in particular, pointed
out that participation bias favors the SU maximizer (which I
generally call the "range" winner). Thus top-two runoff is a much
better method than often thought. The only problem is it's
vulnerability to center squeeze in the first round. Approval with
top-two runoff should do much better, likewise Range with pairwise
analysis and a runoff if there is conflict between the range winner
and a pairwise winner (beating the range winner0 and when there are
cycles, consideration of all of the cycle members, though that's not
a possibility I've explored much, it would be extraordinarily rare, I
suspect. Probably Range winner vs. any candidate beating the Range
winner pairwise would be quite enough.

Besides, there is a much better method: parliamentary elections
through deliberative process, with an Asset elected parliament, with
direct voting allowed by all electors (all those who hold votes from
the original secret ballot.) Deliberative process is, of course,
Condorcet compliant, and it allows the repeated balloting (v.
Robert's Rules of Order) which has the settling effect Venzke
describes. Fully democratic (direct participation or participation by
chosen "proxy," which is what it amounts to), creates peer assembly
as part of the same electoral process, efficient, fair, and
intelligent. Down side?

Let's see -- there will be logrolling (horrors!). Candidates will say
one thing and do another (double horrors! -- rule one: don't vote for
someone you don't trust, period. Under present systems you have to do
that, or you vote for someone you think you trust from media
impressions, but very few can vote for someone they would actually
hand their baby to for care without further exploration of who they
are in person. Only with Asset (or delegable proxy) can you actually
vote for the person you most trust, without any consideration
necessary of whether or not that person is "electable," because, by
voting for him or her, you *are* electing.

Turns out Lewis Carroll got the Asset part right, in the 1880's. What
more lurks behind the looking glass?

>The strategy used varies by the method. Approval is the easiest:
>Expectation can be perfectly calculated from the previous round of polls.
>Approve above expectation.

Right. This work has been done before (by Lanphier?). Though maybe
not with this kind of simulation. It is easily predictable on pure
theoretical grounds.

>FPP, antiplurality, and combinations involve estimating the value and
>likelihood of all ties that could be broken from a given vote.

I did analysis of Range Voting vs Approval strategy (expected outcome
for various votes), by looking only at the outcomes for votes which
actually affect the outcome (create or break tie). All other votes
affect the voters' overall expected utility for voting, but not the
expected utility between vote options. This allows an almost-exact
study of expected outcomes; this is published on the Range Voting
site. There was further work to be done, but, hey, I've got
Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and one thing that means is
that I can do some serious work, with interesting results, at the
beginning, but finishing it, nailing it shut, and sending it off to
the publisher, almost never happens. Story of my life. Anyway, I've
got lots of nice nearly-woven scarves lying about. Trying to figure
out how to finish them. It will take help, that's clear. If I could
do it on my own, it would mean that my ADHD diagnosis wasn't
accurate, and that the doctors who prescribe me controlled substances
to treat it are misguided.

>Hopefully this is a somewhat interesting read. Any thoughts?

It *is* interesting, but I didn't read beyond what I commented on.
Someday I should. Kevin, would you like to work on a paper formally
publishing all this? We *can* get it published, and if it's
published, there will actually be some serious attention paid to it,
and, hey, if it's published, you can put it on Wikipedia. This list
is a form of peer-review, better, in fact, than the peer review
boards of most peer-reviewed publications, but, because there is no
decision made, it's all informal, it's wasted and without serious
consequence (except that all of us who are paying attention now know
something or know it better, but ... as far as informing a broader
audience, useless and mere navel-gazing among election method
aficionados. To move beyond this, as one suggestion, join and
*participate* (don't just wait for me to do something and then react)
in the Election Methods Interest Group,
electionmethods <at> yahoogroups.com). It's an FA/DP organization, which
has lots of consequences, among them that you can join, pick a proxy,
then go on no-mail or special notices status, and wait for your proxy
to ping you if your proxy thinks it needed. If you are interested in
election methods, there is *no* good reason not to join. You can even
be a supporter of -- horrors! -- IRV and join, and a fair number have.