Discussion:
To Condorcetists:
Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-13 01:04:31 UTC
Permalink
Condorcetists:

You want to quibble forever about which rank-count is the best.

You object that Approval doesn't let you help your 1st and 2nd choices
against your last choice, while still helping your
1st choice against your 2nd choice.

But the _big_ benefit starts when everyone can support their 1st and 2nd
choices at all.

Plurality very effectively puts a gag on everyone who would like something
better than the corrupt sleazes
that your tv offers as "the two choices".

"We have to hold our nose and vote for the lesser-evil [Democrat], so that
we don't waste our vote."

Do you have any idea how things would be if everyone could actually support
their favorites, and without
having to try to guess on which one the other similar voters would be
combining their support?

Do you understand the difference between "liked" and "unliked"? And what
would happen if everyone could support
whom and what they actually like best?

Do you have any idea how far-reaching the resulting changes would be?

No, I'm not saying that the resulting country and world would be perfect in
every way. I'm saying that it
would be what people actually want--something that they can support without
holding their nose. But don't
underestimate the magnitude of that change.

Though I consider Approval to be the best in some meaningful ways, I also
would like more--as you would.

But, as I said, most of the benefit comes from everyone being able to
support 1st choice and 2nd choice _at all_. Let's not
be greedy and dwaddle around forever about what else we could ideally get.

Do you want improvement or not? Or would you rather debate forever?

And, as for helping 1st choice over 2nd choice, while helping both over
last choice, free of strategy need:

You're in deinal about Gibbard-Satterthwaite.

You're in denial about Condorcet's blatant and full-magnitude
co-operation/defection problem.

And you're in denial about millions of voters' need to litterally maximally
help the Democrat beat the Republican.

And that's not even counting the good chance of successful offensive burial
strategy when there are more than 3 candidates.

Mike Ossipoff
Paul Kislanko
2012-05-13 02:39:47 UTC
Permalink
I do not know what this email is asking. There's so much that is not
relevant in it that I don't know how answer it. It's a badly-formed
question, so I don't have any way to answer it.



Please give me an up-r-down vote on whatever it is you are talking about.



From: election-methods-***@lists.electorama.com
[mailto:election-methods-***@lists.electorama.com] On Behalf Of Michael
Ossipoff
Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2012 7:05 PM
To: election-***@electorama.com
Subject: [EM] To Condorcetists:



Condorcetists:



You want to quibble forever about which rank-count is the best.



You object that Approval doesn't let you help your 1st and 2nd choices
against your last choice, while still helping your

1st choice against your 2nd choice.



But the _big_ benefit starts when everyone can support their 1st and 2nd
choices at all.



Plurality very effectively puts a gag on everyone who would like something
better than the corrupt sleazes

that your tv offers as "the two choices".



"We have to hold our nose and vote for the lesser-evil [Democrat], so that
we don't waste our vote."



Do you have any idea how things would be if everyone could actually support
their favorites, and without

having to try to guess on which one the other similar voters would be
combining their support?



Do you understand the difference between "liked" and "unliked"? And what
would happen if everyone could support

whom and what they actually like best?



Do you have any idea how far-reaching the resulting changes would be?



No, I'm not saying that the resulting country and world would be perfect in
every way. I'm saying that it

would be what people actually want--something that they can support without
holding their nose. But don't

underestimate the magnitude of that change.



Though I consider Approval to be the best in some meaningful ways, I also
would like more--as you would.



But, as I said, most of the benefit comes from everyone being able to
support 1st choice and 2nd choice _at all_. Let's not

be greedy and dwaddle around forever about what else we could ideally get.



Do you want improvement or not? Or would you rather debate forever?



And, as for helping 1st choice over 2nd choice, while helping both over last
choice, free of strategy need:



You're in deinal about Gibbard-Satterthwaite.



You're in denial about Condorcet's blatant and full-magnitude
co-operation/defection problem.



And you're in denial about millions of voters' need to litterally maximally
help the Democrat beat the Republican.



And that's not even counting the good chance of successful offensive burial
strategy when there are more than 3 candidates.



Mike Ossipoff
robert bristow-johnson
2012-05-13 04:04:59 UTC
Permalink
I do not know what this email is asking. There’s so much that is not
relevant in it that I don’t know how answer it. It’s a badly-formed
question, so I don’t have any way to answer it.
it's one reason why i plonked Mike. i don't see anything from Mike O
unless someone else on the list quotes him.
Please give me an up-r-down vote on whatever it is you are talking about.
*Michael Ossipoff**
*
plonk.

*
--
r b-j ***@audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."



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Dave Ketchum
2012-05-14 01:19:42 UTC
Permalink
Responding because you wrote, but with no authority.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You want to quibble forever about which rank-count is the best.
No - we want to move past that.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You object that Approval doesn't let you help your 1st and 2nd
choices against your last choice, while still helping your
1st choice against your 2nd choice.
True that while Approval is much better than Plurality, it keeps this
weakness.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But the _big_ benefit starts when everyone can support their 1st and
2nd choices at all.
We get back to wanting more when offered Approval's offering only best
and worst and we are looking at a candidate we cannot stand grouping
with best, yet desperately want to vote as being better than worst.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Plurality very effectively puts a gag on everyone who would like
something better than the corrupt sleazes
that your tv offers as "the two choices".
"We have to hold our nose and vote for the lesser-evil [Democrat],
so that we don't waste our vote."
Again, we do not want this lesser-evil to be seen in the counting as
desired equally with best, yet also see this lesser-evil as better
than those we classify as worst.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Do you have any idea how things would be if everyone could actually
support their favorites, and without
having to try to guess on which one the other similar voters would
be combining their support?
For all to support their favorites is our desire, hoping we do equal
seeing.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Do you understand the difference between "liked" and "unliked"? And
what would happen if everyone could support
whom and what they actually like best?
Do you have any idea how far-reaching the resulting changes would be?
No, I'm not saying that the resulting country and world would be
perfect in every way. I'm saying that it
would be what people actually want--something that they can support
without holding their nose. But don't
underestimate the magnitude of that change.
Though I consider Approval to be the best in some meaningful ways, I
also would like more--as you would.
But, as I said, most of the benefit comes from everyone being able
to support 1st choice and 2nd choice _at all_. Let's not
be greedy and dwaddle around forever about what else we could
ideally get.
Do you want improvement or not? Or would you rather debate forever?
Do want the improvement we see Condorcet offering, and see you seeming
to be promoting endless debate rather than working to move ahead.
With Condorcet:
. Those who still see Approval as good enough can vote it in
Condorcet by using a single rank for all liked candidates.
.. Those who want to indicate unequal liking simply use unequal
ranking.
.. The vote counters can see and respond to the unequal liking.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And, as for helping 1st choice over 2nd choice, while helping both
You're in deinal about Gibbard-Satterthwaite.
You're in denial about Condorcet's blatant and full-magnitude co-
operation/defection problem.
The problem can be overstated. It requires willing plotters, whose
efforts can be too easily seen and responded to - especially in
significant elections such as for governor or senator.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And you're in denial about millions of voters' need to litterally
maximally help the Democrat beat the Republican.
With better voting methods the party balance can vary in response to
voter desires.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And that's not even counting the good chance of successful offensive
burial strategy when there are more than 3 candidates.
Mike Ossipoff
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Juho Laatu
2012-05-14 09:45:43 UTC
Permalink
I'm a "condorcetist" in the sense that I think that Condorcet methods are a pretty good local optimum for some election types.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You want to quibble forever about which rank-count is the best.
No interest to quibble. Unfortunately this problem exists. But it is not fatal. It could be seen also as a large set of available options.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You object that Approval doesn't let you help your 1st and 2nd choices against your last choice, while still helping your
1st choice against your 2nd choice.
Approval ballots contain less information than ranked or full rated ballots.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But the _big_ benefit starts when everyone can support their 1st and 2nd choices at all.
Benefits depend on where you start from.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Plurality very effectively puts a gag on everyone who would like something better than the corrupt sleazes
that your tv offers as "the two choices".
"We have to hold our nose and vote for the lesser-evil [Democrat], so that we don't waste our vote."
Do you have any idea how things would be if everyone could actually support their favorites, and without
having to try to guess on which one the other similar voters would be combining their support?
I guess we are speaking about the U.S. elections here. Do you recommend compromise seeking single-winner election methods like Approval or Condorcet to be used in electing representative bodies from single-winner districts? I note that that would lead to an interesting political system that has probably not been tested anywhere in the world yet.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Do you understand the difference between "liked" and "unliked"? And what would happen if everyone could support
whom and what they actually like best?
Do you recommend "sincere Approval" where people sincerely approve those candidates that they "like", or "strategic Approval" where people are supposed to find the best strategy for them and vote that way? (The best strategy often includes approving the "lesser-evil" too.) My guess is that in public elections strategic approach to Approval would dominate.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Do you have any idea how far-reaching the resulting changes would be?
No, I'm not saying that the resulting country and world would be perfect in every way. I'm saying that it
would be what people actually want--something that they can support without holding their nose. But don't
underestimate the magnitude of that change.
Though I consider Approval to be the best in some meaningful ways, I also would like more--as you would.
But, as I said, most of the benefit comes from everyone being able to support 1st choice and 2nd choice _at all_. Let's not
be greedy and dwaddle around forever about what else we could ideally get.
Do you want improvement or not? Or would you rather debate forever?
If this is a reference to the minor change in the electoral system to change Plurality to Approval, then I agree that Approval has this benefit of being an easy change. I'm not sure that I'd recommend Approval in the U.S. for presidential elections or various representative bodies. But at least for pure single-winner (currently Plurality based) elections like maybe mayoral elections Approval could be a step forward. That leaves open the posibility of moving later forwad for example to Condorcet methods.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You're in deinal about Gibbard-Satterthwaite.
You're in denial about Condorcet's blatant and full-magnitude co-operation/defection problem.
I don't see any denial of Gibbard-Satterthwaite or other problems. My understanding is that many people like Condorcet methods because they think that their co-operation/defection problems are relatively small (although they exist at least in theory). To me the promise of Condorcet methods is in that in large real life electons their vulnerabilities would be small and difficult to use, and as a result people could vote sincerely (without strategic concerns and without strategic intent).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And you're in denial about millions of voters' need to litterally maximally help the Democrat beat the Republican.
I can see a potential problem of numerous voters voting D > all_others > R or R > all_others > D in the first Condorcet elections just to make sure that their worst competitors will not win. My hope is that they would soon learn that there is no need and no sense to do so. The promise of Condorcet is that sincere ranking is sufficient.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And that's not even counting the good chance of successful offensive burial strategy when there are more than 3 candidates.
In real life such strategies are not very easy to implement. I have asked multiple times people to write down some guidelines for strategies in real life Condorcet elections but I have not seen any yet. Theoretical proofs of the existence of some vulnerabilities are not sufiicient to demonstrate that this would happen also in large real life elections.

What kind of public voting recommendations should Demorats or their support goups give to their own voters if the polls show that they are slightly ahead of the Republicans at the moment, or slightly behind, and there are also other parties in the election (maybe one right wing, one left wing, two centrist parties and one in some unspecified direction)?

Should they say "let the best man win" or "let's use some strategy to take the victory although people don't like us"? Could a party lose support (the crucial 1%) if they adopt the latter message? I mean that sincerity may pay off also this way.

(I know that in Australia people vote in ranked elections as told by the parties, and in a way that does not necessarily reflect the sincere opinion of the individual voters. But without going to the details of the Australian system and its problems, here I assume that voters will make independent decisions on how to vote, maybe based on some guidance from the parties, candidates and media, but not all voting in a fixed way as told by the party. Maybe that is a fair assumption in the U.S. political environment.)

Juho
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Mike Ossipoff
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Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-14 19:03:54 UTC
Permalink
Juho:

You said:

I'm a "condorcetist" in the sense that I think that Condorcet methods are a
pretty good local optimum for some election types.

[endquote]

Condorcet-Criterion methods would be fine for EM. I doubt very much that EM
members would have any favorite-burial need, with
Condorcet, or Condorcet-Criterion methods. However, the
co-operation/defection problem can appear just as easily here on EM
as anywhere. Therefore, for EM voting, Smith-Top would be fine, in this
non-favorite-burying electorate that includes a fair number of
people who insist on Condorcet's Criterion (CC). Ideally, I'd still prefer
ITC, but Smith-Top would be fine.

In fact, for that EM electorate, with so few voters, there could even be an
argument for Schwartz-Top.

Myself, if EM were voting on political candidates, or on voting systems, I'd
consider it a u/a election. Therefore, on the Voter's Choice 2
ballot, I'd designate "Direct", meaning that my ballot would award points
directly ,according to my marks on my Approval ballot.

...And, for EM, I'd prefer Voter's Choice 2 to the single-designation
Voter's Choice. Maybe Voter's Choice (only allowing one method designation)
could have appeal for when
the public distrust all alternative methods. Then, single-designation
Voter's Choice might be an easier proposal.

But even single-designation Voter's Choice should allow the "Direct"
designation. If the person wants to use it, it would mean giving one point
to one candidate, instead of being counted toward the points that a method
could bestow on its winner.

If we were using single-designation Voter's Choice in a poll on voting
systems, I'd designate "Direct", and give my point to Approval, as the only
acceptable in a u/a election.

But if that single-designation Voter's Choice poll were about political
candidates, and I wanted to help several, then I'd probably designate
Approval, ICT, Smith-Top or Schwartz-Top--whichever seemed more popular. Not
that I'd necessarily want to help several.

So, yes, Condorcet Criterion methods could have use in some electorates,
such as EM. Maybe some organizations too.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You want to quibble forever about which rank-count is the best.
You replied:

No interest to quibble.

[endquote]

Thank you. But of course that's what EM is all about. A debate-club, and not
a productive place for advocacy of actual practical reform.

You continued:

Unfortunately this problem exists. But it is not fatal. It could be seen
also as a large set of available options.

[endquote]

Make that "subset". And yes, as long as you keep the total set large, then
voting system reform advocates are their own worst opponents.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You object that Approval doesn't let you help your 1st and 2nd choices
against your last choice, while still helping your 1st choice against your
2nd choice.

Approval ballots contain less information than ranked or full rated ballots.

[endquote]

I've already said that I have no quibble with the non-practical mathematical
study of ways of counting sincere rankings.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But the _big_ benefit starts when everyone can support their 1st and 2nd choices at all.
Benefits depend on where you start from.

[endquote]

And guess where we're starting from here?... :-) We're starting with
Plurality.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Do you have any idea how things would be if everyone could actually
support their favorites, and without having to try to guess on which one
the other similar voters would be combining their support?

I guess we are speaking about the U.S. elections here. Do you recommend
compromise seeking single-winner election methods like Approval or Condorcet
to be used in electing representative bodies from single-winner districts?

[endquote]

Juho, I recommend that you look up, somewhere, what sort of elections we do
here. I'll explain it. Other than some municipal elections all of our
elections are single-winner elections. We elect our state legislatures in
single-winner elections (though there have been just a few exceptions). We
elect the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in single-winner
elections.

I'm not suggesting a complete change of the political system, such as
proportional representation or parliamentary government. Parliamentary govt
is fine, but it's too big
A change to ask for here, at least now. PR is likewise much too difficult to
ask for here, a big change. I'm asking only for the minimal change: For our
single-winner elections, for which we already use Plurality, I merely
suggest that we repeal Plurality's ridiculous forced falsification
requirement.

And yes, our Presidential elections are effectively by Plurality, at least
in the states, for the most part. Many would prefer one nationally-counted
presidential election. So would I, but I'd settle for Approval in the
states, first. But, first of all, Approval for Congress (HR and sentate),
and state legislatures.

You said:

I note that that would lead to an interesting political system that has
probably not been tested anywhere in the world yet.

[endquote]

Single winner elections have actually been tested! And widely used, Juho! I
kid you not!

(In the U.S., England and Canada, for instance. I recommend that you visit
the library and check for yourself.)

What would be somewhat new would be single-winner elections without
Plurality's forced falsification requirement. And yes, the lack of testing
and prior experience would be a problem for most reform proposals. But not
for Approval, because, as I said, that minimal change from Plurality is so
simple that it would be obvious that it would be an improvement, and nothing
other than an improvement.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Do you understand the difference between "liked" and "unliked"? And
what would happen if everyone could support whom and what they actually
like best?

Do you recommend "sincere Approval" where people sincerely approve those
candidates that they "like", or "strategic Approval" where people are
supposed to find the best strategy for them and vote that way?

[endquote]

You didn't read my article. I recommend Approval. How the person votes is up
to hir.

But, if you'd read the article, you'd know that my first recommendation is
to just approve whom you like, trust and consider deserving of your support.

But if you want to strategize, my first suggestion is that you can approve
the candidate for whom you'd vote in Plurality, and also everyone who is
better. Then
I discussed other _optional_ strategy suggestions that can be made for
Approval, due to its simplicity.

Short answer: I recommend voting for whom you like, trust and consider
deserving of your support. Strategize if you want to, that's ok too.

You said:

(The best strategy often includes approving the "lesser-evil" too.)

[endquote]

...and for everyone who is better. If you feel that you need such strategy.
Again, see my article, or what I wrote directly above.


You said:

My guess is that in public elections strategic approach to Approval would
dominate.

[endquote]

Fine. If people approve whom they'd vote for in Plurality, and also everyone
whom they like more, that would be just fine. They'd be approving,
supporting
their genuine favorites.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Do you want improvement or not? Or would you rather debate forever?
If this is a reference to the minor change in the electoral system to change
Plurality to Approval

[endquote]

...minor in procedural change. Immense in results-difference.


You said:

, then I agree that Approval has this benefit of being an easy change. I'm
not sure that I'd recommend Approval in the U.S. for presidential elections
or various representative bodies.

[endquote]

Are you also not sure how you justify recommending against it?

If you're merely saying that you make no recommendation regarding voting
systems here, then that's fine. If you're saying that Approval is less
qualified for
recommendation, than that claim would call for justification.


You said:

That leaves open the posibility of moving later forwad for example to
Condorcet methods.

[endquote]

Fine. Plan for that later, because you realize that, right now, Approval's
_minimal_ change is what can be justified, and what people can be assured
won't worsen the
Results.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And, as for helping 1st choice over 2nd choice, while helping both over
You're in deinal about Gibbard-Satterthwaite.
You're in denial about Condorcet's blatant and full-magnitude
co-operation/defection problem.

I don't see any denial of Gibbard-Satterthwaite or other problems. My
understanding is that many people like Condorcet methods because they think
that their co-operation/defection problems are relatively small (although
they exist at least in theory).

[endquote]

Nonsense. Can you justify that claim? I've showed a whole range of numerical
examples, from the 27,24,49 example to the 33,32,34 example. I've told how
the problem would come about, in Condorcet, just as well as in Approval.
Condorcet is not strategy-free, or anything close to it.



To me the promise of Condorcet methods is in that in large real life
electons their vulnerabilities would be small and difficult to use, and as a
result people could vote sincerely

[endquote]

See above.

(without strategic concerns and without strategic intent).

Dream on. That's the mythical promise of rank balloting. I believe that ICT
might actually come close to delivering on that promise. Condorcet does not.
I've abundantly told why. If you specifically disagree with something I've
said about that, then tell which statement you disagree with, and why, and
be specific.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And you're in denial about millions of voters' need to litterally
maximally help the Democrat beat the Republican.

I can see a potential problem of numerous voters voting D > all_others > R
or R > all_others > D in the first Condorcet elections just to make sure
that their worst competitors will not win. My hope is that they would soon
learn that there is no need and no sense to do so.

[endquote]

You see, that hope isn't good enough, unless it has some evidentiary
supporet.


The promise of Condorcet is that sincere ranking is sufficient.

[endquote]

Wouldn't it be nice if all promises were kept.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And that's not even counting the good chance of successful offensive
burial strategy when there are more than 3 candidates.

In real life such strategies are not very easy to implement. I have asked
multiple times people to write down some guidelines for strategies in real
life Condorcet elections but I have not seen any yet.

[endquote]

Then you haven't read my postings. Yes, Condorcet's strategy is far too
complicated to be known. But people will know that the Democrat can only be
maximally helped to beat the Republican by favorite-burial. And the
co-operation/defection problem will soon or immediately make itself obvious.


You said:

What kind of public voting recommendations should Demorats or their support
goups give to their own voters if the polls show that they are slightly
ahead of the Republicans at the moment, or slightly behind, and there are
also other parties in the election (maybe one right wing, one left wing, two
centrist parties and one in some unspecified direction)?

Should they say "let the best man win" or "let's use some strategy to take
the victory although people don't like us"? Could a party lose support (the
crucial 1%) if they adopt the latter message? I mean that sincerity may pay
off also this way.

[endquote]

No, I don't consider offensive burial to be Condorcet's worst problem. Maybe
its 3rd worst, after favorite-burial and co-operation/defection.


(I know that in Australia people vote in ranked elections as told by the
parties, and in a way that does not necessarily reflect the sincere opinion
of the individual voters. But without going to the details of the Australian
system and its problems, here I assume that voters will make independent
decisions on how to vote, maybe based on some guidance from the parties,
candidates and media, but not all voting in a fixed way as told by the
party. Maybe that is a fair assumption in the U.S. political environment.)

[endquote]

Or maybe not.

U.S. voters entirely trust and believe the corporate mass media. The media
tell them who "the two choices" are, and the voters all believe it. That's
why, in a beautiful and perfect Myerson-Weber equilibrium, two unliked
parties will keep on winning forever, or for as long as we keep Plurality.

Mike Ossipoff


Juho
Post by Michael Ossipoff
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Juho Laatu
2012-05-14 23:51:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juho Laatu
I note that that would lead to an interesting political system that has
probably not been tested anywhere in the world yet.
[endquote]
Single winner elections have actually been tested! And widely used, Juho! I
kid you not!
Yes, I know. I was thinking that good single-winner methods have been designed to elect single winners. They are not designed to elect representative bodies from single-winner districts. In theory use of a Condorcet method in the Senate and House of Representatives elections could lead to electing all representatives from a small centrist party (zero from Democrats, zero from Republicans). Probably that is not the intent.

I see multi-winner methods as a separate set of methods where the requitements are quite different from the single-winner method requirements. Representative bodies have multiple members, so by default they should use multi-winner methods. Pluraity based two-party systems are a special case that uses Plurality (a s-w method) to achieve the two-party effect in a m-w election. But in general, a good s-w method is not necessarily a good m-w method, and a good m-w method is not necessarily good s-w method.

I do understand that jumping e.g. to PR and multi-winner districts in the U.S. may not be possible in the short run. But I have not heard anyone naming use of single-winner methods in single-winner districts to elect multi-member representative bodies as their ideal target. Maybe that could be one intermediate step (first easy step) on a path towards something else.

When I say that Condorcet methods are good methods I mean that they are good methods for typical single-winner elections (or to be more exact, for _compromise_seeking_ single-winner elections) (and I don't mean single-winner districts in multi-winner elections).
Post by Juho Laatu
What would be somewhat new would be single-winner elections without
Plurality's forced falsification requirement. And yes, the lack of testing
and prior experience would be a problem for most reform proposals. But not
for Approval, because, as I said, that minimal change from Plurality is so
simple that it would be obvious that it would be an improvement, and nothing
other than an improvement.
Both Approval and Condorcet methods are compromise seeking single-winner methods in the sense that they tend to elect centrist compromise candiates with no requirement of proportionality. In that sense changing the method from Plurality to Approval may lead to major changes in the distribution of the seats in the long run (although the technical change is small). If one starts from a two-party set-up, in the first elections Approval may just allow some approvals to be given also to third parties, but it may still elect practically all representatives from the two old parties. Old party supporters might generally bullet vote. But in the long run things may change. Approval has the tendency to elect centrists, not from the two major parties of the two wings. One may consider also that proper
ty to be an improvement. But from another viewpoint, maybe people don't want the system to change in that way. If one wants to allow also third party candidates to win, maybe the long term t
arget could be proportional representation of all the parties. The problems of Condorcet (when used as part of a a multi-winner method in single-winner districts) are quite similar.

It is possible that use of Approval would not lead to as clear tendency of electing centrist candidates as described above. But that does not mean that the method would behave in some other sensible way that would be easy to predict and easy to justify. Large parties might continue to bullet vote, and small parties might not grow strong enough to widely challenge the old strong ones. Voters might stick to the stong ones since they are considered to be the strongest players in Washington anyway.
Post by Juho Laatu
If you're merely saying that you make no recommendation regarding voting
systems here, then that's fine. If you're saying that Approval is less
qualified for
recommendation, than that claim would call for justification.
I think the U.S. citizens should decide, and I try to avoid taking position on what they should do. However, the reason why I see potential problems in the use of Approval or Condorcet in electing representative bodies is that they are not planned to be used that way. There is no nice theory behind that would support that kind of a political system. But maybe also such untested political system could be one useful (intermediate?) step in the reform process. U.S. citizens to decide.

For presidential elections Approval and Condorcet would be fine (or as good as they are as single-winner methods) except that the presidential elections of the U.S.A. are not pure single-winner elections in the sense that the whole presidential system is based on the assumption of having two major parties alternating in that posiion. I don't know what would happen if some compromise candidate from a minor centrist party would be elected as the next president, and he would have to build the presidential machinery (government etc.) in Washington from scratch. I also wonder how the minor party president and his single-party government would cooperate with the Senate and House of Representatives. And would people be happy to give all the power of the president (including military) to a represe
ntative of a small minority for four years? Maybe all that would work fine, or maybe not well enough. U.S. citizens to decide.
Post by Juho Laatu
I don't see any denial of Gibbard-Satterthwaite or other problems. My
understanding is that many people like Condorcet methods because they think
that their co-operation/defection problems are relatively small (although
they exist at least in theory).
[endquote]
Nonsense. Can you justify that claim? I've showed a whole range of numerical
examples, from the 27,24,49 example to the 33,32,34 example. I've told how
the problem would come about, in Condorcet, just as well as in Approval.
Condorcet is not strategy-free, or anything close to it.
Yes. I don't see anyone denying the mathematical properties of the methods. But towards the end of my mail I said that I want to see if the methods are vulnerable also in practice. It is not sufficient to demonstrate that one person with full knowlege of the content of the actual votes and ability to change any of them could change the result. One good approach to demonstrate the practical vulnerability of a method would be to write some generic rules (or rules for some specific common situation) that voters or parties could use in real life elections to change the result. I have not seen any such good guidance that could be used to cheat Condorcet methods.
Post by Juho Laatu
I believe that ICT
might actually come close to delivering on that promise. Condorcet does not.
I've abundantly told why. If you specifically disagree with something I've
said about that, then tell which statement you disagree with, and why, and
be specific.
I hope I already answered that. Convincing practical guidance on how voters should vote in real life elections could do the job. I have seen some recommendations like "bury as much as you can", but I don't consider that very credible since often it doesn't make sense to bury, and this strategy may also make the results worse. A good startegy would be one that is likely to improve the results and can be implemented in real elections. I also assume that voters slightly prefer parties that want to play fair game.
Post by Juho Laatu
I can see a potential problem of numerous voters voting D > all_others > R
or R > all_others > D in the first Condorcet elections just to make sure
that their worst competitors will not win. My hope is that they would soon
learn that there is no need and no sense to do so.
[endquote]
You see, that hope isn't good enough, unless it has some evidentiary
supporet.
I'd take the risk. Anyway, I expect that Democrats and Republicans would not adopt Condorcet if their plan is to recommend all their supporters to bury the candidate(s) of the other major party. That would be too foolish. (They might however be happy with having some insignificant number of irrational burial srategists since those people in some sense help them making their worst competitors look bad.) So, the major parties would probably not recommend rampant burial. There's good hope that most voters would give up the idea of automatically burying the strongest competitors if the main parties agree that sincere voting gives better results (although they'll of course continue demonizing their strongest competitors verbally). I hope that there would be many experts and media telling people
that Condorcet works just fine with sincere ranking.

I have not heard of any strategy problems in the Condorcet elecions that have been held. Unfortunately we don't have yet any good examples from strongly competitive political Condorcet elections. I have also not heard of any examples of significant or systematic strategic voting in real life IRV elections (excluding Australia again).
Post by Juho Laatu
Yes, Condorcet's strategy is far too
complicated to be known. But people will know that the Democrat can only be
maximally helped to beat the Republican by favorite-burial.
That strategy ignors the fact that it may do more harm than good. Did you assume rational or irrational voters here? It would not be a rational strategy to recommend all Democrats to bury all Republicans and vice versa.


My summary is that in order to prove that Condorcet methods will not work well enough in real life elections I'd like to see also demonstrations on how Condorcet methods can be cheated in practice. That could be done by giving rules that can be followed. For example: "If voter sees situation x, then he should modify his vote so that ..." or "If party sees situation y, then it should publicly recommend its supporters to modify their vote so that ...". When planning the strategies one must take into account that the polls are not exact and the opinions may change before the election day. Also the srategic moves migh change the opinions of the voters (e.g. the target party supporters may rank the strategists sincerely lower). It is also not possible to control the voting behaviour of all the
supporters. An alternative approach would be to claim that many enough voters will use irrational strategies, and therefore Condorcet (and maybe also other) methods are likely to lead to uns
atisfactory results.

Juho




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Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-15 21:21:04 UTC
Permalink
Juho:

You wrote:

Yes, I know. I was thinking that good single-winner methods have been
designed to elect single winners. They are not designed to elect
representative bodies from single-winner districts.

[endquote]

I don't know when or where Plurality was first proposed &/or used, but I can
assure you that it's widely believed here that single-member districts,
elected by a single-winner method, is the right way to elect Congress.

We agree that PR hasn't any chance in the U.S. And you're right: Approval,
or any other good single-winner method would tend to elect the same party to
Congress in each single winner district. That's fine with me, because if
it's a good single-winner method, then it would be a good choice.

As for PR, not only is it entirely un-enactable in the U.S. (in spite of
previous use of STV), but it also is obsolete.

Don't get me wrong--I'm not criticizing PR. The countries where you and
Kristofer live don't have the voting system problem that we have, because PR
is used. PR can do a great job. But PR can fail when it has too few seats
per district, or a threshold that excludes small parties.

PR is fine, provided that there are sufficiently many seats per district,
and there isn't an inclusion threshold. I suppose a very low threshold would
be ok, but it would be better to have no threshold at all.

I feel that any lack of perfection in the results of PR in Europe can be
attributed to small districts &/or theresholds.

I won't deny that the we could definitely benefit from borrowing some ideas
from Europe. Good PR would be one such beneficial borrowing.

But, as I said, PR is un-enactable here. I'd be entirely satisfied if a good
single-winner method were used for electing Congress and state legislatures
in single-member districts.

But which would be the _best_? Neither, of course. Proxy Direct Democracy
would be best.

Proxy DD uses single-winner methods to make multi-alternative choices. I've
defined Proxy DD some months ago, and we discussed it.

Basically, all decisions now made by Congress are made by direct democracy.
Implemented by home computers, library computers, home telephones, etc.

I described how an anonymous voter ID number could be obtained and used.

A voter can designate proxies, or a sequence of proxies, or indicate that
he'll let his voting power follow his proxy's list of proxies.

Your proxy could by anyone. Parent, spouse, child, employer, teacher, party
leader, candidate, etc. Anyone.

You continued:

In theory use of a Condorcet method in the Senate and House of
Representatives elections could lead to electing all representatives from a
small centrist party (zero from Democrats, zero from Republicans). Probably
that is not the intent.

[endquote]

Electing each representative from the same winning party is what happens
now, regardless of what the single-winner method is. Of course that was the
intent.

And, regarding that "small centrist party": There's no reason why a
voter-median party must be small. It could be small, or large.

And let's be clear about "centrist". It can mean, "somewhere between the
Democrat and the Republican". Or it can mean voter-median. Two very
different things.

You said:

I see multi-winner methods as a separate set of methods where the
requitements are quite different from the single-winner method requirements.
Representative bodies have multiple members, so by default they should use
multi-winner methods. Pluraity based two-party systems are a special case
that uses Plurality (a s-w method) to achieve the two-party effect in a m-w
election. But in general, a good s-w method is not necessarily a good m-w
method, and a good m-w method is not necessarily good s-w method.

[endquote]

As I said, I'd have no objection to PR, provided that there are lots of
seats per district, and no inclusion threshold. And as I also said, we could
benefit greatly by borrowing ideas from Europe, and PR would be fine.


But PR isn't _necessary_ if we use a good single-winner method. PR isn't the
only way.

I do understand that jumping e.g. to PR and multi-winner districts in the
U.S. may not be possible in the short run. But I have not heard anyone
naming use of single-winner methods in single-winner districts to elect
multi-member representative bodies as their ideal target.

[endquote]

It would be a fine endpoint target. I'd be fine with a good single-winner
method electing Congress in single-member districts.

But, for me, the ideal target would be Proxy DD. As I said, it uses a
single-winner method for all decisionmaking.

You said:

When I say that Condorcet methods are good methods I mean that they are good
methods for typical single-winner elections (or to be more exact, for
_compromise_seeking_ single-winner elections) (and I don't mean
single-winner districts in multi-winner elections).

[endquote]

...only if you disregard their favorite-burial incentive, and (for most of
them) their C/D problem.



Both Approval and Condorcet methods are compromise seeking single-winner
methods in the sense that they tend to elect centrist compromise candiates
with no requirement of proportionality. In that sense changing the method
from Plurality to Approval may lead to major changes in the distribution of
the seats in the long run (although the technical change is small).

[endquote]

Yes, the procedural change is small, and the results change would be _big_.
...And favorable.

You continued:

If one starts from a two-party set-up, in the first elections Approval may
just allow some approvals to be given also to third parties, but it may
still elect practically all representatives from the two old parties.

[endquote]

Maybe in the first election. But not for long. And maybe not even in the
first election.



Old party supporters might generally bullet vote. But in the long run things
may change. Approval has the tendency to elect centrists, not from the two
major parties of the two wings.

[endquote]

Whoa! Centrists, voter-median candidates, will _not_ be between the
Republican and the Democrat! The Democrats and the Republicans are not the
extremes.

They're two nearly identical parties (actually better-named as one
Republocrat party) with unpopular positions and corruption. Far from the
voter median. The Republicans and Democrat parties would be all finished if
Approval were enacted.

You said:

One may consider also that property to be an improvement. But from another
viewpoint, maybe people don't want the system to change in that way.

[endquote]

Certainly those who benefit from the status quo don't want it to change. But
American politicians always have to promise "change". It's the biggest
buzzword. You can win an election without promising change. That's because
the public want change. They don't know what kind of change they want, but
they know something's not right.

Of course there are conservative individuals who are more comfortable with
nothing changing. But those who really don't want change are the excetion.

You said:

If one wants to allow also third party candidates to win, maybe the long
term t arget could be proportional representation of all the parties.

[endquote]

If you're saying that only the Democrats and Republicans will win, if we
don't have PR, I flatly disagree. The Democrats and Republicans will be
finished when we replace Plurality with a good single-winner method.

You said:

The problems of Condorcet (when used as part of a a multi-winner method in
single-winner districts) are quite similar.

[endquote]

Let's substitute "good single-winner method" for "Condorcet". It wouldn't
have problems. In fact, though good PR would be fine too, I'd rather elect
Congress and state legislatures in single-member districts via a good
single-winner method such as Approval or ICT. That's because, why have all
the rejected parties as part of the Congress?

If that seems to contradict what I said about small districts and
thresholds, remember that a good single-winner method is something entirely
different from PR in small districts or with a high threshold.

No, with PR, some unpopular parties would be able to stay in Congress. I
wouldn't want that. Approval in single-member districts would be better. Or
ITC.

You said:

It is possible that use of Approval would not lead to as clear tendency of
electing centrist candidates as described above.

[endquote]

It has been shown that Approval will quickly home in on the voter-median,
and then stay there.

You said:

But that does not mean that the method would behave in some other sensible
way that would be easy to predict and easy to justify.

[endquote]

If you're referring to Approval, then in what way would it behave
unsensibly, unjusitifably or unpredictably? Of course any election can be
unpredictable.


You said:

Large parties might continue to bullet vote

[endquote]

Maybe some people at the top of top of the heap would bullet-vote for
Republicans. But soon they'd see the need to approve both the Democrat and
the Republican, when they saw that the Republocrats are no longer sure
winners. The difference among Republocrats would be seen by their voters as
the negligible differences that they are.

But most everyone who votes Democrat now would approve someone better, whom
s/he genuinely likes. Probably several candidates. Even if the Republocrats
win the first Approval election, they soon won't be electable.

You said:

, and small parties might not grow strong enough to widely challenge the old
strong ones.

[endquote]

The Republocrats win by Myerson-Weber equilibrium made possible only by
Pluralilty. Without that, they're done.


You said:

Voters might stick to the stong ones since they are considered to be the
strongest players in Washington anyway.

[endquote]

Strong with eachother's support, when practically none of them are
re-elected?
Post by Michael Ossipoff
If you're merely saying that you make no recommendation regarding
voting systems here, then that's fine. If you're saying that Approval
is less qualified for recommendation, than that claim would call for
justification.
I think the U.S. citizens should decide, and I try to avoid taking position
on what they should do. However, the reason why I see potential problems in
the use of Approval or Condorcet in electing representative bodies is that
they are not planned to be used that way.

[endquote]

They've been used in that way for so long here that they're now intended
that way. And, as I said, I'd rather have winners of a good single-winner
method in Congress than a mix of all parties. Why keep the unpopular ones?
Given the choice between a _good_ single winner method and PR, I'd rather
have the good single-winner method.

Yes, PR is better than Plurality. Yes, PR does PR better when it lets small
parties in. But why would we want unliked parties in Congress?

PR would be the only way that the Republocrats could remain in office, if
the alternative were a good single-winner method in single-member districts.


Republocrats would become passionate proportionalists.

For presidential elections Approval and Condorcet would be fine (or as good
as they are as single-winner methods) except that the presidential elections
of the U.S.A. are not pure single-winner elections in the sense that the
whole presidential system is based on the assumption of having two major
parties alternating in that posiion.

[endquote]

No doubt some do assume that. It's a bad assumption. It won't happen with a
better single-winner method.


You continued:

I don't know what would happen if some compromise candidate from a minor
centrist party would be elected as the next president

[endquote]

What do you mean by "minor"? Receiving the most "Approved" ratings? :-)

Or maybe you're referring to any non-Republocrat party as "minor". We'll
see who's "minor" when Plurality can no longer make its unpopular
Myerson-Weber equilibrium, and when everyone can support whom and what they
actually like.


You continued:

, and he..

[endquote]

Don't be so sure that the president won't be a she.


...would have to build the presidential machinery (government etc.)

[endquote]

Why would that be a problem, when the same single-winner method is tending
to elect the same kind of candidates, throughout Congress as in the
presidency?

As always, there might be regional differences in what kind of candidates
are getting elected to Congress, but that's unavoidable.




I also wonder how the minor party president and his single-party government
would cooperate with the Senate and House of Representatives.

[endquote]

I wonder what you mean by "minor party". And why should the president,
senate and HR be too different to co-operate? Remember, Congress would be
elected by Approval too, and so they'd consist of the same "minor party" or
set of similar parties.

Necessarily, the president is just one person, and Congress is a set. That
set averages out the differences. But that's a feature of the presidential
system.

The presidential system of government could be called the "One Lone Nut
Theory of Government". I'd much rather have the parliamentary system.
Elected in single-member districts by Approval, ICT, or other similarly good
method.

But, as I said, a big change like the change to parliamentary govt is
entirely unattainable. So I'll settle for a good single-winner method in our
presidential system. For president, and for Congress in single-member
districts. And state legislatures in single-member districts.

You continue:

And would people be happy to give all the power of the president (including
military) to a representative of a small minority for four years?

[endquote]

Under our constitution, the military isn't entirely under the president's
power.

And, above, your objection is really an objection to the presidential
system, and is not an objection to Approval vs Plurality, or Approval vs
Condorcet.

As I said, the Presidential system is the One Lone Nut Theory of Government.
I'd much rather have parliamentary government. But it isn't attainable here.


You said:

Maybe all that would work fine, or maybe not well enough. U.S. citizens to
decide.

[endquote]

Maybe, with the influence of better government, due to Approval, and
consequent more open education and a much more free and open media, maybe
people will look around at Europe, and realize that we'd be better off with
parliamentary government, that it would make more sense. Let's hope so. For
now, let's just enact Approval.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I've showed a whole range of
numerical examples, from the 27,24,49 example to the 33,32,34 example.
I've told how the problem would come about, in Condorcet, just as well as
in Approval.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Condorcet is not strategy-free, or anything close to it.
You said:

Yes. I don't see anyone denying the mathematical properties of the methods.
But towards the end of my mail I said that I want to see if the methods are
vulnerable also in practice. It is not sufficient to demonstrate that one
person with full knowlege of the content of the actual votes and ability to
change any of them could change the result. One good approach to demonstrate
the practical vulnerability of a method would be to write some generic rules
(or rules for some specific common situation) that voters or parties could
use in real life elections to change the result. I have not seen any such
good guidance that could be used to cheat Condorcet methods.

[endquote]

I don't consider offensive burial to be Condorcet's biggest problem, or even
its 2nd biggest. But what you say above doesn't address my comments about
many people's need to fully help the Democrat beat the Republican, and the
examples for the C/D problem in Condorcet.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I believe that ICT
might actually come close to delivering on that promise. Condorcet does not.
I've abundantly told why. If you specifically disagree with something
I've said about that, then tell which statement you disagree with, and
why, and be specific.
I hope I already answered that. Convincing practical guidance on how voters
should vote in real life elections could do the job. I have seen some
recommendations like "bury as much as you can", but I don't consider that
very credible since often it doesn't make sense to bury, and this strategy
may also make the results worse. A good startegy would be one that is likely
to improve the results and can be implemented in real elections. I also
assume that voters slightly prefer parties that want to play fair game.

[endquote]

In a C/D situation, people won't see noncooperation strategy as unfair, when
it seems called for. And often you won't know if your defection is acting as
offensive strategy, or as deterrent defensive strategy, because you don't
know what the actual numbers are.



You said:

I'd take the risk. Anyway, I expect that Democrats and Republicans would not
adopt Condorcet if their plan is to recommend all their supporters to bury
the candidate(s) of the other major party. That would be too foolish.

[endquote]

Agreed.

You continue:

(They might however be happy with having some insignificant number of
irrational burial srategists since those people in some sense help them
making their worst competitors look bad.) So, the major parties would
probably not recommend rampant burial. There's good hope that most voters
would give up the idea of automatically burying the strongest competitors if
the main parties agree that sincere voting gives better results (although
they'll of course continue demonizing their strongest competitors verbally).
I hope that there would be many experts and media telling people that
Condorcet works just fine with sincere ranking.

[endquote]

Why would they tell people that? The Democrat and Republican parties, and
the mass media that have always promoted them--why should they stop advising
lesser-of-2-evils favorite-burial. "The only way to maximally help Dem beat
Repub is to rank Dem alone in 1st place. Don't spoil it for Nader."

You said:

I have not heard of any strategy problems in the Condorcet elecions that
have been held. Unfortunately we don't have yet any good examples from
strongly competitive political Condorcet elections.

[endquote]

Thank you for explaining the observation that you reported.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Yes, Condorcet's strategy is far too
complicated to be known. But people will know that the Democrat can
only be maximally helped to beat the Republican by favorite-burial.
That strategy ignors the fact that it may do more harm than good.

[endquote]

Of course. That goes without saying. It may be doing a lot more harm than
good right now in our Plurality elections too. In fact it surely is.
But so what? Compromise-obsessed voters will do everything it takes to
maximally help Dem beat Repub.

As I told Kristofer, favorite-burial is good, rational, optimal strategy in
a u/a election when it seems that Compromise is the only acceptable who can
beat the unacceptable.

You asked:

Did you assume rational or irrational voters here? It would not be a
rational strategy to recommend all Democrats to bury all Republicans and
vice versa.

[endquote]

I don't claim that they'll do that. Offensive burial isn't the main problem.



My summary is that in order to prove that Condorcet methods will not work
well enough in real life elections I'd like to see also demonstrations on
how Condorcet methods can be cheated in practice. That could be done by
giving rules that can be followed. For example: "If voter sees situation x,
then he should modify his vote so that ..." or "If party sees situation y,
then it should publicly recommend its supporters to modify their vote so
that ...". When planning the strategies one must take into account that the
polls are not exact and the opinions may change before the election day.

[endquote]

Uncertainly only magnifies the favorite-burier's need to favorite-bury. Or
the defector's need to defect.


Mike Ossipoff




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Juho Laatu
2012-05-15 23:40:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ossipoff
PR is fine, provided that there are sufficiently many seats per district
That is typical. But it is also possible to count the correct proportions at national level and then distribute the seats to the (few member) districts. Using districts of size one would be a hack, but ditricts of size 5 could be already used to elect a "perfectly balanced" group of representatives.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I feel that any lack of perfection in the results of PR in Europe can be
attributed to small districts &/or theresholds.
I guess all countries have somewhat different systems and thereby also somewhat different problems. The ones you mentioned are probably common.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Proxy Direct Democracy would be best.
That is an interesting area of study that could generate also new kind of democracies. Not without problems though, but that applies to all systems.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Electing each representative from the same winning party is what happens
now, regardless of what the single-winner method is. Of course that was the
intent.
I guess the idea is that the two dominat parties alternate in power. This way we can get (two-party) proportionality in time. And the dividing line between the two parties is supposed to represent the opinion of the median voter.

Use of othe methods that Plurality in the single-winner districts may break these properties. That may be good or/and bad.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But PR isn't _necessary_ if we use a good single-winner method. PR isn't the
only way.
Right. A two-party system is another approach. Proxy Direct Democracy could introduce another one. And there is also the traditional direct democracy. I believe single-winner districts with compromise seeking non-two-party single-winner methods have not been discussed well enough yet to have a clear understanding of the properties of the resulting political system.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But, for me, the ideal target would be Proxy DD. As I said, it uses a
single-winner method for all decisionmaking.
Good single-winner methods could be used much more than they are used today to make various decisions in all kind of political systems.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
When I say that Condorcet methods are good methods I mean that they are good
methods for typical single-winner elections (or to be more exact, for
_compromise_seeking_ single-winner elections) (and I don't mean
single-winner districts in multi-winner elections).
[endquote]
...only if you disregard their favorite-burial incentive, and (for most of
them) their C/D problem.
I'm still not convinced that Condorcet methods would be unusable or worse than others with respect to strategic vulnerability in typical real life elections.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Let's substitute "good single-winner method" for "Condorcet". It wouldn't
have problems. In fact, though good PR would be fine too, I'd rather elect
Congress and state legislatures in single-member districts via a good
single-winner method such as Approval or ICT. That's because, why have all
the rejected parties as part of the Congress?
Ok, that sounds like a group of village elders (with no need to have party affiliations). That may be a working approach for some needs.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
No, with PR, some unpopular parties would be able to stay in Congress. I
wouldn't want that.
Interesting. That is of course against the principles of proportional representation. But why not. Many political systems of today try to exclude extremist parties from the system (e.g. using thresholds) and allow only mainstream parties to be represented (e.g. two). Decisions should generally not be extreme. But representation might include or not include all (also extremists).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But that does not mean that the method would behave in some other sensible
way that would be easy to predict and easy to justify.
[endquote]
If you're referring to Approval, then in what way would it behave
unsensibly, unjusitifably or unpredictably? Of course any election can be
unpredictable.
E.g. the (theoretical) risk of electing all the representatives of the Congress from one single small party. Approval and other compromise seeking single winner methods do not respect proportional representation nor the alternating two-party principles. I can't tell how e.g. the U.S. would react to the proposed changes in the elections. Your "village elder" approach where there is no need to have party affiliations could maybe work(?) (with this kind of single-winner districts) if(!) things converge in that direction.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I don't know what would happen if some compromise candidate from a minor
centrist party would be elected as the next president
[endquote]
What do you mean by "minor"? Receiving the most "Approved" ratings? :-)
In Condorcet a small party that Democrats condider better than Republicans, and Republicans consider better than Democrats, could win. Approval could do the same if people approve that small party candidate in order to avoid electing the worst candidate. It could still have only few first preference supporters altough it got lots of defensive approvals.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Don't be so sure that the president won't be a she.
I once asked one of my American friends which one would be elected first, a female or a black president. He answered black and he was right.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
...would have to build the presidential machinery (government etc.)
[endquote]
Why would that be a problem, when the same single-winner method is tending
to elect the same kind of candidates, throughout Congress as in the
presidency?
In the IRV discussions people often talk about risk of electing "weak candidates". In this case that could mean that the major parties do have lots of power and people and already established machinery in Washington. If you elect a competent nice professor from some university in Minnesota (represening the professor party), how could he quickly establish all the required connections and find all the right people to form a government and fill the White House and nominate all the ambassadors etc. I mean that the presidency of the U.S. is not just a one man job but a large political subsystem.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I also wonder how the minor party president and his single-party government
would cooperate with the Senate and House of Representatives.
[endquote]
I wonder what you mean by "minor party". And why should the president,
senate and HR be too different to co-operate? Remember, Congress would be
elected by Approval too, and so they'd consist of the same "minor party" or
set of similar parties.
Today the president needs support e.g. from the Congress to be efficient. If the large parties in Congress hate the minor party of the president, he could be in trouble, or might not achieve much on that sector. But as you say, things might evolve, and the new style Congress might take a different attitude in the long run.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And, above, your objection is really an objection to the presidential
system, and is not an objection to Approval vs Plurality, or Approval vs
Condorcet.
Just saying that the presidential election is not a clean cut single-winner election but a somewhat more complex process. It is designed to work as part of the two-party tradition. Mayoral elections might be simpler.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I don't consider offensive burial to be Condorcet's biggest problem, or even
its 2nd biggest. But what you say above doesn't address my comments about
many people's need to fully help the Democrat beat the Republican, and the
examples for the C/D problem in Condorcet.
I wrote also another mail where I addressed one of the voting scenarios that you mentioned. The "need to fully help the Democrat beat the Republican" and therefore bury as much as on can may be based on not understanding well what strategies make sense and are likely to improve the outcome.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
why should they stop advising
lesser-of-2-evils favorite-burial. "The only way to maximally help Dem beat
Repub is to rank Dem alone in 1st place. Don't spoil it for Nader."
Since that may not make sense as a techincal or as a political strategy. I refer to the separate mail and the analysis on which tricks work and which ones do not.

Juho




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Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-16 21:41:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ossipoff
PR is fine, provided that there are sufficiently many seats per district
That is typical. But it is also possible to count the correct proportions at
national level and then distribute the seats to the (few member) districts.

[endquote]

...as in Germany and some Scandinavian countries, where the overall
nationally-proportional correct seat number is calculated for each party,
according to its share of the national party vote, and then the number of
seats that a party has won in the districts is added to, to bring it up to
its correct proportion based on the national party vote. A mixed-member
system.

I never felt that districts were very important in PR, but I must admit that
I've never lived where there is PR, district or otherwise. It seems to me
that I read that Holland doesn't use districts in their PR system, but that
might just be because the area isn't large enough to need them.

I liked Finland's elegant open list system when I read about it.

But didn't I read that you use d'Hondt? That under-represents small parties.
Sainte-Lague is more perfectly proportional and more fair.
I could be wrong about which proportional formula Finland uses. It was a
long time ago when I read about that. Maybe Finland uses Sainte-Lague.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I feel that any lack of perfection in the results of PR in Europe can
be attributed to small districts &/or theresholds.
I guess all countries have somewhat different systems and thereby also
somewhat different problems. The ones you mentioned are probably common.

[endquote]

The trouble with party-list PR with small districts or high threshold is
that there's a serious split-vote problem. STV avoids it, but at a cost in
proportional accuracy: STV and Largest-Remainder list PR share the same kind
of suboptimally-accurate proportionality formula. Sainte-Lague is the
genuinely proportional PR--provided that districts are small, and there
isn't a high threshold (best to have no artificial threshold). As you said
small districts are ok if there's a "mixed-member system" in which national
proportional results are used to top-up the parties' district seat totals.

Anyway, PR is unfeasible for the U.S. And anyway, as I said, I don't want
parties that aren't good enough to win in single-winner elections to have
Congressional seats.

Any PR would be better than Plurality single-winner elections. But we'd be
fine with just doing our single-winner elections by a better method, such as
Approval. For Congress in single-member districts, as well as for the
presidency.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Electing each representative from the same winning party is what
happens now, regardless of what the single-winner method is. Of course
that was the intent.
I guess the idea is that the two dominat parties alternate in power.

[endquote]

That most definitely is the idea here. But we'll see what's dominant when
everyone can really express what they really want.

But yes, single-member districts will give Congress to only the dominant
party or parties. But don't think that that will mean Republocrats. As I
said, Republocrats can't win without the Plurality voting system. Remember
that, with a good voting system "dominant parties" will mean "best liked and
most wanted parties".


You said:

This way we can get (two-party) proportionality in time. And the dividing
line between the two parties is supposed to represent the opinion of the
median voter.

[endquote]

If you're talking about Congressional single-member districts elected by
Approval, then I trust that you aren't referring to the Democrat and
Republican parties. I don't know how proportional it would be, but that
wouldn't be the goal. Electing the most wanted, the best liked, would be the
goal of single-member district Approval in Congress.

Yes, with Approval, the system would find and stay at the voter median.

You said:

Use of other methods than Plurality in the single-winner districts may break
these properties. That may be good or/and bad.

[endquote]

How could using Approval instead of Plurality in our single-member districts
be bad? I've talked about how Approval's results would differ from those of
Plurality.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But PR isn't _necessary_ if we use a good single-winner method. PR
isn't the only way.
Right. A two-party system is another approach.

[endquote]

It doesn't matter how many parties. Remember that the "two party system" is
an artificat of Plurality. In Approval single-member districts, there would
likely still be two or three parties often winning. Or maybe, as people find
out things, or conditions change, different parties will be the main
dominant one. But the important thing is that, if two parties are usually
winning, under Approval, it's only because people genuinely like them best.
I don't care how many parties are winning in those single-member districts,
whether 1, 2, 3 or 4. It will be whatever the public like.

You said:

Proxy Direct Democracy could introduce another one. And there is also the
traditional direct democracy. I believe single-winner districts with
compromise seeking non-two-party single-winner methods have not been
discussed well enough yet to have a clear understanding of the properties of
the resulting political system.

[endquote]

For one thing, there's no guarantee that there won't be a two-party system
when our single-member district seats are elected by Approval. It will
depend only on what people like.

But Approval, of course, won't share Plurality's property of forcing an
_unliked_ 2-party system on us. You say that hasn't been discussed enough?
Ok, shall we discuss the properties of the political system that would
result from choosing what people actually like, when voters are free to
indicate all the candidates that they like? How would it differ from now?
How about this: It would be more liked.

If you're suggesting that there would be some drawback, disadvantage or bad
result that could happen because we elect candidates and parties that are
more liked than what Plurality elects, then please let's hear them.

You're saying what I've been saying people would say, "It needs more study".
"...and much discussion, because we lack a clear understanding". And I agree
that that argument would effectively stop Condorcet. But it won't work on
Approval, because of Approval's transparent simplicity. Tell us how it could
possibly be bad to no longer falsify ballots by indicating 0 points, when
the voter might not really choose to give 0 to that candidate. Tell us how
it would be bad to let voters top-rate whatever candidate(s) they want to.
Tell us why it might be bad to elect candidates and parties that are
more-liked than those elected by Plurality.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But, for me, the ideal target would be Proxy DD. As I said, it uses a
single-winner method for all decisionmaking.
...only if you disregard their favorite-burial incentive, and (for most of
them) their C/D problem.
I'm still not convinced that Condorcet methods would be unusable or worse
than others with respect to strategic vulnerability in typical real life
elections.

[endquote]

That's entirely understandable, because you haven't talked with American
favorite-buriers, and observed their voting, as I have.

And the favorite-burial problem isn't a matter of strategic _vulnerability_.
It's a problem of strategic need. But the C/D problem can be regarded as
strategic vulnerability. If you don't believe that Condorcet has that
vulnerability, then try Condorcet in the C/D examples that I've given--my
versions of the Approval bad-example (ABE).

And yes, I agree that Smith-Top, Schwartz-Top, and probably the CC/ABE
methods proposed by Kristofer, are defection-resistant while meeting the
Condorcet Criterion.
But they aren't what you usually mean when you say "Condorcet".
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Let's substitute "good single-winner method" for "Condorcet". It
wouldn't have problems. In fact, though good PR would be fine too, I'd
rather elect Congress and state legislatures in single-member
districts via a good single-winner method such as Approval or ICT.
That's because, why have all the rejected parties as part of the Congress?
Ok, that sounds like a group of village elders (with no need to have party
affiliations). That may be a working approach for some needs.

[endquote]

I don't understand what you mean by that. Any political system could
conceivably work without parties if people's policy-preferences were all
similar enough.
Any electoral system could elect village elders if that's what the voters
want. But there is nothing in what I'd said that implies village elders, or
lack of party affiliations.

Plato proposed a system ruled by a panel of philosopher kings who would
appoint their successors. But we aren't talking about that, because we're
talking about democracies that elect their leaders.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
No, with PR, some unpopular parties would be able to stay in Congress.
I wouldn't want that.
Interesting. That is of course against the principles of proportional
representation.

[endquote]

Yes.

You asked:

But why not.

[endquote]

Because parties that can't win a single-winner election are not what the
public want.

You continued:

Many political systems of today try to exclude extremist parties from the
system (e.g. using thresholds) and allow only mainstream parties to be
represented (e.g. two).

[endquote]

I have no specific wish the limit government to two parties. I don't care
how many parties are winning in the Congressional single-member districts.
Two, three, four, whatever.

I don't want to exclude parties because I call them "extremist". It would be
undemocratic to try to exclude parties merely because they are extremely
different from what I prefer.
But, for instance, the Constitution could specifically exclude parties and
candidates with the Nazis' reprehensible attributes.

All I'm saying is that there is no need or reason to include parties that
the public don't like--parties that can't win a single-winner election.

In PR, I don't like thresholds, because, in party-list PR, they cause a
split-vote problem.

You said:

Decisions should generally not be extreme.

[endquote]

But don' t you see that your policy proposals and decisions will be called
"extreme" by anyone whose policy proposals are extremely different from
yours?

Decisions in an Approval-elected Congress will be maximally popular.

You continued:

But representation might include or not include all (also extremists).

[endquote]

PR's goal is to include all or nearly all. That's ok. Europe is proof of
that. PR would be incomparably better than Plurality.

I just see no need to seat in Congress parties that aren't liked enough to
win a seat in a single-seat Approval election.

But if we had a Yes/No election tomorrow, about whether or not to
immediately adopt all of the typically European policies, including PR, I'd
vote "Yes" on that proposal, without any hesitation.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But that does not mean that the method would behave in some other
sensible way that would be easy to predict and easy to justify.
[endquote]
If you're referring to Approval, then in what way would it behave
unsensibly, unjusitifably or unpredictably? Of course any election can
be unpredictable.
E.g. the (theoretical) risk of electing all the representatives of the
Congress from one single small party.

[endquote]

1. Plurality always elects all of the representatives from the Republocrat
party, because voters aren't allowed free choice in giving the 0 and 1
ratings to candidates.
So then, don't imply that electing all representatives from one party (or
two identical ones) would be something new with Approval.

2. It isn't clear what you mean by "small". How "small" is a party that is
considered alright by the most people, and given an "Approved" rating by the
most people? A party that is hopefully-regarded by the most voters.

3. Or maybe you're saying that Approval would be worse than Plurality
because it wouldn't elect the most favorite party, as you think that
Plurality does. But Plurality doesn't elect the most favorite party, because
millions of voters aren't voting for their favorite in Plurality.

4. I don't care how many parties are winning in Congress, as long as they're
winning because they're the most liked--as they would in Approval.

Ok, but now I realize that your objection is against single-member districts
in general, rather than against Approval in particular.

Yes, single-member districts could elect all of Congress from one party.
That would be fine, if it's the most liked party (as it would be in
Approval). As I said, why waste seats and time on parties that aren't liked
enough to win an Approval election in a single-member district?

You continued:

Approval and other compromise seeking single winner methods do not respect
proportional representation

[endquote]

Of course not. PR is ok, but I've told why I prefer single-member districts
elected by Approval.

You continued:

...nor the alternating two-party principles.

[endquote]

Ok, you actually _are_ trying to argue for Plurality vs Approval.

What is this "alternating 2-party principle" that you advocate, and how do
you justify it?

Two parties chosen by corporate media and big money contributors, and able
to win because of Plurality's falsification of voter's candidate ratings?
Are you sure that you want to suggest that that might be better than
Approval? If you want to say that, then you need to tell why you think so.

And no, don't invoke your "alternating two party principle" as your reason,
because your "alternating two party principle", itself, needs justification.

Before you answer, remember that Approval can and will elect two parties to
Congress if the public like two parties.


You continue:

I can't tell how e.g. the U.S. would react to the proposed changes in the
elections.

[endquote]

I've only so far mentioned Approval to a few people who aren't already
familiar with voting systems, but they liked it. Some liked it a lot.

But, if you think that they might not, then you need to say what it is about
it that they might not like.


You continued:

Your "village elder" approach where there is no need to have party
affiliations could maybe work(?) (with this kind of single-winner districts)
if(!) things converge in that direction.

[endquote]

I have no idea what you mean by "village elder approach". What do village
elders have to do with using Approval in single-member districts for
Congressional elections?

There is no reason why candidates in Approval elections can't have party
affiliations. There is every reason to believe that most, all, or nearly all
of them would.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I don't know what would happen if some compromise candidate from a
minor centrist party would be elected as the next president
[endquote]
What do you mean by "minor"? Receiving the most "Approved" ratings?
:-)
In Condorcet a small party that Democrats condider better than Republicans,
and Republicans consider better than Democrats, could win. Approval could do
the same if people approve that small party candidate in order to avoid
electing the worst candidate. It could still have only few first preference
supporters altough it got lots of defensive approvals.

[endquote]

...and so?

How is it bad to elect a party or candidate who is acceptable and adequate
for the most people?

Remember, Juho, that in an Approval election, no one is stopping you from
approving only your favorite. In fact that was what I did, when I was the
only voter in the presidential poll that I posted some months ago, in the
ordinary Approval portion of the ballot.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
...would have to build the presidential machinery (government etc.)
[endquote]
Why would that be a problem, when the same single-winner method is
tending to elect the same kind of candidates, throughout Congress as
in the presidency?
In the IRV discussions people often talk about risk of electing "weak
candidates".

[endquote]

You mean "weak candidates" who are liked by the most people? :-)

You continue:

In this case that could mean that the major parties do have lots of power
and people and already established machinery in Washington.

[endquote]

What is this machinery that you keep referring to? The parties that win the
Approval elections will become the major parties. Are you saying that things
In Washington are already set up for the Republicans and Democrats? Such as
the bribe arrangements? Lobbyists, etc.? And you're afraid that we'd lose
that, if we didn't elect the Democrats and Republicans? We'd lose those
bribe arrangements? Would that really be such a bad thing to lose? :-)

And if corporate lobbyists and bribe-arrangements aren't what you're
referring to, then what are you referring to?

You continued:

If you elect a competent nice professor from some university in Minnesota
(represening the professor party), how could he quickly establish all the
required connections and find all the right people to form a government and
fill the White House and nominate all the ambassadors etc.

[endquote]

They do it every 4 years.

I take it that your'e saying that the nice professor has been elected
president. Presidents have plenty of time in which to choose their
cabinet-members, their top administration officials. Those officials, in
turn, can choose their employees. It happens every time the parties
alternate in the presidency. Yes, sometimes a Democrat president will keep
some cabinet official of the previous Republican administration. But they
don't do it because there isn't time to find anyone else :-) They do it
because it's what they or their owners prefer.

European countries likewise have to form new governments when the
parliamentary coalition changes.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I also wonder how the minor party president and his single-party
government would cooperate with the Senate and House of Representatives.
[endquote]
I wonder what you mean by "minor party". And why should the
president, senate and HR be too different to co-operate? Remember,
Congress would be elected by Approval too, and so they'd consist of
the same "minor party" or set of similar parties.
Today the president needs support e.g. from the Congress to be efficient.

[endquote]

Checks and balances. They work together. Justification was given for that
system, but a parliamentary system would be better.

But so what? With Approval, as with Purality, the same voters are voting in
the Congressional and presidential elections. Yes, in some regions, they
might elect parties or candidates who couldn't win the presidency. It
happens now too. With Approval's genuine voter freedom, there might be 3
parties in Congress instead of two. So what? It wouldn't be worse than PR's
many parties. The president would then have to co-operate with a broader
coalition of congressmembers. That's fine, because they were all liked
enough to win in their state or HR district. Remember that the president's
need to co-operate with Congressmembers from every diverse district is a
principle that is used as a justification for the presidential system. It is
in no way contrary to the intent of the presidential system.


You said:

If the large parties in Congress hate the minor party of the president

[endquote]

Why would the president be hated by the Congressmembers elected by the same
population who elected the president? Some HR members from remote or unique
districts might not like the president, but they, not the president, would
be of a minority point of view.

Remember that, though voters might approve people who aren't their favorite,
they approve people whom they like, or at least strongly prefer enough to
give an Approval to.

Remote minority-point-of-view HR members would have to work with the larger
society, including their presidential choice.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And, above, your objection is really an objection to the presidential
system, and is not an objection to Approval vs Plurality, or Approval
vs Condorcet.
You continued:

Just saying that the presidential election is not a clean cut single-winner
election but a somewhat more complex process. It is designed to work as part
of the two-party tradition.

[endquote]

The Republicans and Democrats weren't the two parties when the Constitution
was written.

Maybe you're trying to claim that two unliked parties will work better than
one or three liked ones. If so, then why? And no, saying the presidential
system intended a two party system won't do. Specifically, what bad will
happen if there are one or three parties in Congress?
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I don't consider offensive burial to be Condorcet's biggest problem,
or even its 2nd biggest. But what you say above doesn't address my
comments about many people's need to fully help the Democrat beat the
Republican, and the examples for the C/D problem in Condorcet.
I wrote also another mail where I addressed one of the voting scenarios that
you mentioned. The "need to fully help the Democrat beat the Republican" and
therefore bury as much as one can may be based on not understanding well
what strategies make sense and are likely to improve the outcome.

[endquote]

On the contrary, as I said before, in Condorcet, if it's a u/a election
(meaning that there are unacceptable candidates who could win), and if it
appears as if Compromise is the only acceptable who can beat the
unacceptable, then your best strategy is to bury your favorite by ranking
Compromise alone at top.

In any case, what evidence I've seen, for how today's favorite-buriers vote,
says that they'll favorite-bury in Condorcet too. And remember, as I said
above, favorite burial can be the optimal strategy. I'd do so myself, in
fact, under the above-specified conditions. (contrary to what I've said in
the past).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
why should they stop advising
lesser-of-2-evils favorite-burial. "The only way to maximally help
Dem beat Repub is to rank Dem alone in 1st place. Don't spoil it for
Nader."

Since that may not make sense as a techincal or as a political strategy.

[endquote]

It makes sense and is the technically optimal strategy under the conditions
that I specified above. It's commonly felt that the Democrat is the only
candidate who can beat the Republican. To many, the Republican is
unacceptable, and the Democrat is acceptable--the only acceptable who can
beat the Republican. The conditions that I specified above are met.

Mike Ossipoff


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Juho Laatu
2012-05-17 09:18:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I liked Finland's elegant open list system when I read about it.
But didn't I read that you use d'Hondt? That under-represents small parties.
Sainte-Lague is more perfectly proportional and more fair.
Yes, Finland uses D'Hondt (and D'Hondt favours large parties when allocating the last fractional seats). Finland also allocates seats independently in each district. That actually favours large parties more than D'Hondt does. As you know having district size of 1 is quite radical from this point of view. In Finland district sizes are from 6 to 34, but still they they favour large parties. There was a reform proposal that would have counted the proportions at national level, but current government decided not to drive that proposal (that was already once approved earlier) forward.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
As you said
small districts are ok if there's a "mixed-member system" in which national
proportional results are used to top-up the parties' district seat totals.
You can do that also without a mixed-member system. The Finnish reform proposal first counted the proportions at national level and then forced all the districts to make their seat allocations so that the end result was in line with the agreed proportions.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And anyway, as I said, I don't want
parties that aren't good enough to win in single-winner elections to have
Congressional seats.
Ok. But note that this approach allows minor parties whose supporters live in few hot spots to get seats, while parties of the same size but with even distribution of voters will not get any seats.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
How could using Approval instead of Plurality in our single-member districts
be bad? I've talked about how Approval's results would differ from those of
Plurality.
Proportional representation and two-party systems are two well known approaches. Approval with single winner districts is a new kind of a system, and that may bring surpises (I wrote about them before the referenced line). Also Approval method itself is not free of problems (my key concern is its strategic problems when there are more than two potential winners).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You say that hasn't been discussed enough?
Ok, shall we discuss the properties of the political system that would
result from choosing what people actually like, when voters are free to
indicate all the candidates that they like? How would it differ from now?
If you're suggesting that there would be some drawback, disadvantage or bad
result that could happen because we elect candidates and parties that are
more liked than what Plurality elects, then please let's hear them.
I have now understood that your ideal (or actually best reachable) target system is a system that elects from few large parties, where few > 2. Technically multi-winner elections would use single-winner districts and Approval. Also the president could be elected with Approval.

At some point I thought that you might aim at electing good individuals without strong party affiliations, but maybe you are more party oriented that that. I assume that you expect most candidates to have a strong party affiliation.

One topic that may need further discussion is the dynamic behaviour of the proposed method. You seemd to assume that the method would converge towards electing candidates from few well known major parties. Could be but I'm not sure. People could also bullet vote (especially the old party supporters), and the old parties could still dominate (although less than before). There would be no alternating power balance anymore, which could mean that people could feel that they can not change the policy however they vote. Would the governments be minority governments or coalition governments? I mean that there could be need for further reforms. The problems of Approval with three or more potential winners might irritate people and change their voting behaviour. I'm not sure what would happen, but
I expect this system to be at least in the beginning less predictable than the old well tested approaches.

I'm not saying that this system should not be tried. I'm just saying that you might get surprises too, and that the reform process might continue (or return back as in Burlington).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
you haven't talked with American
favorite-buriers, and observed their voting, as I have.
I didn't observe any strong burial tendency in Burlington when I analyzed those votes. Normal voters do not know what FBC means, so I'd expect some burying to be present in Burlington if people have strong tendency to do so. My guess is that ranked votes of Condorcet elections would no be radically different. Maybe some activists would mention the theoretical strategic opportunities, but still I believe most voters would just rank as they would rank in IRV. Bullet voting is probably a more common deviation from sincere ranking than burial is.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
the C/D examples that I've given--my
versions of the Approval bad-example (ABE).
Could you dig the key example up? I need a concrete set of votes since my claim was that in most situations the strategies don't work in real life as well as they seem to work on paper (under the contorol of one single stratgegist with ability change and not change the votes as he wishes).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Ok, that sounds like a group of village elders (with no need to have party
affiliations). That may be a working approach for some needs.
[endquote]
I don't understand what you mean by that.
I mean that since the system is not proportional and Condorcet and Approcal tend to elect centrists, the end result might be that the nicest person that has centrist opinions will be elected in each district, i.e. one that both Republicans and Democrats and also others can "approve". There would not necessarily be few parties that would alternate in power but rather a continuum of nice guys that can represent the viewpoints and can be trusted by all the parties. But now my guess is that you like more (and aim at) the alternating few parties approach (at district level).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
2. It isn't clear what you mean by "small". How "small" is a party that is
considered alright by the most people, and given an "Approved" rating by the
most people? A party that is hopefully-regarded by the most voters.
I talk about the small parties because U.S. people are used to being ruled by a party that had 50+% support in the last election. In sincere Approval the winner tends to be widely approved. In strategic Approval people might approve also lesser evils. A small party between Democrats and Republicans could get lots of approvals since it is consirered better than the "worst alternative". In any case, if you don't have coalition governments or other correspondn arrangements, parties with considerably less than 50% support would rule (or try to rule).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
3. Or maybe you're saying that Approval would be worse than Plurality
because it wouldn't elect the most favorite party, as you think that
Plurality does. But Plurality doesn't elect the most favorite party, because
millions of voters aren't voting for their favorite in Plurality.
In many of my comments I say that Approval + single-winner districts to elect representative bodies is an _unknown_ and therefore somewhat unpredictable method. I expect Approval to have also the typical Approval problems (and Plurality to have its own).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Ok, but now I realize that your objection is against single-member districts
in general, rather than against Approval in particular.
No objection, just observations on their properties. It would be an interesting experiment to try single-member districts with Condorcet or Approval (i.e. a compromise seeking single-winner method) to elect a representative body. I'm not ready to recommend any such methods to anyone since I'm not sure that they would converge towards some stable and well working state. Condorcet could be more interesting than Approval since I expect Approval to be more problemating from voting strategy point of view. I'd be happy if someone tried them.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Yes, single-member districts could elect all of Congress from one party.
That would be fine, if it's the most liked party (as it would be in
Approval).
Sincere Approval would elect the most approved (=liked?) candidate, but I expect voters to be more strategic than that.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
What is this "alternating 2-party principle" that you advocate, and how do
you justify it?
It is just one of the working (or semi-working) existing alternatives. It can be justified as a political system that alternates around the median opinion. But I don't advocate it, although it can be said to be one working form of democracy.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
parties chosen by corporate media and big money contributors
I'd say this problem is for the most part independent of the used election method.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Are you saying that things
In Washington are already set up for the Republicans and Democrats?
Yes, especially in the sense that after the presidential elections one 50+% party is supposed to take control of very many things. Naturally the system has adapted to the two-party structure during its long history.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Such as the bribe arrangements?
Bribes are a different story. Also other political systems can have such problems.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And you're afraid that we'd lose that, if we didn't elect the Democrats and Republicans?
I'm just saying that some redesign may be needed if you will give up the 50+% tradition.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
European countries likewise have to form new governments when the
parliamentary coalition changes.
That's business as usual. I was concerned about the changes in the dynamics of the U.S. system that you proposed.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
On the contrary, as I said before, in Condorcet, if it's a u/a election
(meaning that there are unacceptable candidates who could win), and if it
appears as if Compromise is the only acceptable who can beat the
unacceptable, then your best strategy is to bury your favorite by ranking
Compromise alone at top.
Could you point out a concrete example with sincere preferences and strategic votes, so I can check if it is likely to work in a real life election. (The one example that I analyzed in the other mail didn't seem to be a threat in real life elections.)

Juho



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Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-19 01:56:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ossipoff
How could using Approval instead of Plurality in our single-member
districts be bad? I've talked about how Approval's results would
differ from those of Plurality.
Proportional representation and two-party systems are two well known
approaches. Approval with single winner districts is a new kind of a system,
and that may bring surpises (I wrote about them before the referenced line)

[endquote]

No you didn't. That's why I asked the question.

And now you're just repeating the vague and unspecified worry that you
expressed before.

Will it be different with Approval? You be it will.

I'm going to repeat this: It will be different in regards to the fact that
people who think they need to support a lesser-evil can also support
everyone they like, including those they regard as the best.

It will be different because the voter hirself can be the one to decide to
which candidate(s) s/he wants to give 1 point instead of 0 points, instead
of the method deciding that all but one must get 0 points. That change seems
to worry you. "What will happen as a result?", you ask.

What will happen is that voters will be in charge of their ballots. You keep
repeating that you're worried about the results. I keep asking you what bad
results you expect from the above changes. And instead of answering that
question, you just repeat your unspecified and vague worry.

You said:

. Also Approval method itself is not free of problems (my key concern is its
strategic problems when there are more than two potential winners).

[endquote]

And what problems might those be?

Ones that I've already answered about?

Because I've already answered lots of claims about problems, you need to
say, specifically, what problems you mean, and how you answer my rebuttals
to the claims about those problems. Remember that one of the
conduct-guidelines for EM is that we shouldn't keep repeating claims that
have already answered, without first responding to the answers.

You claim a problem. I answer you about it. You just keep repeating that
there would be problems.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You say that hasn't been discussed enough?
Ok, shall we discuss the properties of the political system that would
result from choosing what people actually like, when voters are free
to indicate all the candidates that they like? How would it differ from
now?
Post by Michael Ossipoff
If you're suggesting that there would be some drawback, disadvantage
or bad result that could happen because we elect candidates and
parties that are more liked than what Plurality elects, then please let's
hear them.

You said:

I have now understood that your ideal (or actually best reachable) target
system is a system that elects from few large parties, where few > 2.

[endquote]

You keep saying that too. I have no idea why. I've never said what number of
parties in government is ideal. Approval will elect as many parties as
people like.
...just as I said when you made that statement before.

I don't care how many parties are in government. It could be one. It could
be many.

You continue:

Technically multi-winner elections would use single-winner districts and
Approval. Also the president could be elected with Approval.

[endquote]

Yes, in this country we use single-member districts. As I've said, PR isn't
a feasible proposal here. So yes, my proposal is to use Approval for all of
our state and national single-winner elections. Ideally we'd elect the
president in one big direct election, but maybe at first we can use Approval
in each state. In any case, Congress is the area where a single-winner
method is straightforwardly used. But remember that we supposedly
_effectively_ use Plurality, in each state, to allocate that state's
electoral votes. We should use Approval instead.

You said:

At some point I thought that you might aim at electing good individuals
without strong party affiliations, but maybe you are more party oriented
that that.

[endquote]

I corrected that strange mis-statement of yours in my previous post. And now
you're just repeating your mis-statement again.

I have no idea where you get that statement. I haven't said anything about
aiming for individuals with or without strong party affiliation.

When people are approving whom they like, Approval will elect the most liked
candidate. It will do so whether or not s/he has strong party affiliations,
and regardless of whether or not s/he belongs to a part at all. Which part
of that don't you understand?

And yes, if people are strategizing, and voting for a compromise that they
don't really like, at least, unlike in Plurality they're also voting for
everyone they really like. And if everyone's strategizing, Approval will
elect the candidate who is better than expectation for the most voters. I
say all this for completeness. But Approval doesn't care about party
affiliation, and neither do I.

You said:

I assume that you expect most candidates to have a strong party affiliation.

[endquote]

Most candidates do, don't they. So what. Maybe there will be a very popular
independent. I myself would approve an independent if s/he endorsed or wrote
a platform that clarifies hir policy proposals, and if I liked those
policies.

You said:

One topic that may need further discussion is the dynamic behaviour of the
proposed method. You seemd to assume that the method would converge towards
electing candidates from few well known major parties.

[endquote]

You've been given no reason to believe that. I never said that Approval
would elect from a few parties. It might elect from one party; it might
elect from many parties, in the various states, in the various election
years. I never said that it would or wouldn't elect from well-known parties.


I would suggest that unknown parties would have a difficult time in an
election by most methods, however :-)



You said:

Could be but I'm not sure. People could also bullet vote (especially the old
party supporters), and the old parties could still dominate (although less
than before).

[endquote]

In the world of "could", anything is possible. I've explained that most
people are disgusted with "the politicians", by which they refer to the
Democrats and Republicans (the old parties to which you refer). If it makes
you feel better to think that they might want to keep on electing them, with
a more free method, then believe whatever makes you happy.

You continue:

There would be no alternating power balance anymore

[endquote]

Every four years, sometimes longer, people rise up in anger, mad as hell and
not going to take it anymore, and say, "Throw the b*st*rds out!". So if the
Republicans are in, they elect a Democrat. If the Democrats are in, they
elect a Republican.

You sound like you really like that--from a distance of some thousands of
miles. It must make a great show. My sincerest apologies if it doesn't
continue for you.

You seem to be sure that, with Approval, one party would keep winning every
election year. I have no idea how you're so sure of that. You see, I'd have
expected that it's also possible that several parties would be liked, and
sometimes one would win, and sometimes another would win. Maybe sometimes an
independent would win (if s/he clearly outlines her policy proposals). The
public might experiment with first one party, and then another. Or (as you
seem to believe) they might prefer one so much that that's all they want to
elect. Unlike you, however, I don't make a prediction on that.


You said:

, which could mean that people could feel that they can not change the
policy however they vote.

[endquote]

So Juho is saying that, in Approval, the voters would be unable to change
the policy, no matter _how_ they vote.

So if most or all voters change their voting, and approve candidates who
would implement a different and new policy, Juho thinks that, no matter how
they vote, they won't be able to change anything. Juho forgot to tell us why
he thinks that :-)

I'm willing to spend as much time as it takes to answer specific substantive
objections and claims. I don't have time to continuing answering what I've
been answering in these posts.

You can't expect me to spend my time continuing to reply to you if you can't
do your part, by being specific and knowing what you mean.

I'm going to finish replying to this post, in a few minues. Someone else in
my household wants to use the computer. But I can't justsify wasting time in
this way. You'd have to start being a lot more specific and clearer.

To be continued...

Mike Ossipoff
for list info

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Dave Ketchum
2012-05-19 02:39:00 UTC
Permalink
This started as a thread to talk a bit about Condorcet.

That has faded away, and all I see is trivia about Plurality vs
Approval - too trivial a difference between them to support enough
thoughts to be worth writing this much, even less for reading.

DWK
Post by Juho Laatu
Post by Michael Ossipoff
How could using Approval instead of Plurality in our single-member
districts be bad? I've talked about how Approval's results would
differ from those of Plurality.
Proportional representation and two-party systems are two well known
approaches. Approval with single winner districts is a new kind of a system,
and that may bring surpises (I wrote about them before the
referenced line)
[endquote]
No you didn't. That's why I asked the question.
And now you're just repeating the vague and unspecified worry that you
expressed before.
Will it be different with Approval? You be it will.
I'm going to repeat this: It will be different in regards to the fact that
people who think they need to support a lesser-evil can also support
everyone they like, including those they regard as the best.
It will be different because the voter hirself can be the one to decide to
which candidate(s) s/he wants to give 1 point instead of 0 points, instead
of the method deciding that all but one must get 0 points. That change seems
to worry you. "What will happen as a result?", you ask.
What will happen is that voters will be in charge of their ballots. You keep
repeating that you're worried about the results. I keep asking you what bad
results you expect from the above changes. And instead of answering that
question, you just repeat your unspecified and vague worry.
. Also Approval method itself is not free of problems (my key
concern is its
strategic problems when there are more than two potential winners).
[endquote]
And what problems might those be?
Ones that I've already answered about?
Because I've already answered lots of claims about problems, you need to
say, specifically, what problems you mean, and how you answer my rebuttals
to the claims about those problems. Remember that one of the
conduct-guidelines for EM is that we shouldn't keep repeating claims that
have already answered, without first responding to the answers.
You claim a problem. I answer you about it. You just keep repeating that
there would be problems.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You say that hasn't been discussed enough?
Ok, shall we discuss the properties of the political system that would
result from choosing what people actually like, when voters are free
to indicate all the candidates that they like? How would it differ from
now?
Post by Michael Ossipoff
If you're suggesting that there would be some drawback, disadvantage
or bad result that could happen because we elect candidates and
parties that are more liked than what Plurality elects, then please let's
hear them.
I have now understood that your ideal (or actually best reachable) target
system is a system that elects from few large parties, where few > 2.
[endquote]
You keep saying that too. I have no idea why. I've never said what number of
parties in government is ideal. Approval will elect as many parties as
people like.
...just as I said when you made that statement before.
I don't care how many parties are in government. It could be one. It could
be many.
Technically multi-winner elections would use single-winner districts and
Approval. Also the president could be elected with Approval.
[endquote]
Yes, in this country we use single-member districts. As I've said, PR isn't
a feasible proposal here. So yes, my proposal is to use Approval for all of
our state and national single-winner elections. Ideally we'd elect the
president in one big direct election, but maybe at first we can use Approval
in each state. In any case, Congress is the area where a single-winner
method is straightforwardly used. But remember that we supposedly
_effectively_ use Plurality, in each state, to allocate that state's
electoral votes. We should use Approval instead.
At some point I thought that you might aim at electing good
individuals
without strong party affiliations, but maybe you are more party oriented
that that.
[endquote]
I corrected that strange mis-statement of yours in my previous post. And now
you're just repeating your mis-statement again.
I have no idea where you get that statement. I haven't said anything about
aiming for individuals with or without strong party affiliation.
When people are approving whom they like, Approval will elect the most liked
candidate. It will do so whether or not s/he has strong party
affiliations,
and regardless of whether or not s/he belongs to a part at all. Which part
of that don't you understand?
And yes, if people are strategizing, and voting for a compromise that they
don't really like, at least, unlike in Plurality they're also voting for
everyone they really like. And if everyone's strategizing, Approval will
elect the candidate who is better than expectation for the most voters. I
say all this for completeness. But Approval doesn't care about party
affiliation, and neither do I.
I assume that you expect most candidates to have a strong party affiliation.
[endquote]
Most candidates do, don't they. So what. Maybe there will be a very popular
a platform that clarifies hir policy proposals, and if I liked those
policies.
One topic that may need further discussion is the dynamic behaviour of the
proposed method. You seemd to assume that the method would converge towards
electing candidates from few well known major parties.
[endquote]
You've been given no reason to believe that. I never said that
Approval
would elect from a few parties. It might elect from one party; it might
elect from many parties, in the various states, in the various
election
years. I never said that it would or wouldn't elect from well-known parties.
I would suggest that unknown parties would have a difficult time in an
election by most methods, however :-)
Could be but I'm not sure. People could also bullet vote (especially the old
party supporters), and the old parties could still dominate
(although less
than before).
[endquote]
In the world of "could", anything is possible. I've explained that most
people are disgusted with "the politicians", by which they refer to the
Democrats and Republicans (the old parties to which you refer). If it makes
you feel better to think that they might want to keep on electing them, with
a more free method, then believe whatever makes you happy.
There would be no alternating power balance anymore
[endquote]
Every four years, sometimes longer, people rise up in anger, mad as hell and
not going to take it anymore, and say, "Throw the b*st*rds out!". So if the
Republicans are in, they elect a Democrat. If the Democrats are in, they
elect a Republican.
You sound like you really like that--from a distance of some
thousands of
miles. It must make a great show. My sincerest apologies if it doesn't
continue for you.
You seem to be sure that, with Approval, one party would keep
winning every
election year. I have no idea how you're so sure of that. You see, I'd have
expected that it's also possible that several parties would be
liked, and
sometimes one would win, and sometimes another would win. Maybe sometimes an
independent would win (if s/he clearly outlines her policy
proposals). The
public might experiment with first one party, and then another. Or (as you
seem to believe) they might prefer one so much that that's all they want to
elect. Unlike you, however, I don't make a prediction on that.
, which could mean that people could feel that they can not change the
policy however they vote.
[endquote]
So Juho is saying that, in Approval, the voters would be unable to change
the policy, no matter _how_ they vote.
So if most or all voters change their voting, and approve candidates who
would implement a different and new policy, Juho thinks that, no matter how
they vote, they won't be able to change anything. Juho forgot to tell us why
he thinks that :-)
I'm willing to spend as much time as it takes to answer specific substantive
objections and claims. I don't have time to continuing answering what I've
been answering in these posts.
You can't expect me to spend my time continuing to reply to you if you can't
do your part, by being specific and knowing what you mean.
I'm going to finish replying to this post, in a few minues. Someone else in
my household wants to use the computer. But I can't justsify wasting time in
this way. You'd have to start being a lot more specific and clearer.
To be continued...
Mike Ossipoff
for list info
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Juho Laatu
2012-05-19 11:36:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Will it be different with Approval? You be it will.
Agreed. Change of Plurality to Approval in a two-party system will cause changes in many areas.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I'm going to repeat this: It will be different in regards to the fact that
people who think they need to support a lesser-evil can also support
everyone they like, including those they regard as the best.
Yes, one can approve many candidates.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
It will be different because the voter hirself can be the one to decide to
which candidate(s) s/he wants to give 1 point instead of 0 points, instead
of the method deciding that all but one must get 0 points. That change seems
to worry you. "What will happen as a result?", you ask.
It's ok to be able to approve all the candidates that one wants to. No worries. (Maybe some "worries" in the areas of need to make further changes in other parts of the system, and also in strategic voting.)
Post by Michael Ossipoff
What will happen is that voters will be in charge of their ballots. You keep
repeating that you're worried about the results. I keep asking you what bad
results you expect from the above changes. And instead of answering that
question, you just repeat your unspecified and vague worry.
I tried to describe in last couple of mails what kind of impacts that change might have. Can you be a bit more specific on which parts were unclear. The whole concept and my worries are a bit vague also to me (and therefore maybe explanations too) because I don't exactly know how the society would react to such non-cassical and untested changes.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
. Also Approval method itself is not free of problems (my key concern is its
strategic problems when there are more than two potential winners).
[endquote]
And what problems might those be?
Ones that I've already answered about?
Just the usual and thorougly discussed strategy problems of the Approval method. I don't think you discussed them yet. They are however quite independent from the implications of using a compromise seeking single-winner methods instead of Plurality in a two-party political system. Therefore the problems of the Approval method could be discussed separately as a separate stand-alone topic if needed (but there is no need since I assume you are already familiar with those discussions).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Because I've already answered lots of claims about problems, you need to
say, specifically, what problems you mean, and how you answer my rebuttals
to the claims about those problems. Remember that one of the
conduct-guidelines for EM is that we shouldn't keep repeating claims that
have already answered, without first responding to the answers.
I tried to answer all the questions that I found in your mail. I will also answer any additional ones or ones that I have so far left unanswered (within reason). Just point them out.

Btw, do you promise to answer questions that I think you did not answer yet?
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You claim a problem. I answer you about it. You just keep repeating that
there would be problems.
Ok, that may be a problem. Just point out where my description was not sufficient or where I left something unanswered, or present new clarifying questions.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I have now understood that your ideal (or actually best reachable) target
system is a system that elects from few large parties, where few > 2.
[endquote]
You keep saying that too. I have no idea why. I've never said what number of
parties in government is ideal.
My intention was not to refer to governments here, just to the overall number of parties with representatives.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I don't care how many parties are in government. It could be one. It could
be many.
Ok, but that question and the qustion of how to nominate a government will pop up after there will be more than two large parties.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
When people are approving whom they like, Approval will elect the most liked
candidate. It will do so whether or not s/he has strong party affiliations,
and regardless of whether or not s/he belongs to a part at all. Which part
of that don't you understand?
Now I understand that you are flexible with respect to the strength of party affiliations. I also note that you say: "But Approval doesn't care about party affiliation, and neither do I."
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And if everyone's strategizing, Approval will
elect the candidate who is better than expectation for the most voters.
That's an interesting positive attitude towards Approval. I guess you mean "better or equal to expectation" - or should people always not approve the "expected" winner?

26: A > B >> C
26: B > A >> C
24: C >> A > B
24: C >> B > A
- A and B are Democrats and C is a Republican

How should voters vote after seeing these (quite reliable) poll results if they follow the "better than expectation" strategy? Should A and B be seen as the expected winners with 50% winning chance both? Maybe 50% of the voters should guess that A wins and 50% that B wins (?).
Post by Michael Ossipoff
There would be no alternating power balance anymore
[endquote]
Every four years, sometimes longer, people rise up in anger, mad as hell and
not going to take it anymore, and say, "Throw the b*st*rds out!". So if the
Republicans are in, they elect a Democrat. If the Democrats are in, they
elect a Republican.
I prefer not to take position on what the U.S. citizens should do with their political system.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You seem to be sure that, with Approval, one party would keep winning every
election year.
No. Use of Approval introduces additional winning options when compared to current Plurality.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
, which could mean that people could feel that they can not change the
policy however they vote.
[endquote]
So Juho is saying that, in Approval, the voters would be unable to change
the policy, no matter _how_ they vote.
No. This has nothing to do with Approval (applies to Condorcet too). I mean that the system where there are two dominant 50+% parties that would systematically alternate in power would be gone. This means that voters can not trust that in the next or the following election the current party in power will be replaced with "their party". Their own party might not get in power ever, and some party that they don't like might stay in power (maybe as part of coalition governments) longer than today.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
I'm willing to spend as much time as it takes to answer specific substantive
objections and claims. I don't have time to continuing answering what I've
been answering in these posts.
I wrote above that I'm happy to respond to all your questions and other requests (my plan is to answer shortly to short questions).

Will you answer in the same way to those my questions that I think are still unanswered?

Juho



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Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-19 04:25:10 UTC
Permalink
Juho:

Would the governments be minority governments or coalition governments?

[endquote]

They'd be popular governments. If it consisted of only one party, I don't
know if it would be the favorite of more than half of the voters. My guess
is that it usually will.

But yes, there could be several parties winning seats, and so that a
government might then be a coalition government. With single-member
districts, there wouldn't be the diversity of less-liked parties. So there
it wouldn't be like a PR body. Probably not as many parties in government,
only the most liked ones.

You continue:

I mean that there could be need for further reforms.

[endquote]

You like to speculate. Speculations aren't really answerable. To what needs
are you referring, in particular?

Certainly advocates of rank methods would want to propose them, and that
would be fine. Maybe some would say that their methods are _needed_. That's
ok to, though it I claim that it wouldn't be so. And if you want to say that
something else will be needed, then you need to say why.

At that time, if others are advocating Condorcet or IRV, or whatever, I'll
mention ICT and tell of its advantages.

But, under those circumstances, I'll also offer the possibility of merely
adding voting options to Approval. The ones that I've already discussed a
lot here in recent months.

But you know, it's a bit premature to worry about that now.


You said:
.
The problems of Approval with three or more potential winners might irritate
people and change their voting behaviour.

[endquote]

You like to refer to "problems" without specifying them. As I said earlier
in this reply, I've answered claims about problems, various ones. We have no
way of knowing what problems you're referring to. If you're referring to
"problems" that I've answered about, then say so, and say what part of my
answer you disagree with, and why.

In particular, you have never answered my question about what problem
Approval will have that Plurality doesn't have.

Will people's voting behavior change with Approval? Most definitely. As I've
said many time, those who feel a need to compromise on a lesser-evil will be
able to vote for their favorites too. That will certainly "irritate" the
lesser-evils who won in Plurality :-)



You said:

I'm not sure what would happen

[endquote]

I'm not sure what you're talking about. I told you what would happen. If you
think something else would happen, or might happen, don't forget to tell us
what and why.

You said:

, but I expect this system to be at least in the beginning less predictable

[endquote]

I've made some reliable predictions. If you disagree with them, then share
with us your reasons. No one can predict exactly what the changes would be.
But they'd definitely be improvements. Why? Read my article and all of my
posts on this subject, including the one that you're supposedly replying to.

You said:

than the old well tested approaches.

[endquote]

The results of Plurality have been very well tested, and found to be odious
to everyone.

You said:

I'm not saying that this system should not be tried.

[endquote]

Oh thank you thank you :-)

You said:

I'm just saying that you might get surprises too

[endquote]

You will most definitely get surprises, Juho. And you might not like them.
But people who live here will like them. Why? Because, unlike now, they'll
be supporting what they like. Because they're the result of voters having
more freedom regarding the marks that they give, the 1 point ratings and the
0 point ratings. The freedom to give 1 point to every candidate whom they
like. No, you won't like that. But people who live here will like the
results.

You said:

, and that the reform process might continue

[endquote]

Of course it might. As I've said many times now, there mere fact of the
Approval balloting results will show that things aren't as our televisions
have been telling us. Public wishes, the genuine mainstream and middle,
those aren't what we were told. Rapidly media will be more open, and the
climate will be good for additional reforms of various kinds. Those wanting
additional electoral reforms will be in a better position than now to ask
for them. Rank balloting advocates will try their proposals. Maybe a good
one will win. Discussion will be open, and so I think it's likely that
anything that wins will be good.

You said:

(or return back as in Burlington).

[endquote]

I get tired of asking you why people would want to go back to Plurality.
This discussion isn't productive.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
you haven't talked with American
favorite-buriers, and observed their voting, as I have.
I didn't observe any strong burial tendency in Burlington when I analyzed
those votes.

[endquot]

It was a municipal election.

Did your analysis include looking at the labels on the ballots that told
what the voter really likes best? Oh way, the ballots don't have such
labels, do they :-)

As someone who is actually here, I've observed a strong favorite-burial
tendency in a limited sample. But even in that sample, the consistency
suggests that it won't be rare.



Juho now says:

Normal voters do not know what FBC means

[endquote]

They know what "lesser-evil" "wasting your vote", and "don't split the vote"
mean.

You know what, I'm still only halfway through this post. Do I really have to
wade through the rest of it? Not if the rest is anything like what I've been
replying to so far. Maybe I'll resume later, but, if so, I'll reply only to
a few things that are relatively deserving of reply.

Before I quite I'll comment on this:

Juho says:

A small party between Democrats and Republicans could get lots of approvals
since it is considered better than the "worst alternative".

A small party between the Republicans and Democrats might get some approvals
from those who either like the Republicans and Democrats (from what people
say, there aren't terribly many of those) and from people who think they
need the Dem as a lesser-evil. But why is that important to Juho? Some who
approve Dem as lesser-evil might similarly approvel Inbetween, for the same
reason. The relevant thing is that they'll also approve those whom they
really like. Juho seem sure that the winner will be the Dem, the Repub, or
someone inbetween them. People have a quite low opinion of the Republocrat
politicians. But Juho, so far away, has no way of knowing that. Guess what:
Republocrats (and candidates inbetween them) might not keep winning.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
parties chosen by corporate media and big money contributors
I'd say this problem is for the most part independent of the used election
method.

[endquote]

You'd say that because you aren't paying attention. Big corruption,
disgusting to all, here can keep winning only because of a Myerson-Weber
equilibrium peculiar to Plurality.

Two unliked parties can keep winning forever, because the results (victory
for one of them) seems to confirm people's belief that they're the only
winnable parties. With Plurality, it goes on and on, self-confirming.

No that is not independent of the election method. It depends on Plurality.

You asked:

Could you point out a concrete example [of favorite-burial being optimal
strategy in Condorcet] with sincere preferences and strategic votes, so I
can check if it is likely to work in a real life election. (The one example
that I analyzed in the other mail didn't seem to be a threat in real life
elections.)

[endquote]

For one thing, the other posting didn't have a numerical example of that.

For another thing, the matter has been much discussed on EM, and it is well
established that Condorcet fails FBC.

It was established here that if you want to maximally help Compromise win
instead of Worse, then you should rank Compromise alone at top.

And if Compromise is the only acceptable deemed likely to beat Worse, and
Worse is an unacceptable, then you ranking Compromise alone at top is
optimal.

If you want a numerical example, I'll post one when I get a chance, within
the next few days probably.

Mike Ossipoff





----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
Juho Laatu
2012-05-19 14:36:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juho Laatu
I mean that there could be need for further reforms.
[endquote]
You like to speculate. Speculations aren't really answerable. To what needs
are you referring, in particular?
One key topic was the already discussed possible use of coalition governments instead of the single 50+% party governmnets of today. It wouldn't be anymore a pure "president's government".
Post by Juho Laatu
... Certainly advocates of rank methods would want to propose them ...
Those questions are mainly not related to the Approval vs. Condorcet question but to the Plurality vs. compromise seeking single-winner method question.
Post by Juho Laatu
.
The problems of Approval with three or more potential winners might irritate
people and change their voting behaviour.
[endquote]
You like to refer to "problems" without specifying them.
As I said in my previous mail. The Approval problems that I refer to are the well known and well discussed problems of the Approval method. They are quite separate from the "impact on the two-party system" oriented questions (where Approval and Condorcet behave in quite similar way).
Post by Juho Laatu
In particular, you have never answered my question about what problem
Approval will have that Plurality doesn't have.
Thanks, this is one concrete request that I can reply to. I tried to address also that question earlier but obviously my explanations were not good enough.

If we study Approval and Plurality as separate single-winner methods, then maybe you aleady know all the discussions, maybe even too well. My opinion is that the biggest problem of Approval is the difficulty of voters to find a working strategy when there are more than two poential winners (e.g. when there are two candidates from one wing and one from the other). Also Plurality has related problems with strategy, but in Plurality (in a two-party system) a good strategy is to vote for one of the two dominant parties. In Approval the voter may not have any such safe strategy option.

If we study Approval and Plurality as part of the proposed system where single-winner methods are used in single-member districts in a multi-winner election, then the answer is quite different. Then the key difference is that while Plurality is a key component that maintains the two-party structure, Approval aims at electing compromise winners that need not come from the two dominant parties. This may be good or bad, depending on one's point of view. Approval introduces a new non-classical and untested system, but that system may well be worth a try. Approval (and other compromise seeking methods) will have some specific features like the already discussed influences on the government stucture.
Post by Juho Laatu
No one can predict exactly what the changes would be.
But they'd definitely be improvements.
Hmm. This sounds like the current system would be the worst of all possible systems. In that case all changes would of course be good.
Post by Juho Laatu
(or return back as in Burlington).
[endquote]
I get tired of asking you why people would want to go back to Plurality.
This discussion isn't productive.
In Burlington people, or possibly only politicians, wanted to go back to the old system. It is obvious that at least within the current dominant parties there is some interst to maintain their current powerful position. Regular people may be less interested in going back. But I think going back to the old system is a risk (or why not sometimes a positive option) in every reform.
Post by Juho Laatu
I didn't observe any strong burial tendency in Burlington when I analyzed
those votes.
[endquot]
It was a municipal election.
Did your analysis include looking at the labels on the ballots that told
what the voter really likes best? Oh way, the ballots don't have such
labels, do they :-)
As someone who is actually here, I've observed a strong favorite-burial
tendency in a limited sample. But even in that sample, the consistency
suggests that it won't be rare.
The Burlington votes are available and the election is a relatively large and certainly competitive political election. If there is a general tendency to bury, that tendecy should be visible in those votes, and there should be a large set of votes that have ranked minor candidates above some of the (three?) most potential candidates.
Post by Juho Laatu
You know what, I'm still only halfway through this post. Do I really have to
wade through the rest of it? Not if the rest is anything like what I've been
replying to so far. Maybe I'll resume later, but, if so, I'll reply only to
a few things that are relatively deserving of reply.
No need to comment all the lines. Short replies are better than long ones. I generally try to limit myself to few essential points + explicit questions and requests to me (+ correcting misunderstandings of what I said, if any). I also regularly read through my drafts to eliminate repetitive points and points with minor value to the discussion.
Post by Juho Laatu
Post by Michael Ossipoff
parties chosen by corporate media and big money contributors
I'd say this problem is for the most part independent of the used election method.
[endquote]
You'd say that because you aren't paying attention. Big corruption,
disgusting to all, here can keep winning only because of a Myerson-Weber
equilibrium peculiar to Plurality.
Two unliked parties can keep winning forever, because the results (victory
for one of them) seems to confirm people's belief that they're the only
winnable parties. With Plurality, it goes on and on, self-confirming.
No that is not independent of the election method. It depends on Plurality.
I agree that a two-party system has some properties that add risk of continuing poliices that people do not like. Relative certainlty of being back in power after one or two terms in opposition is one such factor. However multi-party systems are not free of this problem either. Problems that are related to "parties chosen by corporate media and big money contributors" can be addressed also e.g. by changing the financing structure of the political system (i.e. also by means that are not related to the used election method).
Post by Juho Laatu
Could you point out a concrete example [of favorite-burial being optimal
strategy in Condorcet] with sincere preferences and strategic votes, so I
can check if it is likely to work in a real life election. (The one example
that I analyzed in the other mail didn't seem to be a threat in real life
elections.)
[endquote]
For one thing, the other posting didn't have a numerical example of that.
For another thing, the matter has been much discussed on EM, and it is well
established that Condorcet fails FBC.
It was established here that if you want to maximally help Compromise win
instead of Worse, then you should rank Compromise alone at top.
And if Compromise is the only acceptable deemed likely to beat Worse, and
Worse is an unacceptable, then you ranking Compromise alone at top is
optimal.
If you want a numerical example, I'll post one when I get a chance, within
the next few days probably.
I already commented one of your numerical examples in http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/2012-May/030400.html. But additional ones are welcome, especially concerning the optimality of the favorite-burial strategy.

Do you agree that with the given numbers the strategy that I commented is not really a viable strategy? Maybe with some other better chosen numbers?

Juho
Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-19 22:00:37 UTC
Permalink
Juho:



You asked if I'd answer questions that you say remain unanswered. Of course.
I answer all questions. If there's a question that I haven't answered, then
let me know.



But please be specific.



You said:



My opinion is that the biggest problem of Approval is the difficulty of
voters to find a working strategy when there are more than two poential
winners



[endquote]



You see, that is why I say that you haven't been reading my postings, and
haven't read my article.



My article described a number of easy and simple strategies for Approval,
for those who want strategy.



But I emphasized that my first recommendation is to just vote for candidates
that you like, trust, or who deserve your support. That isn't has hard as
you seem to think. It's usually pretty obvious which candidates qualify.



And I've discussed this more in my most recent postings here at EM:



One: No one knows for sure exactly what way of voting (by hir and some
hypothetical same-preferring and same-voting faction) will give the best
outcome.

....That's true in Condorcet as well as in Approval.



Two: In Approval, if you like strategy, I've given simple instructions for
determining the way of voting that maximizes your expectation. I've
described it for u/a elections,

.....and for non-u/a elections.



Three: In Condorcet, you don't have a known strategy for maximizing
expectation. In a u/a election you have, instead, a ridiculous dilemma, and
no hint of what will maximize

......your expectation. In fact, in general, expectation-maximizing strategy
is not available in Condorcet.



I'll reply to the rest of your recent postings within a few days.



Mike Ossipoff













(e.g. when there are two candidates from one wing and one from the other).
Also Plurality has related problems with strategy, but in Plurality (in a
two-party system) a good strategy is to vote for one of the two dominant
parties. In Approval the voter may not have any such safe strategy option.
Juho Laatu
2012-05-20 07:23:50 UTC
Permalink
One: No one knows for sure exactly what way of voting (by hir and some hypothetical same-preferring and same-voting faction) will give the best outcome.
……….That’s true in Condorcet as well as in Approval.
In Condorcet one can sincerely recommend sincerity. In theory there are cases where one could cheat the system. But in practice sincerity is by far the best strategy that voters have in large elections where voters make independent decisions. The challenge is to find practical situations where regular voters, after hearing some poll results (and possibly some poll based situation specific strategic advices by the media), would have good reason to vote otherwise (in a way that they can master an that is likely to improve the outcome). If for these reasons strategy free voting becomes widely accepted, and a norm, we have a system that may serve the society well.
Two: In Approval, if you like strategy, I’ve given simple instructions for determining the way of voting that maximizes your expectation. I’ve described it for u/a elections,
………..and for non-u/a elections.
I'd be interested in the one (or ones) that the regular voters are supposed to follow in real life Approvan elections. That one determines how well Approval will work (after taking into account any additional facts like e.g. some tendency to bullet vote and possible situation specific strategic guidance).

You mentioned also sincere approval of "approvable" canddates as a strategy that could be recommended to the voters. Do you think Approval can handle well situations where some voters or voter groups are strategic while some are sincere?
Three: In Condorcet, you don’t have a known strategy for maximizing expectation. In a u/a election you have, instead, a ridiculous dilemma, and no hint of what will maximize
…………..your expectation. In fact, in general, expectation-maximizing strategy is not available in Condorcet.
In Condorcet sincere voting approximates "maximization of expectation" pretty well. In Approval I'm waiting for your description on how to do that, i.e. some words of guidance to regular voters on how to vote.

Juho
Juho Laatu
2012-05-21 09:05:46 UTC
Permalink
You asked if I’d answer questions that you say remain unanswered. Of course. I answer all questions. If there’s a question that I haven’t answered, then let me know.
But please be specific.
Maybe the number one on the list of the still unanswered questions is the following one.


[example+question starts here]

26: A > B >> C
26: B > A >> C
24: C >> A > B
24: C >> B > A
- A and B are Democrats and C is a Republican

How should voters vote after seeing these (quite reliable) poll results if they follow the "better than expectation" strategy? Should A and B be seen as the expected winners with 50% winning chance both? Maybe 50% of the voters should guess that A wins and 50% that B wins (?).

[example+question ends here]


A good answer to this question would solve many of the Approval strategy related open questions. (Working Condorcet strategies still to be covered.)

What should an individual regular voter do in the given situation? How do they identify their best strategic vote?

That situation is quite common, except that accurate ties in polls are not common. In practice that could mean one poll saying that A leads B by 0.5% and another one saying that B leads A by 0.4%. Anyway, the difference between A and B falls within the error margin and expected amount of changes in opinions before the election day, and people are uncertain of which one of A and B will be more popular. If you want, you may assume that C is not likely to reach 50% first preference support.

Juho
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
2012-05-21 15:03:46 UTC
Permalink
Drive-by comment.
Post by Juho Laatu
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You asked if I'd answer questions that you say remain unanswered.
Of course. I answer all questions. If there's a question that I
haven't answered, then let me know.
But please be specific.
Maybe the number one on the list of the still unanswered questions is the following one.
If this is the most important unanswered question, you are lucky, Juho.
Post by Juho Laatu
[example+question starts here]
26: A > B >> C
26: B > A >> C
24: C >> A > B
24: C >> B > A
- A and B are Democrats and C is a Republican
How should voters vote after seeing these (quite reliable) poll
results if they follow the "better than expectation" strategy?
Should A and B be seen as the expected winners with 50% winning
chance both? Maybe 50% of the voters should guess that A wins and
50% that B wins (?).
[example+question ends here]
This is an unanswerable question about a preposterous situation, that
*will not* occur in real public elections under conditions where
elections even make sense. The population is entirely and completely
polarized into two camps of almost equal size. No voters are
intermediate in position, no voters have C as their second favorite.
Essentially, there are no "independent" voters.

Now, suppose that, nevertheless, we have such a situation. The
problem boils down to two parties, with one having a slight edge over
the other. The other, the slight majority party, is united. The
majority party is itself evenly divided into two factions, supporters
of A and B. Do they care about winning? From the stated preferences,
yes, that is what >> means. Strong preference. If they care about
winning, they will never let this situation go to an election, they
will present a united candidate, even if they have to toss a coin to do it.

That is what the Democrats *must* do if the method is plurality. That
is why Plurality leads to 2-party systems. What is presented here is
really a three party system, with the slight majority party being
split into two factions. Parties that allow themselves to be split
this way lose elections.

Society itself, overall, it this situation, doesn't give a hoot. The
SU of all three winners is evenly divided.

So from what perspective do you want to advise voters? For obtaining
their individually-maximized utility? Or for creating a socially
beneficial result, which indirectly benefits *all* individuals,
because a coherent society produces value for all members?

So, next step up with improved voting system, what about Approval?
From the stated preferences, A and B voters have a dilemma, but it
is only a small one. If they do not unite, they risk losing to C, a
big loss. If they do unite, they risk their favorite losing to their
next-favorite, but by the terms of the problem, this is a smaller
loss. They maximize expected personal utility by approving both A and B.

If they get greedy, and only go for their favorite, they risk loss to
the least-favorite, by far. They would, basically, deserve this loss.
The reward of greedy stupidity is loss.

From the point of view of overall social utility, this election
could go to any of the three candidates and be approximately the same
utility. Hence the method I'd want to see for this election is Score
voting, if we must have a single poll. Bucklin would work fine,
though. Bucklin allows voters to stand, for the early rounds of
counting, for their favorite, while uniting before the election is
over, if it's needed. The votes would presumably be

26:A>B or A>.>B
26:B>A or B>.>A
24:C or C>.>A
24 C or C>.>B

(the period represents a blank rank. This was actually used in the
Bucklin elections, it's clear. Some voters postponed compromising
until the last rank.)

I'd say that Bucklin handles this election perfectly. A tie is
unlikely, because voters will vary in how they add additional
ranking. What determines how the voters actually vote is preference strength.
Post by Juho Laatu
A good answer to this question would solve many of the Approval
strategy related open questions. (Working Condorcet strategies still
to be covered.)
What should an individual regular voter do in the given situation?
How do they identify their best strategic vote?
It's obvious. Real voters will have little or no difficulty if they
know the situation. There is no remedy for ignorance, though. I do
have some question about designing voting systems to empower the
ignorant. (By the way, that is *not* an elitist position, I'm
ignorant, often, and systems that give equal weight to my ignorant
opinion can make some poor decisions. Choice is another matter, but I
won't go into that, beyond noting the important issue of consent to
results, the reason why I strongly support systems that require
majority consent for a result, directly or, if not directly, if
that's not possible, then indirectly.)
Post by Juho Laatu
That situation is quite common, except that accurate ties in polls
are not common.
The situation is extremely uncommon. Juho must be thinking of a
three-party situation, and it is uncommon in three-party situations
for the potential coalition to be equally divided as shown. The
lesson: form coalitions and make coherent, united decisions. In the
situation above, it looks like that is what the Republicans did. Are
Republicans smarter than Democrats? Perhaps. If that's really the
case, then they may very well be better at governing the society!
Consider the election an intelligence test: be smarter, you will win,
and society benefits from more intelligent governance.

There are much better methods possible for generating community
intelligence, the factional division model is largely bankrupt. It
worked to a degree, that's about all that can be said for it. It
leads to really poor decisions, too often.
Post by Juho Laatu
In practice that could mean one poll saying that A leads B by 0.5%
and another one saying that B leads A by 0.4%. Anyway, the
difference between A and B falls within the error margin and
expected amount of changes in opinions before the election day, and
people are uncertain of which one of A and B will be more popular.
If you want, you may assume that C is not likely to reach 50% first
preference support.
The argument here leads to a conclusion that ranked Approval is
better than unranked. Bucklin. But the difference is slight. Actual
behavior of voters is not possible to predict from the model.

The lesson: form coalitions and pursue a united strategy, ab initio.
Improved voting systems are not a fix for failure to cooperate and collaborate.

The example does show the superiority of Bucklin over IRV. IRV, with
naive voters, will award this election to C. Bucklin gives it to A or
B without effort. Raw Approval could easily fail and likewise give
the election to C. From the terms of the problem, none of the C
voters will approva A or B, and all will approve of C. If *any* of
the A and B voters fail to approve the other candidate, C could win.

Approval *must* be seen as an improvement over Plurality, that's all.

----
Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
Juho Laatu
2012-05-21 17:07:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Drive-by comment.
Post by Juho Laatu
You asked if I'd answer questions that you say remain unanswered. Of course. I answer all questions. If there's a question that I haven't answered, then let me know.
But please be specific.
Maybe the number one on the list of the still unanswered questions is the following one.
If this is the most important unanswered question, you are lucky, Juho.
A good point to start the analysis.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Post by Juho Laatu
[example+question starts here]
26: A > B >> C
26: B > A >> C
24: C >> A > B
24: C >> B > A
- A and B are Democrats and C is a Republican
How should voters vote after seeing these (quite reliable) poll results if they follow the "better than expectation" strategy? Should A and B be seen as the expected winners with 50% winning chance both? Maybe 50% of the voters should guess that A wins and 50% that B wins (?).
[example+question ends here]
This is an unanswerable question about a preposterous situation, that *will not* occur in real public elections under conditions where elections even make sense. The population is entirely and completely polarized into two camps of almost equal size. No voters are intermediate in position, no voters have C as their second favorite. Essentially, there are no "independent" voters.
There can be also additional candidates and richer set of voter opinions. However the general set-up where one wing has two srong candidates, the other one has one, and the balance between the wings is close to 50%-50%, is a common se-up that all good methods should be able to handle. This example ignores the finer details in order to show the core concepts (three major candidates and their relative position).
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Now, suppose that, nevertheless, we have such a situation. The problem boils down to two parties, with one having a slight edge over the other. The other, the slight majority party, is united. The majority party is itself evenly divided into two factions, supporters of A and B.
Yes.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Do they care about winning? From the stated preferences, yes, that is what >> means. Strong preference.
I assume that this is a competitive election (with or without the strong >> preferences).
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
If they care about winning, they will never let this situation go to an election, they will present a united candidate, even if they have to toss a coin to do it.
If Approval can not handle three potential winners, then making sure already before the election that there will be only two potential winners would make the common Approval strategies work. Often we don't have this luxury. The other Democrat candidate could as well be from a rival Democrat2 party.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
That is what the Democrats *must* do if the method is plurality. That is why Plurality leads to 2-party systems. What is presented here is really a three party system, with the slight majority party being split into two factions. Parties that allow themselves to be split this way lose elections.
Yes, this example could be from a society with three or more (potentially winning) parties.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Society itself, overall, it this situation, doesn't give a hoot. The SU of all three winners is evenly divided.
So from what perspective do you want to advise voters? For obtaining their individually-maximized utility? Or for creating a socially beneficial result, which indirectly benefits *all* individuals, because a coherent society produces value for all members?
I assume that the election is competitive. So the individual voters want an answer to questions "how can I make my favourite candidate win" and "how can I make my favourite party/wing win".
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
So, next step up with improved voting system, what about Approval? From the stated preferences, A and B voters have a dilemma, but it is only a small one. If they do not unite, they risk losing to C, a big loss. If they do unite, they risk their favorite losing to their next-favorite, but by the terms of the problem, this is a smaller loss. They maximize expected personal utility by approving both A and B.
If they get greedy, and only go for their favorite, they risk loss to the least-favorite, by far. They would, basically, deserve this loss. The reward of greedy stupidity is loss.
Yes, it would make sense for all Democrats to approve both A and B. It is however quite probable that some voters will vote for their favourite only. This can happen because they do not understand that the secure strategy would be to approvo both. Or they can vote this way since they have a strategic incentive to make their favourite win instead of the other Democrat canididate.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
From the point of view of overall social utility, this election could go to any of the three candidates and be approximately the same utility. Hence the method I'd want to see for this election is Score voting, if we must have a single poll. Bucklin would work fine, though. Bucklin allows voters to stand, for the early rounds of counting, for their favorite, while uniting before the election is over, if it's needed. The votes would presumably be
26:A>B or A>.>B
26:B>A or B>.>A
24:C or C>.>A
24 C or C>.>B
(the period represents a blank rank. This was actually used in the Bucklin elections, it's clear. Some voters postponed compromising until the last rank.)
I'd say that Bucklin handles this election perfectly. A tie is unlikely, because voters will vary in how they add additional ranking. What determines how the voters actually vote is preference strength.
Post by Juho Laatu
A good answer to this question would solve many of the Approval strategy related open questions. (Working Condorcet strategies still to be covered.)
What should an individual regular voter do in the given situation? How do they identify their best strategic vote?
It's obvious. Real voters will have little or no difficulty if they know the situation. There is no remedy for ignorance, though. I do have some question about designing voting systems to empower the ignorant. (By the way, that is *not* an elitist position, I'm ignorant, often, and systems that give equal weight to my ignorant opinion can make some poor decisions. Choice is another matter, but I won't go into that, beyond noting the important issue of consent to results, the reason why I strongly support systems that require majority consent for a result, directly or, if not directly, if that's not possible, then indirectly.)
Post by Juho Laatu
That situation is quite common, except that accurate ties in polls are not common.
The situation is extremely uncommon. Juho must be thinking of a three-party situation, and it is uncommon in three-party situations for the potential coalition to be equally divided as shown. The lesson: form coalitions and make coherent, united decisions. In the situation above, it looks like that is what the Republicans did. Are Republicans smarter than Democrats? Perhaps. If that's really the case, then they may very well be better at governing the society! Consider the election an intelligence test: be smarter, you will win, and society benefits from more intelligent governance.
I'm thinking about elections that have three potential winners (with any number of parties). There are not too many mappings of those three candidates to the political map. In this example two of them are quite near to each otehrs, and they have about equal "political distance" to the third candidates. Other settings might include e.g. a balanced triangle and three points on a "left-right" axis. If we have three potential winners, I claim that the set-up of this example is one of the common ones (if we allow some variation in the numbers but still maintain the relative positions of the candidates). What would be a more common political mapping of three potential winners?
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
There are much better methods possible for generating community intelligence, the factional division model is largely bankrupt. It worked to a degree, that's about all that can be said for it. It leads to really poor decisions, too often.
Post by Juho Laatu
In practice that could mean one poll saying that A leads B by 0.5% and another one saying that B leads A by 0.4%. Anyway, the difference between A and B falls within the error margin and expected amount of changes in opinions before the election day, and people are uncertain of which one of A and B will be more popular. If you want, you may assume that C is not likely to reach 50% first preference support.
The argument here leads to a conclusion that ranked Approval is better than unranked. Bucklin. But the difference is slight. Actual behavior of voters is not possible to predict from the model.
Bucklin collects some more information. The problem of Approval can be said to be the fact that the voters are not able to indicate the preference order of three candidates (but are forced to indicate equal support to two of them). Rankings and full ratings contain sufficient information for voters to indicate all their preferences.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
The lesson: form coalitions and pursue a united strategy, ab initio. Improved voting systems are not a fix for failure to cooperate and collaborate.
Ok, works if parties are able to limit the number of credible canidates to two. But I have understood that the point of the planned reform is for many to be able to have more than two potential winners. So we must assume that we should be prepared also for the situation where there are three or more potential winners. In the given example the other "Democrat" could thus come from a party or grouping that is not under the control of the Democrat party, and whose nomination of a candidate can not be cancelled by the Democrats.

I thus accept limiting the number of candidates to two as one solution to the problem. But I guess the whole point of the reform is to allow more than two potential winners to take part in the election, and to be able to handle such situations.
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
The example does show the superiority of Bucklin over IRV. IRV, with naive voters, will award this election to C. Bucklin gives it to A or B without effort. Raw Approval could easily fail and likewise give the election to C. From the terms of the problem, none of the C voters will approva A or B, and all will approve of C. If *any* of the A and B voters fail to approve the other candidate, C could win.
What do you think about the Condorcet methods (that were discussed in this stream earlier) and their ability to cope in this kind of situatiions?
Post by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
Approval *must* be seen as an improvement over Plurality, that's all.
In many ways, yes. I think Approval has also some weak spots where it can fail also more dramatically than Plurality. Approval is good in the sense that it allows also additional minor candidates without them becoming spoilers (assuming that one wants that to happen). Its problem is that when the minor parties are no more minor but become potential winners, Approval voting strategies may become quite impossible to master, and the method becomes unstable (as in the example). For that reason I hope that an Approval based reform will continue and the method will be replaced with some better working method before the problmes three (or more) potential winners appear in real elections and cause people to turn their back to this method.

One question was not answered yet. How did the voters know that in this election they are supposed to approve both A and B? Is there a general strategy description that the voters could follow? Where is the border line where they should go back to approving only their favourite? The strategy can not be to always approve all the candidates of one's favourite wing. What if the numbers were 30, 30, 20, 20. Would that be a safe margin to allow A and B supporters to make a choice between A and B? Of course also with those numbers some of the voters would have to approve both A and B, or otherwise C wins. My general claim is that actually Approval is quite often clueless (and the voters are) as soon as this kind of situations with three or more potential winners appear. In this example the A and
B supporters also have a strong strategic incentive to NOT approve the other candidate of the same wing. They may vote wrong and lose the election whichever way they vote.

Juho




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Juho Laatu
2012-05-22 07:48:28 UTC
Permalink
Here is a quick analysis of the proposed Approval strategy against the Approval example that I gave earlier.

I have two descriptions of the strategy. Their meaning should be the same.
- "Approve the candidates who are better than (or maybe exactly as good as) the result-merit that you expect from the election"
- “Would I rather appoint him/her to office than hold the election?”

Now let's see what will happen in the election where the voters have following approximate poll results (and/or general understanding of the preferences of the voters) available.
26: A > B >> C
26: B > A >> C
24: C >> A > B
24: C >> B > A

Note that if Approval election polls are collected as approvals, the voters wll have less information available for decision makin than this. They could know only the sum of approvals, e.g. A;52, B:52, C:48. But let's assume for now that they have more information that they can use as a basis for their strategic decisions.

First guess of the voters must be that either A or B will win. The expected outcome is between the values of A and B. If all the voters follow the given stratey they should vote as follows.
26: A
26: B
24: C, A
24: C, B

With these votes A or B wins. However, it is highly unlikely that voters will vote this way. The strategy allows the voters to take into consideration also the possible strategic votes. And the voters should take into accout possible changes in the opinions before the election day. Voters are also typically slightly optimistic in the sense that they have tendency to think that their own favourite candidates are better and more popular and will gain more votes before the election day than they actually will do in real life. Yet one more reason not to follow the stategy is interest to sen a message, e.g. by not approving A nor B (potential winners) in order to show that one does not support them. One may do this also in these elections in order to make a good start for the next elections.

One problem with the above listed votes is also that they do not measure the real opinion of the voters. If A will be more popular than B in the election day, that will not be mesured at all. Both have 50% chance to win even if people woul like to elect A. This is a falure of the method to measure the true opinions of the voters.

Second problem. The voters are not really on average this skilled in determining the expected outcomes. Many people will not follow the given strategy. My guess is that the most common deviation from the strategy is to cast shorter votes. In any case there will be a mixture of all kind of votes, not just votes that follow the strategy accurately.

Second try. Now the voters take some additional things into account when determining the expected outcome. C supporters are maybe the first to note that actually C could win. Since they prefer C strongly it doesn't take much to switch to bullet voting.
26: A
26: B
01: C, A
23: C
01: C, B
23: C

Now C wins. This is not a good result since A and B have majority. Most people and most methods agree that A or B should actually win.

Thirs try. Now A and B understand the probable behaviour of the C supporters and they realize that they can not follow their first strategy. Actually they can still vote in line with the strategy. Thy just assume that due to strategic voting (and possible changes in opinions) also C has a chance to win. Their expected outcome falls below the value of A and B.
26: A, B
26: B, A
01: C, A
23: C
01: C, B
23: C

Now A or B wins again. And still voters have no proper say on which one of them will win. The outcome will be a lottery, even if A is more popular than B. (The C voters may have some say here since some of them may approve A or B depending on how much they like them.)

One problem is that it is no likely that all A and B supporters will follow the strategy. Some of them simply fail to identify their best strategy and they may bullet vote either A or B, which easily allows C to win. (This problem exists also in other advanced methods but not as strongly.)

Further, A and B supporters have a strong incentive to bullet vote since few bullet votes will make their favourite win. But too many strategic votes make both their favourites lose. This means that Approval voters face a major dilemma. If we assume that A is slightly ahead of B in preference, A supporters that approve both may elect B, and A supporters that approve only A may elect C. There is no way the A supporters could vote rationally and safely and get the correct winner.

We can see that voters have also other (more offensive) working (but risky) strategies that they may mix with the recommended strategy.

If A and B come from the same party, a natural solution for the party (to fix the strategy problems) would be to nominate only one candidate. But if there are more than two potntially winning parties that can not give orders to each others (as usual), there may be more than three potential winner candidates in the election, and we may face the problems of this example. Even in Plurality elections there are often third party candidates although they are quite likely to be spoilers to the second favourite of their supporters.

It seems that with high probability in this election the voters will have great difficulties to follow the recommended strategy in a way that would pick the rightful winner. In theory the voters could be so skilled with estimating the expected outcome that they could even pick the rightful winnner (A, if A was in the end more popular than B). But in practice it looks like this will be a mess. My guess is that in real life elections C will win with highest probability since many enough A/B supporters will fail to approve both of their favourites.

The recommended strategy is likely to be too difficult for the voters to apply successfully. If they don't get confused with the strategy itself with sincere opinios from the poll, they probably will have difficulties in analyzing how others are likely to vote and how the opinions may change and how that should impacts their selection of their ideal strategic vote. In this set-up, to reach the rightful outcome, and for the A/B side to win, the A/B party/parties should publicly remind people that they should approve both A and B. That recommendation would however make the election pretty meaningless in the sense that nobody would indicate any preference on whether A or B should win (assuming that C party recommends, or its supporters themselves decide to bullet vote). The recommended strategy and Approval method don't seem to work well enough in this given set-up. Since three or more potential winners is the target situation, the strategy does not seem to be good enough in guaranteeing a rightful and rational outcome of the election.

The voters won't probably like the idea of having to make this kind of complex strategy decisions. Sincere voting (=approve the approvable candidates) would be one option, but we know that then the stratgic voters will have more weight than the sincere ones.

The promise of Approval (when compared to Plurality) is that it allows also third party candidates to run without becoming spoilers. And it works fine; it is ok to approva one of the two(!) frontrunners and all the third party candidates that one likes. But when the third parties grow and become potential winners, the toolbox of Approval voters is not sufficient, and the method will face problems like the one that was discussed above. For this reason, Approval may be a good start of a Plurality reform, but not a good long term solution.

Juho
Post by Juho Laatu
You asked if I’d answer questions that you say remain unanswered. Of course. I answer all questions. If there’s a question that I haven’t answered, then let me know.
But please be specific.
Maybe the number one on the list of the still unanswered questions is the following one.
[example+question starts here]
26: A > B >> C
26: B > A >> C
24: C >> A > B
24: C >> B > A
- A and B are Democrats and C is a Republican
How should voters vote after seeing these (quite reliable) poll results if they follow the "better than expectation" strategy? Should A and B be seen as the expected winners with 50% winning chance both? Maybe 50% of the voters should guess that A wins and 50% that B wins (?).
[example+question ends here]
A good answer to this question would solve many of the Approval strategy related open questions. (Working Condorcet strategies still to be covered.)
What should an individual regular voter do in the given situation? How do they identify their best strategic vote?
That situation is quite common, except that accurate ties in polls are not common. In practice that could mean one poll saying that A leads B by 0.5% and another one saying that B leads A by 0.4%. Anyway, the difference between A and B falls within the error margin and expected amount of changes in opinions before the election day, and people are uncertain of which one of A and B will be more popular. If you want, you may assume that C is not likely to reach 50% first preference support.
Juho
Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-22 21:38:27 UTC
Permalink
Juho says:



Maybe the number one on the list of the still unanswered questions is the
following one.





[example+question starts here]



26: A > B >> C
26: B > A >> C
24: C >> A > B
24: C >> B > A
- A and B are Democrats and C is a Republican

How should voters vote after seeing these (quite reliable) poll results if
they follow the "better than expectation" strategy? Should A and B be seen
as the expected winners with 50% winning chance both? Maybe 50% of the
voters should guess that A wins and 50% that B wins (?).



[endquote]



You don't say how good a result the various voters expect from the election.
You don't say if it's u/a. You show higher magnitude dislike for C, among
the A and B voters. Should we infer that you mean that it's u/a, and that,
to the A and B voters, A and B are acceptable and B is unacceptable? .that
{A,B} and {C} are sets such that the merit differences within the sets are
negligible in comparison to the merit differences between the sets? If so,
then the Approval's u/a strategy would call for the A and B voters to
approve A and B.



But there's the co-operation/defection problem, isn't there. I've discussed
it. I've described some solutions to it, in a post in recent days. I'll
re-post my list of 5 solutions.



But remember that Condorcet equally has the co-operation/defection problem
too.



What about ICT in your example? The A voters should vote A>B. The B voters
should vote B>A.





Mike Ossipoff
Juho Laatu
2012-05-22 22:31:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juho Laatu
Maybe the number one on the list of the still unanswered questions is the following one.
[example+question starts here]
26: A > B >> C
26: B > A >> C
24: C >> A > B
24: C >> B > A
- A and B are Democrats and C is a Republican
How should voters vote after seeing these (quite reliable) poll results if they follow the "better than expectation" strategy? Should A and B be seen as the expected winners with 50% winning chance both? Maybe 50% of the voters should guess that A wins and 50% that B wins (?).
[endquote]
You don’t say how good a result the various voters expect from the election.
In my recent mail, where I studied the Approval strategy that you gave and this example opinion set, I gave some guesses on how the voters might estimate the outcome of the election (expectation).
Post by Juho Laatu
You don’t say if it’s u/a.
What is the definition of u/a? Is it needed for the Approval strategy that you gave?
Post by Juho Laatu
You show higher magnitude dislike for C, among the A and B voters. Should we infer that you mean that it’s u/a, and that, to the A and B voters, A and B are acceptable and B is unacceptable? …that {A,B} and {C} are sets such that the merit differences within the sets are negligible in comparison to the merit differences between the sets? If so, then the Approval’s u/a strategy would call for the A and B voters to approve A and B.
But there’s the co-operation/defection problem, isn’t there. I’ve discussed it. I’ve described some solutions to it, in a post in recent days. I’ll re-post my list of 5 solutions.
But remember that Condorcet equally has the co-operation/defection problem too.
I'm planning to study the strength of that problem when I get the description of the strategy.
Post by Juho Laatu
What about ICT in your example? The A voters should vote A>B. The B voters should vote B>A.
I have not thought of that. I'll come back if I find something useful to say on this topic.

Juho
Post by Juho Laatu
Mike Ossipoff
Juho Laatu
2012-05-29 08:30:25 UTC
Permalink
Now I have a reasonable definition of Mike Ossipoff's strategy that is supposed to be valid for all Condorcet methods (and even for all FBC failing methods). The strategy is "if there are winnable unacceptable candidates and winnable acceptable candidates, find that winnable acceptable candidate that is most likely to win all the unacceptable candidates, and rank him alone at top". Here use of terms acceptable and unacceptable means that the voter has some higher than marginal interest to make one of the acceptable candidates win instead of the unacceptable ones.

Let's study it in the US framework. I'll use the Republican candidate, the Democrat candidate and Nader to describe what could happen.

The key idea of the strategy is that the voter can bury his non-winning favourites (Nader) without concern since they will not win anyway. The strategy says that the voter may bury also winnable favourites if another acceptable candidate is more likely to win all the unacceptable ones (not covered in this example). The reason why this burial might benefit the voter is that there might be an intentional strategic loop caused by other strategists (Republicans), and that strategic loop could make R win instead of D. Alternatively there might sometimes be also a loop caused by sincere votes.

I'll address some reasons why the strategy might not be on optimal strategy for real life elections to be applied always in all Condorcet elections.

1. Nader supporters would lose the benefits of ranking their favourite first:
There are benefits to voting for your favourites also when those candidates can not win. The Nader voters have obviously already today some reasons to vote for Nader in Plurality elections although Nader has no chances to win. The voters maybe want to lift the political weight of Nader and his opinions, or make him or his followers win in some future election, or they may just want to carry a message that they do not like either one of the current major parties. They do so although their vote is likely to help the Republican candidates (the worst winnable candidate). If the election method would not punish them as much as Plurality does (e.g. Condorcet), Nader voters would probably be even more interested to show support to their favourite. It thus doesn't sound like the Nader voters would
be happy to bury their favourite if the election method was changed from Plurality to Condorcet. In real life elections optimality of a stratgey is not measured only in terms of who is the
winner of this election but in some much wider sense.

2. The marginality of the benefits:
If the Republicans decide to strategically bury the Democrat under Nader, when Republicans have 48% support, Democrats 42% and Nader 10%, more than 42/48 of the Republican voters should follow the planned strategy and vote R > N > D. This is not probable. So the Nader voters have no reason to worry. The benefits of ranking their favourite first will be more important than the need to defend against a possible strategy that is not likely to materialize.
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Juho Laatu
2012-05-29 08:35:13 UTC
Permalink
This mail was just a draft that I sent by mistake. It contains still errors and is badly formulated, so you an ignore it. I'll send a new one in a day or two.

Sorry about the confusion,
Juho
Post by Juho Laatu
Now I have a reasonable definition of Mike Ossipoff's strategy that is supposed to be valid for all Condorcet methods (and even for all FBC failing methods). The strategy is "if there are winnable unacceptable candidates and winnable acceptable candidates, find that winnable acceptable candidate that is most likely to win all the unacceptable candidates, and rank him alone at top". Here use of terms acceptable and unacceptable means that the voter has some higher than marginal interest to make one of the acceptable candidates win instead of the unacceptable ones.
Let's study it in the US framework. I'll use the Republican candidate, the Democrat candidate and Nader to describe what could happen.
The key idea of the strategy is that the voter can bury his non-winning favourites (Nader) without concern since they will not win anyway. The strategy says that the voter may bury also winnable favourites if another acceptable candidate is more likely to win all the unacceptable ones (not covered in this example). The reason why this burial might benefit the voter is that there might be an intentional strategic loop caused by other strategists (Republicans), and that strategic loop could make R win instead of D. Alternatively there might sometimes be also a loop caused by sincere votes.
I'll address some reasons why the strategy might not be on optimal strategy for real life elections to be applied always in all Condorcet elections.
There are benefits to voting for your favourites also when those candidates can not win. The Nader voters have obviously already today some reasons to vote for Nader in Plurality elections although Nader has no chances to win. The voters maybe want to lift the political weight of Nader and his opinions, or make him or his followers win in some future election, or they may just want to carry a message that they do not like either one of the current major parties. They do so although their vote is likely to help the Republican candidates (the worst winnable candidate). If the election method would not punish them as much as Plurality does (e.g. Condorcet), Nader voters would probably be even more interested to show support to their favourite. It thus doesn't sound like the Nader voters wou
ld be happy to bury their favourite if the election method was changed from Plurality to Condorcet. In real life elections optimality of a stratgey is not measured only in terms of who is th
e
Post by Juho Laatu
winner of this election but in some much wider sense.
If the Republicans decide to strategically bury the Democrat under Nader, when Republicans have 48% support, Democrats 42% and Nader 10%, more than 42/48 of the Republican voters should follow the planned strategy and vote R > N > D. This is not probable. So the Nader voters have no reason to worry. The benefits of ranking their favourite first will be more important than the need to defend against a possible strategy that is not likely to materialize.
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Juho Laatu
2012-05-31 10:47:01 UTC
Permalink
[I rewrote the message whose draft version I sent out earlier by mistake.]

Now I have a reasonable definition of Mike Ossipoff's strategy that is supposed to be valid for all Condorcet methods (and even for all FBC failing methods). The strategy is "if there are winnable unacceptable candidates and winnable acceptable candidates, find that winnable acceptable candidate that is most likely to win all the unacceptable candidates, and rank him alone at top". Here use of terms acceptable and unacceptable means that the voter has some higher than marginal interest to make one of the acceptable candidates win instead of the unacceptable ones.

Let's study it in the US framework. I'll use the Republican candidate, the Democrat candidate and Nader to describe what could happen.

The key idea of the strategy is that the voter can bury his non-winning favourites (Nader) without concern since they will not win anyway. The strategy says that the voter may bury also winnable favourites if another acceptable candidate is more likely to win all the unacceptable ones (not covered in this example). The reason why this burial might benefit the voter is that there might be an intentional strategic loop caused by other strategists (Republicans), and that strategic loop could make R win instead of D. Alternatively there might sometimes be also a loop caused by sincere votes.

I'll address some reasons why the strategy might not be on optimal strategy for real life elections to be applied always in all Condorcet elections.

[The rewritten part follows.]

In this example we can assume that the candidates are roughly positioned on a one-dimensional left-right axis where the order of the candidats is N, D, R.

1. What will Nader supporters lose if they bury their favourite:
There are benefits to voting for your favourites also when those candidates can not win. The Nader voters see obviously already today some reasons to vote for Nader in Plurality elections although Nader has no chances to win. The voters maybe want to lift the political weight of Nader and his opinions, or make him or his followers win in some future election, or they may just want to carry a message that they do not like either one of the current major parties. They do so although their vote is likely to help the Republican candidates (the worst winnable candidate). If the election method would not punish them as much as Plurality does (e.g. Condorcet), Nader voters would probably be even more interested to show support to their favourite. It thus doesn't sound like the Nader voters would
be happy to bury their favourite if the election method was changed from Plurality to Condorcet. In real life elections optimality of a stratgey is thus not measured only in terms of who is
the winner of this election but in some much wider sense.

2. What will Nader supporters win if they bury their favourite:
If the Republicans decide to strategically bury the Democrat under Nader, when Republicans have 48% support, Democrats 42% and Nader 10%, more than 42/48 of the Republican voters should follow the planned strategy and vote R > N > D. This is not probable. So the Nader voters have no reason to worry that ranking Nader first would help R to win D. Nader supporters could cancel the Republican strategy (and thereby make their compromise candidate D win instead of R) by burying their favourite, but in practice the Republican strategy is not likely to happen nor be successful if it would be attempted. With high probability there will be no benefits.

The proposed strategy seems to be based on the theoretical vulnerability of Condorcet methods to the burial strategy. One should however clearly separate theoretical vulnerabilities from what is likely to happen in practical elections. Also in this example it seems that in practice the benefits of the strategy reman at theoretical level while the benefits of sincere voting and ranking Nader first would be lost right away if voters would follow the strategy. It is not likely that Nader supporters would consider it beneficial to "betray" their favourite.

Are these arguments sufficient to "prove" that the proposed strategy would not be optimal for the Nader supporters of this example. (Also the "Condorcetists" are welcome to pont out possible holes in the arguments.)

Juho



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Juho Laatu
2012-05-15 17:07:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juho Laatu
I don't see any denial of Gibbard-Satterthwaite or other problems. My
understanding is that many people like Condorcet methods because they think
that their co-operation/defection problems are relatively small (although
they exist at least in theory).
[endquote]
Nonsense. Can you justify that claim? I've showed a whole range of numerical
examples, from the 27,24,49 example to the 33,32,34 example. I've told how
the problem would come about, in Condorcet, just as well as in Approval.
Condorcet is not strategy-free, or anything close to it.
Since you had some concrete examples I'll provide some concrete feedback in line with what I asked you to provide.

Sincere opinions:
33: A>B
32: B>A
34: C

In the U.S. these must be
A = Republicans (that hate C as you told)
B = Democrats
C = Socialists

Proposed strategic votes:
33: R>D
32: D
34: S

You seem to assume winning votes since you expect D to win. So, let's continue with winning votes based Condorcet methods.

First problem with the startegy is that it is unlikely that all Democats will vote strategically. If they vote 31:D, 1:D>R, R will win. Reaching 32:D is not probable. Republicans have no reason to worry.

Second problem. If Democrats really want to win, they could focus on making D look better than R. If that leads to one voter (= 1/99 of the voters) changing their opinion from R>D to D>R, D will win. On the other had, if they give a public recommendation to their supporters to vote strategically and try to cheat the victory from R, some voters that are close to the D/R border line might get upset and change their opinion from D>R to R>D. If that happens, the Deomcrat strategy will not work even if 100% of their voters will implement the strategy as told. In this set-up it seems that it would be a better strategy for Democrats to simply continue marketing their own candidate instead of starting to market strategic voting.

Third problem. If Republicans hate the third (large) party much more than Democrats do it is not probable that all third party voters will truncate. In real life votes are more heterogeneous. If two of the Socialist supporters vote S>D instead of S, D will win even without the strategy. I'd expect more than 0 Socialist supporters to have sincere preference S>D. If this is true, then Democrats don't even need a strategy. Or is there some other real life set-up where these sincere opinions would be plausible?

Since Democrats want all their supporters to vote strategically, I guess the strategy would include a public recommendation from the party to all their supporters to truncate / bullet vote and not to express their full preferences. Individual decisions and media guidance probably is not sufficient. Different political cultures may react in different ways to such messages. In some societies people would despise such attempt to falsify the results. In some other societies people might expect the party to reveal all such dirty tricks that they could use to fight and win by whatever means.

Based on this quick analysis, and in the absense of other more convicing arguments on how this strategy might actually work in real life elections, I tend to classify this method in the "theoretical vulnerabilities" category (not in th e"practical vulnerabilities" category). I mean that this example is a bit like a Turing machine that demonstrates that something is possible in theory, but doesn't say much about how well and efficiently this strategy (or program of a Turing machine) works in some real life environment. Am I correct? Can you make this type of vulnerability more plausible by changing the numbers, votes or explanation/mapping to some real life society?

Juho



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Kristofer Munsterhjelm
2012-05-14 22:11:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You're in deinal about Gibbard-Satterthwaite.
You're in denial about Condorcet's blatant and full-magnitude
co-operation/defection problem.
And you're in denial about millions of voters' need to litterally
maximally help the Democrat beat the Republican.
There are many ways to try to convince the people with whom you're
debating that they're mistaken. Calling them "in denial" is not one of them.

Now, I could lower myself to your level, but I'm not going to do that. I
*am* going to say, though, that this is not the kind of thing that makes
me want to invest time in writing replies to your posts. Please don't do it.

Before you start claiming people are in denial, look at what you've
written yourself. More specifically, it looks rather bad when you, on
the one hand, say that C/D resistance is not incompatible with the
Condorcet criterion, then turn around and claim that "Condorcet has a
blatant and full-magnitude co-operation/defection problem" of which
Condorcetists are supposedly in denial.

Before you talk about a *need* to literally maximally help the Democrat
beat the Republican, consider what you have said yourself, in response
to my posts. You have said that the voters' overcompromise is a result
of their history with Plurality, not an objective *need* to, within
Condorcet, rearrange the preferences or the worse guy will win.

And finally, I'd give this hint: the moment it feels like the "other
side" has somehow acquired a preponderance of people in denial, take a
more Copernican view. When an otherwise sensible group holds a view that
seems to be silly, and to explain the silliness, a greater part of that
group needs to be extraordinarily blind (and very specifically so),
perhaps they are not. Perhaps, instead, the view is not so silly.

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Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-15 18:48:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You're in deinal about Gibbard-Satterthwaite.
You're in denial about Condorcet's blatant and full-magnitude
co-operation/defection problem.
And you're in denial about millions of voters' need to litterally
maximally help the Democrat beat the Republican.
There are many ways to try to convince the people with whom you're debating
that they're mistaken. Calling them "in denial" is not one of them.

Now, I could lower myself to your level, but I'm not going to do that. I
*am* going to say, though, that this is not the kind of thing that makes me
want to invest time in writing replies to your posts. Please don't do it.

[endquote]

Telling someone that they're in denial about something has no perjorative
implication. I meant no offense by it. Condorcetists feel that they've found
something ideal, and they want to believe that. When you want to believe
something, it's tempting to overlook details that contradict what you want
to believe.

As I said, I meant no offense. I don't use insults.

You continued:

Before you start claiming people are in denial, look at what you've written
yourself. More specifically, it looks rather bad when you, on the one hand,
say that C/D resistance is not incompatible with the Condorcet criterion

[endquote]

Smith-Top and Schwartz-Top meet CC and are defection-resistant.

You continued:

, then turn around and claim that "Condorcet has a blatant and
full-magnitude co-operation/defection problem"

[endquote]

Most Condorcetists don't advocate Smith-Top or Schwartz-Top. Most
Condorcetists advocate methods that are not defection-resistant. That was
what I meant.


You continue:

Before you talk about a *need* to literally maximally help the Democrat beat
the Republican, consider what you have said yourself, in response to my
posts. You have said that the voters' overcompromise is a result of their
history with Plurality, not an objective *need* to, within Condorcet,
rearrange the preferences or the worse guy will win.

[endquote]

Yes, history with Plurality has a lot to do with it. But there's nothing
objectively incorrect about what the Condorcet favorite-burier believes.
S/he believes that s/he can't maximally help Dem beat Repub, without ranking
Dem alone at top. She's right.

Admittedly, the chance of having reason to regret not voting Dem alone at
top is quite small. S/he doesn't care. Hir need to _literally_ maximally
help Dem beat Repub is genuinely felt, and no one can find something
objectively wrong with it.

In fact, what would _you_ do under the following circumstances:

It's a u/a election. Favorite and Compromise are the only acceptables. Most
likely, Compromise is surely or almost surely only candidate who can beat
Worse, an unacceptable.

What are you going to do, in Condorcet? Hah! You'll vote Compromise alone
in 1st place, just as I would.

Yes, I've said that I wouldn't favorite-bury in Condorcet. Ok, I was
mistaken. Of course we might not know for sure that the conditions are
right for requiring favorite-burial. If it isn't certain which acceptable
can win, then it can be best to vote them all at top. It depends on what
information you have. No one said that Condorcet voting is simple. Or at
least _I_ didn't.

The voter has to _dither_ about whether, in that u/a Condorcet election,
it's optimal to vote Compromise alone in 1st place, or to vote all of the
acceptables together in 1st place. There are rough ways to try to guess
which kind of situation it is. But knowing for sure?....

Not a problem in Approval. Just approve (only) all of the acceptables.

Undeniably, unquestionably, Condorcet is much worse than Approval in a u/a
election.


You continue:

And finally, I'd give this hint: the moment it feels like the "other side"
has somehow acquired a preponderance of people in denial

[endquote]

It's hardly rare for a majority to be wrong. It's common. You shouldn't use
polls as the ultimate arbiter of correctness.

I've pointed out that any particular configuration of advocacy on EM is but
a snapshot of something that is constantly changing.

I've pointed out that Approval won the most recent EM poll on voting
systems. Approval won by every method that we counted. Approval was the CW,
the Approval winner, and the Range winner.

In the published Declaration-signers list, Approval has more mention than
does Condorcet, even if you count VoteFair as Condorcet.

In fact, one of the mentions of Condorcet specifically ranks it below
Approval.

Mike Ossipoff





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Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-15 19:10:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ossipoff
You're in deinal about Gibbard-Satterthwaite.
You're in denial about Condorcet's blatant and full-magnitude
co-operation/defection problem.
And you're in denial about millions of voters' need to litterally
maximally help the Democrat beat the Republican.
There are many ways to try to convince the people with whom you're debating
that they're mistaken. Calling them "in denial" is not one of them.

Now, I could lower myself to your level, but I'm not going to do that. I
*am* going to say, though, that this is not the kind of thing that makes me
want to invest time in writing replies to your posts. Please don't do it.

[endquote]

I meant no offense. You know that I don't use insult. "In denial" has no
perjorative meaning. When people really want to believe something, they
often will disregard details that contradict what they want to believe. If
you try the usually-advocated forms of Condorcet in the Approval bad-example
(ABE), you'll find that Condorcet indeed fully has the C/D problem. I've
posted that example in a 27,24,49 version, and, later, in a 33,32,34
version. But anything inbetween will do too.

You continued:

Before you start claiming people are in denial, look at what you've written
yourself. More specifically, it looks rather bad when you, on the one hand,
say that C/D resistance is not incompatible with the Condorcet criterion,
then turn around and claim that "Condorcet has a blatant and full-magnitude
co-operation/defection problem" of which Condorcetists are supposedly in
denial.

[endquote]

I was referring to the Condorcet versions that are usually proposed. Of
course I don't deny that CC and defection resistance are compatible, as in
Smith-Top and Schwartz-Top.

You continued:

Before you talk about a *need* to literally maximally help the Democrat beat
the Republican, consider what you have said yourself, in response to my
posts. You have said that the voters' overcompromise is a result of their
history with Plurality, not an objective *need* to, within Condorcet,
rearrange the preferences or the worse guy will win.

[endquote]

They do so because of Plurality history, yes. But their need to
overcompromise is the result of a subjective choice, not an objective error.

In fact, under certain circumstances you, too, would favorite-bury in
Condorcet. I certainly would. (contrary to what I've said in the past, I
admit)

Suppose that it's a u/a election. The method is Condorcet. It's pretty much
certain that Compromise, an acceptable, but not your favorite, is the only
candidate who can beat Worse, an unacceptable. What do you do? You rank
Compromise alone at top, that's what you do. As would I.

But, maybe you _don't_ know that Compromise is the only acceptable who can
beat Worse. Maybe you have no idea which one can beat Worse. Then what do
you do? You top rate all the acceptables. The problem, of course, is in the
majority of circumstances, when it's somewhere in between those two
circumstances.

So, then how do you know which to do? Good question. You _dither_.

In Approval it's simple and easy: Just approve all of the acceptables and
none of the unacceptable. How hard is that? Condorcet is much worse, as
described above.

You continued:

And finally, I'd give this hint: the moment it feels like the "other side"
has somehow acquired a preponderance of people in denial, take a more
Copernican view. When an otherwise sensible group holds a view that seems to
be silly, and to explain the silliness, a greater part of that group needs
to be extraordinarily blind (and very specifically so), perhaps they are
not. Perhaps, instead, the view is not so silly.

[endquote]

It's hardly rare for a majority to be mistaken. It's common.

You rely too much on polling. As I said, the configuration of advocacy on EM
is but a snapshot of something that's constantly changing.

As I've mentioned, Approval won the most recent EM poll on voting systems.
Approval won by every method that we used. Approval was the CW, the Approval
winner, and the Range winner.

In the short list of Declaration signers, more people mention Approval than
Condorcet, even if you count VoteFair as Condorcet. And one of the people
who mentions Condorcet ranks it below Approval.

Mike Ossipoff



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Kristofer Munsterhjelm
2012-05-19 11:43:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Before you talk about a *need* to literally maximally help the Democrat beat
the Republican, consider what you have said yourself, in response to my
posts. You have said that the voters' overcompromise is a result of their
history with Plurality, not an objective *need* to, within Condorcet,
rearrange the preferences or the worse guy will win.
[endquote]
They do so because of Plurality history, yes. But their need to
overcompromise is the result of a subjective choice, not an objective error.
In fact, under certain circumstances you, too, would favorite-bury in
Condorcet. I certainly would. (contrary to what I've said in the past, I
admit)
Suppose that it's a u/a election. The method is Condorcet. It's pretty much
certain that Compromise, an acceptable, but not your favorite, is the only
candidate who can beat Worse, an unacceptable. What do you do? You rank
Compromise alone at top, that's what you do. As would I.
In an Nader-Bush-Gore type of u/a, I would say like this:

- Okay, this is an election in the inception of a transition of the
method. Therefore, it is u/a. If this had been some time after the
people had got used to the new method, it would no longer be u/a.

- Therefore, there will be a few "frontrunners", perhaps two or three.
These are the ones that will end up in the Smith set in the worst case -
certainly none of the minor parties will.

- Since I can't push someone off the Smith set by ranking someone not in
the set above him, and Favorite isn't one of the frontrunners, I'm free
to rank Favorite first.

- (alternately) If Favorite and Compromise are in the Smith set and
Worse isn't, then I should make it count: vote Favorite first so as to
help maximally against Compromise.

- Only when all three are or will be in the set might I gain a strategic
advantage by betraying Favorite, and I might not even need to (depends
on u/a FBC). Here I *think* the probability would be so low that I
wouldn't betray Favorite. However, that might sound like
rationalization, so I'll explain at the bottom*.

Now you might say that this is cheating because I'm refining u/a further
to a Nader-Bush-Gore situation. But consider your reasoning for a
moment. You say you're concerned about voters favorite-betraying in u/a,
and you say current political elections in the US are u/a. So I don't
think I have to consider u/a elections with n-way races n>3 because by
the time that many parties would be viable, people would have got over
their overcompromise anyway.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But, maybe you _don't_ know that Compromise is the only acceptable who can
beat Worse. Maybe you have no idea which one can beat Worse. Then what do
you do? You top rate all the acceptables. The problem, of course, is in the
majority of circumstances, when it's somewhere in between those two
circumstances.
Only if they're all in the Smith set, and then only if you want to
escalate - to bet the advantage after you push the method to weirdness
is greater than the loss at doing so in the first place.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Post by Michael Ossipoff
And finally, I'd give this hint: the moment it feels like the "other side"
has somehow acquired a preponderance of people in denial, take a more
Copernican view. When an otherwise sensible group holds a view that seems to
be silly, and to explain the silliness, a greater part of that group needs
to be extraordinarily blind (and very specifically so), perhaps they are
not. Perhaps, instead, the view is not so silly.
[endquote]
It's hardly rare for a majority to be mistaken. It's common.
You rely too much on polling. As I said, the configuration of advocacy on EM
is but a snapshot of something that's constantly changing.
I would hardly call the discussions on EM mere "polling". If they are
"polling", then your discussions with the favorite-betrayers upon which
you build most of your idea of FBC's necessity is also mere "polling" --
and polling with a much lesser sample size at that.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
As I've mentioned, Approval won the most recent EM poll on voting systems.
Approval won by every method that we used. Approval was the CW, the Approval
winner, and the Range winner.
In the short list of Declaration signers, more people mention Approval than
Condorcet, even if you count VoteFair as Condorcet. And one of the people
who mentions Condorcet ranks it below Approval.
True enough. You keep returning to Plurality vs Approval. My point,
however, was that if otherwise reasonable people just so seem to happen
to have a big hole where their judgement of Condorcet vs Approval is
located, then it has to be awfully specific (and convenient) for them to
be thus blind.

And if favorite betrayal really is so rampant, then it is strange that
so few other American EM participants have mentioned the need for
absolute FBC to guard against it. You don't make it out to be a
contested issue like say, left vs right, but rather something that is
obvious: something where it would be easy to see that the voters will
keep on overcompromising so nothing less than a guarantee will do. So
where's the consensus?

(Incidentally, just so I'm clear about this, if the choice was Plurality
or Approval, and nothing else was possible now or ever, then of course
I'd pick Approval. Even in the worst case where backsliding causes a
repeal of Approval, that just returns to Plurality - no worse than if
I'd picked Plurality in the Plurality vs Approval contest. I just think
we can get a real improvement beyond Approval too - and it's better to
get it right the first time than have the opponents go "you got Approval
and now you want *more*?" or have backsliding lead to problems for
reform in general.)
Post by Michael Ossipoff
Mike Ossipoff
* Over here, we have party list PR based on Plurality. This is
essentially Webster's method - there is a slight bias in favor of large
parties, but that doesn't enter into my point here.
What is important is that there is somewhat of a wasted vote phenomenon:
if a party gets n votes, needs k votes to get one seat and r votes to
get two, and k < n < r, then the excess (above k) is "wasted". The
voters could have helped another party get a seat instead.
If we were to be game-theoretically rational, we'd try to find the
compromise party that is closest to our views while still having a
chance of gaining more seats. However, I don't vote that way and I doubt
other people here do as well -- at least unless their honest favorite is
one of the radical parties who get a single seat nationwide if they're
lucky.
Perhaps I am just an example of a voter post-overcompromise; but even if
that is so, it shows that the sort of "instrumental vote or nothing"
reasoning doesn't have to be pervasive. Voting mostly honestly doesn't
even have to be unstable.

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Michael Ossipoff
2012-05-20 04:25:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ossipoff
In fact, under certain circumstances you, too, would favorite-bury in
Condorcet. I certainly would. (contrary to what I've said in the past, I
admit)
Suppose that it's a u/a election. The method is Condorcet. It's pretty
much certain that Compromise, an acceptable, but not your favorite, is
the only candidate who can beat Worse, an unacceptable. What do you
do? You rank Compromise alone at top, that's what you do. As would I.
You wrote:

In an Nader-Bush-Gore type of u/a, I would say like this:

- Okay, this is an election in the inception of a transition of the method.
Therefore, it is u/a. If this had been some time after the people had got
used to the new method, it would no longer be u/a.

[endquote]

Incorrect. u/a has nothing to do with whether or not people are used to a
new method. The election is u/a for a voter if, for that voter, there are
unacceptable candidates who might win. If you object to "unacceptable", then
an election is u/a for a particular voter, if, for that voter, the
candidates can be divided into two sets such that the merit differences
_within_ the sets are negligible in comparison to the merit difference
_between_ the sets.

Nothing about that changes if the voter is familiar with the method.

You continued:

- Therefore, there will be a few "frontrunners", perhaps two or three.

Not necessarily. A pair of pre-election frontrunners are two candidates who
are expected to get the most votes, to be the two candidates most in
contention for the win.

There might not be such. Maybe people don't have a perception or feel about
that, and no one wants to try to guess who the top two contenders are.

Ok, maybe you're saying that Bush, Gore and Nader are the frontrunners
because the election is, by assumption, known to be between them.

You said:

These are the ones that will end up in the Smith set in the worst case -
certainly none of the minor parties will.

[endquote]

"Minor parties" being defined as parties other than those of the 3
candidates you've assumed will be the relevant ones in this example, I take
it. Ok.

You said:

- Since I can't push someone off the Smith set by ranking someone not in the
set above him
, and Favorite isn't one of the frontrunners, I'm free to rank Favorite
first.

[endquote]

Yes, but other voters, without you psychic powers, wouldn't know that.

You continued:

- (alternately) If Favorite and Compromise are in the Smith set and Worse
isn't, then I should make it count: vote Favorite first so as to help
maximally against Compromise.

- Only when all three are or will be in the set might I gain a strategic
advantage by betraying Favorite, and I might not even need to (depends on
u/a FBC).

[endquote]

u/a FBC isn't ready to use yet. It's still in the early examination stage.
And you don't know for sure who will be in the Smith set.

You said:

Here I *think* the probability would be so low that I wouldn't betray
Favorite. However, that might sound like rationalization, so I'll explain at
the bottom*.

[endquote]

Sometimes I use an asterisk when I don't want to lengthen or complicate a
paragraph with a parenthetical remark. I put the asterisk reference directly
below that paragraph, where it is easily found.

On a printed page, where the whole page is simultaneously visible, it's
different, and convenient to put the referred-to remarks at the bottom.

You'd betray Favorite if the merit differences within sets A and B were
negligible in comparison to the merit difference between those sets, and if
Compromise is the only acceptable who can beat Worse.
Expectation-maximizing strategy in Condorcet would call for voting
Compromise alone in 1st place.

You said:

Now you might say that this is cheating because I'm refining u/a further to
a Nader-Bush-Gore situation.

[endquote]

Not at all. That would be a u/a election for me. Set A would be {Nader}. Set
B would be {Gore, Bush}.

But, for some people who aren't clear about their own feelings about what
they regard as acceptable or unacceptable, they actually believe that set A
is {Nader, Gore} and that set B is {Bush}. You might say that it's a
subjective matter. Maybe, but when you talk to most people who vote
Democrat, they express disgust for the corrupt, sold-out, bribed
(Republocrat) politicians. How bizarre, then, if they say that Gore is
acceptable.

(As I said before, check out Jim Hightower's account of Environmental Hero
Al Gore in East Liverpool, Ohio.)

Anyway, for me, and also (or so they believe) for the Anyone-But-Bush voter,
it is a u/a election.

You said:

But consider your reasoning for a moment. You say you're concerned about
voters favorite-betraying in u/a

[endquote]

A u/a election is one way to write an example in which favorite-burial is
expectation-maximizing strategy.

You continued:

, and you say current political elections in the US are u/a.

[endquote]

Yes.


So I don't think I have to consider u/a elections with n-way races n>3
because by the time that many parties would be viable, people would have got
over their overcompromise anyway.

[endquote]

Condorcet's optimal favorite-burial strategy is found in 3-candidate
elections too. I don't know when you think that more than the Republocrats
would become viable, but maybe you've been listening to the U.S. news too
much. Do they have CNN and Fox tv over there?

And I don't know how you're deciding how soon people will get over
overcompromising. Remember that I've described a scenario in which
favorite-burial is the optimal strategy in Condorcet.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
But, maybe you _don't_ know that Compromise is the only acceptable who
can beat Worse. Maybe you have no idea which one can beat Worse. Then
what do you do? You top rate all the acceptables. The problem, of
course, is in the majority of circumstances, when it's somewhere in
between those two circumstances.
You said:

Only if they're all in the Smith se

[endquote]

As I said, the people who don't have your psychic powers won't know who will
be in the Smith set.


You said:

, and then only if you want to escalate - to bet the advantage after you
push the method to weirdness is greater than the loss at doing so in the
first place.

[endquote]

Come again? I'm not quite sure what the above phrase means.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
It's hardly rare for a majority to be mistaken. It's common.
You rely too much on polling. As I said, the configuration of advocacy
on EM is but a snapshot of something that's constantly changing.
I would hardly call the discussions on EM mere "polling".

[endquote]

Then call it whatever you want to. You are depending quite heavily on
quoting which opinion is held by more people. You were doing it before, and
you still are.

You said:

If they are "polling", then your discussions with the favorite-betrayers
upon which you build most of your idea of FBC's necessity is also mere
"polling" -- and polling with a much lesser sample size at that.

[endquote]

...And I told you that Approval has done pretty well in comparison to
Condorcet, opinion-wise.
Post by Michael Ossipoff
As I've mentioned, Approval won the most recent EM poll on voting systems.
Approval won by every method that we used. Approval was the CW, the
Approval winner, and the Range winner.
In the short list of Declaration signers, more people mention Approval
than Condorcet, even if you count VoteFair as Condorcet. And one of
the people who mentions Condorcet ranks it below Approval.
True enough. You keep returning to Plurality vs Approval.

[endquote]

Wrong. We're talking about Approval vs Condorcet.

But yes, I do refer to Approval vs Plurality when I advocate replacing
Plurality with Approval.

You said:

My point, however, was that if otherwise reasonable people just so seem to
happen to have a big hole where their judgement of Condorcet vs Approval is
located
, then it has to be awfully specific (and convenient) for them to be thus
blind.

[endquote]

Where to start? :-)

1) When someone resorts to namecalling as a substitute for actually
supporting their claims, that's a strong indication that, with their
namecalling, they have just shown to us the best argument that they have.

2) So Kristofer thinks that all of the people who expressed preference for
Approval over Condorcet did so because their judgment wasn't as good as
Kristofer's.

3) In fact, he says that it's "awfully specific and convenient", meaning
that the the people who expressed preference for Approval over Condorcet are
in a conspiracy to mis-represent their preferences.

You said:

And if favorite betrayal really is so rampant

[endquote]

It is rampant, but, to know what's going on here, it would help to live
here.

Pretty much everyone who votes Democrat says that they're going to hold
their nose and vote for the lesser-evil. When Nader ran, all the Democrat
voters were furious because he was going to be a spoiler, spoiling the
election of the lesser-evil for whom they were holding their noses. And
people who said they'd vote for Nader were heavily criticized by Democrat
voters for voting for their favorite instead of for the lesser-evil "You're
splitting the vote by voting for your favorite instead of pragmatically
abandoning your favorite as we are!"

You said:

, then it is strange that so few other American EM participants have
mentioned the need for absolute FBC to guard against it.

[endquote]

I pointed out some days ago that EM is a debate club. For many members, it
isn't about practical proposals. EM members debate whether their method is
better than yours, but few if any of them have ever discussed these matters
with members of the public who haven't heard about voting system debates.

Anyway, I told you about the instances in which more preferred Approval to
Condorcet than vice-versa.


You said:

You don't make it out to be a contested issue like say, left vs right, but
rather something that is
obvious: something where it would be easy to see that the voters will keep
on overcompromising so nothing less than a guarantee will do. So where's the
consensus?

[endquote]

Among pretty much all who vote Democrat. And the media who uniformly refer
to "the two choices". That pretty much amounts to a consensus who espouse
the opinion that "supports" favorite-burial for the Democrat.

As for whether that will stop or continue:

The burden of proof is on the one who says that a behavior is going to
change. That's you.
The burden of proof is also on the one who suggests the less cautious
assumption. The best you can say is, "Maybe it won't be a problem". But even
that maybe is largely contradicted, by:

How many more times must I repeat about the conversations and observations
that suggest that favorite-burial is so ingrained that it will continue with
Condorcet?
Do you think you could look it up in my previous postings?

That is a very small sample. But the observed agreement within that sample
would be unlikely if favorite-burial with better methods would be rare.

You said:

(Incidentally, just so I'm clear about this, if the choice was Plurality or
Approval, and nothing else was possible now or ever, then of course I'd pick
Approval. Even in the worst case where backsliding causes a repeal of
Approval

[endquote]

Everyone please note that I've repeatedly asked what kind of problems or bad
results would make people want to go from Approval back to Plurality. There
hasn't been an answer.


You said:

I just think we can get a real improvement beyond Approval too

[endquote]

Oh, you "just think...". Oh, that's different! :-)

You may "just think" that, but I've told you why Approval is a whole lot
more enactable than Condorcet it. Read my article, and my recent posts. As I
recently said, due to those considerations whose discussion I'm referring
you to, the expected enactment time for Approval will be a lot less,
probably many times less, than the enactment time for Condorcet.

You said:

- and it's better to get it right the first time

[endquote]

Whoa, Cowboy--You haven't shown that Approval is wrong and that Condorcet is
right.

You continued;

...than have the opponents go "you got Approval and now you want *more*?" or
have backsliding lead to problems for reform in general.

[endquote]

I guess I have to repeat this too:

When the results of the first Approval election are available, it will
become much more difficult to exclude non-Republocrat opinion from news,
debates, talkshows, media coverage, etc. That, just of itself, will free up
discussion and the media. Additionally, the societal changes resulting from
everyone being able to fully support their favorites will further open up
media and discussion. Complicated contraption methods like Condorcet will be
discussed to, when people have become aware of voting system reform. _That_
will be when Condorcet first begins to have an enactment chance.

So, as I said, don't be like the 3 Stooges trying to hurry through a door,
but spending all of their time and effort trying to pull eachother back, in
order to go through first.
It doesn't matter who goes through first. Let's just feasibly go through the
door.

As I said, you remind me of someone in the story of King Solomon and the
disputed baby.

I've said this before too. How many times? I too would something with
properties more than those of Approval. I'd like defection-resistance. I'd
like ICT. But, unlike you,
I'm not saying, "My ideal favorite or nothing!" Approval is do-able. I've
told why, in my article and my subsequent postings. Are you going to insist
that I repeat it again in a new posting?

Mike Ossipoff







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