Discussion:
Chris: Approval vs IRV
MIKE OSSIPOFF
2004-06-07 03:42:23 UTC
Permalink
Chris said:

Stephane,
I also rate IRV above Approval, for many reasons. For a method to be
acceptable to me, it must meet Majority for solid coalitions (Woodall
calls "Majority" and others call "Mutual Majority") and Clone
Independence(Woodall's Clone-winner and Clone-loser
criteria).

I reply:

Fair enough. Then, for you, IRV is better than Approval. For you, by your
chosen criteria.

You continue:

Common-sense, Mike O. and I agree that Approval fails Clone
Independence. Some may sneer, but these criteria are
easy to meet; and failing them allows all sorts of unfairness and
absurdity.

I reply:

But IRV had no unfairness & absurdity? :-) Specifics are always better than
namecalling.

You continued:

To my mind, Approval does NOT satisfy Independence of Irrelevant
Alternatives (IIA)

I reply:

IIAC has more conflicting definitions than any other criterion. I'm sure you
can dream-up one that Approval fails. Whether you can meaningfully define
it, so that not every method fails it, is another matter.

Approval meets the popular brief IIAC definition that has been posted to EM
by various people with a few equivalent wordings:

Deleting a losing candidate from the ballots, and recounting those ballots,
shouldn't change who wins.


You needn't prove that Approval doesn't meet ICC. That's common knowledge on
EM.

You continued:

One of my fundamental standards is that a method should perform reasonably
when all the voters
vote sincerely (taking no account of how any other voters might vote).

I reply:

IRV fails your standard in the most flagrant and ridiculous ways. This has
been very well-described on EM, even in recent weeks, and so don't ask me to
repeat the examples. Aside from the recently-posted example, there's also
the absurd nonmonotonicity of IRV, even when people vote sincerely.

Actually, IRV is at its very worst when people vote sincerely. Often the CW
can be saved only be the extreme insincere strategy of favorite-burial.

You continued:

A method should be able to cope with insincerity, but to perform reasonably
it definitely shouldn't
DEPEND on insincerity."

I reply:

Like when, in IRV, the election of a CW depends on voters insincerely voting
the CW in 1st place, over their genuine favorite?

You continue:

Isn't that enough "unfairness and absurdity"?

I reply:

Definitely.

You continue:

I agree that "defensive srategy citeria" are valuable, but the starting
point should be that the
method is, and appears to be, fair and sensible if all the voters vote
sincerely.

I reply:

As I said, IRV fails that standard of yours.

You continued:

Approval is based on the assumption that all the voters strategise, and in
effect invites them to
do so; because it doesn't even give voters who have a strict ranking and who
want to vote sincerely
a clear-cut instruction on how to do so.

I reply:

Yes, in Approval the strategy need can't be ignored. In IRV, you can ignore
it, and then be hit in the face by it when your last choice wins because you
didn't bury your favorite.

And the strategy needed in Approval never requires favorite-burial.

You continued:

Instead it leaves them wondering why they should "vote for"
more than one candidate, and if they should, then how many more.

I reply:

...just as IRV leaves you wondering if you should vote Compromise in 1st
place, burying Favorite, so that Worst won't win.

You continued:

Approval would be less unacceptable if the ballot instruction was at least
concise and semi-sensible.
Either "Check the candidates you rank in equal-first place. Barring
candidtes you rate as unacceptable,
check the other candidates you rate as above-average in this field", or the
simpler "Of these
candidates, check those you rate as above average".

I reply:

Fortunately you won't be writing the balloting instructions for Approval.

"Vote for 1 or more" is sufficient for the instruction on the ballot.

The ballot instruction needn't be a strategy suggestion. Strategy
suggestions can be found elsewhwere, as at http://www.electionmethods.org

, at the Approval Strategy pages. Or in a recent posting of mine to EM.
Political orgnizations and parties would be distributing strategy
suggestions, and the government could do so also, but there's no need for it
to actually be on the ballot.

You continued:

But according to Approval advocates that I've been in contact with, there
definitely shouldn't be
"strategy advice" on the ballot paper. Oh no, there should just be the
infuriatingly meaningless
"Vote for" whichever candidates you choose.

I reply:

The ballot paper doens't have room to name all the strategies that could be
used in Plurality or Approval, let alone explain them. And IRV strategy?
Forget it. I don't know if anyone has studied it. Runoff strategy is much
more complicated than Approval stratgegy, requiring many more summations and
estimates of probabilities. IRV strategy would be Runoff strategy to the Nth
power. Yes, explain that on the IRV ballot paper :-)

You continued:

Another thing I hate about Approval is that elections in the US are
apoltical enough as it is.In
election campaigns, voters should be thinking about politics, and the
policies and qualities of
the candidates. Approval would help get rid of that, by turning the election
into a kind of sport
between rival factions of strategising voters.

I reply:

It isn't entirely clear why you believe that strategy would get rid of
concern about policies and qualities of the candidates. Those things would
determine how people rate the candidates, which would be important in
determining people's voting.

You continued:

Tv debates and newspaper articles could be all about
"what is the best Approval voting strategy?".

I reply:

The best Approval strategy for you is crucially based on how good you
believe the candidates are. In 2004, I suggest that the best Approval
strategy for progressives would be to vote only for Nader, given the
existing candidate lineup. Likewise in Plurality. (At this time we don't
have reliable winnability or tie-probability information, so it makes sense
to use 0-info strategy, or to experimentally vote only for the best).

You continued:

Also of course, obsessing about polls will be
intensified. Maybe everytime a new poll is published, tv reporters will ask
Mike Ossipoff "What does
this new poll mean for voters who want to maximise the effect of their
vote?"

I reply:

That would be great if they did, referring to the polls in the media. I'd
say, "Nothing, because the value of a poll depends on the honesty and
motives of those who report the results. It's a 0-info election."

Of course there could be polls taken by people or organizations that are
trusted by progressives, and that would be different. Then there'd be
reliable polling information for progressives.

You continued:

And of course voters who succeed in ignoring this circus and instead just
concentrate on the
policies and qualities of the candidates, will potentially be greatly
disadvantaged (much more than
a "naive", sincere IRV voter).

I reply:

When you say that voters who base their voting on the merits of the
candidates will be disadvantaged in Approval, that shows that you are
completely uninformed about Approval. With any method that requires
strategy, that strategy is based on predictive information and sincere
ratings. With Condorcet, one is most free of need for strategic voting, as
we here have defined it. With Approval & IRV, you need strategic voting.
But with IRV that strategic voting that you need will sometimes require
burying your favorite.

Mike Ossipoff

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Stephane Rouillon
2004-06-07 13:45:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
...
Approval is based on the assumption that all the voters strategise, and in
effect invites them to
do so; because it doesn't even give voters who have a strict ranking and who
want to vote sincerely
a clear-cut instruction on how to do so.
Yes, in Approval the strategy need can't be ignored. In IRV, you can ignore
it, and then be hit in the face by it when your last choice wins because you
didn't bury your favorite.
And the strategy needed in Approval never requires favorite-burial.
Instead it leaves them wondering why they should "vote for"
more than one candidate, and if they should, then how many more.
...just as IRV leaves you wondering if you should vote Compromise in 1st
place, burying Favorite, so that Worst won't win.
Maybe I need more mathematical support on this but, even if I agree with Mike,
I evaluate the number of time I would have to bury my favourite in order to
get it elected with IRV far less than the number of time I could lose him by not
setting
properly my approval cut-off with approval. It is a matter of odds
(probability).
Could someone evalute those, even just for a small case?

Steph

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Adam Tarr
2004-06-07 14:33:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stephane Rouillon
Maybe I need more mathematical support on this but, even if I agree with
Mike, I evaluate the number of time I would have to bury my favourite in
order to get it elected with IRV far less than the number of time I could
lose him by not setting properly my approval cut-off with approval. It is
a matter of odds (probability). Could someone evalute those, even just
for a small case?
OK, a small case follows.

The names of the candidates are with respect to your preferences. The
breakdown of voters is uncertain, but it is EITHER:

35% Worst
5% Worst>Compromise>Favorite
12% Compromise>Worst>Favorite
13% Compromise>Favorite>Worst
35% Favorite>Compromise>Worst

OR,

30% Worst
5% Worst>Compromise>Favorite
12% Compromise>Worst>Favorite
13% Compromise>Favorite>Worst
40% Favorite>Compromise>Worst

The difference, of course, is that in the first case, you lose the second
round runoff in IRV, and in the second case, you win it.

In IRV, if you really hate Worst, you have good reason to sell out Favorite
and put Compromise in first. This causes Favorite to lose in the first
round, so that Compromise wins the runoff. This is the classic "lesser of
two evils" scenario.

In Approval, I can always vote for favorite, but the question is whether I
approve compromise as well. It's a very similar dilemma, although I don't
have to actually sell out my favorite.

Now, here's the twist. Say the second situation is the
reality. Furthermore, suppose that 8% of the 40% in my faction decide to
sell out favorite (and a similar 1% of the 5% in the W>C>F faction). So
the votes, in IRV, look like:

30% W
4% W>C>F
13% C>W>F (including 1% insincere)
21% C>F>W (including 8% insincere)
32% F>C>W

So, favorite gets eliminated in the first round, and compromise wins, and
that 8% of the electorate that sold out Favorite spends the next four years
feeling like idiots. Now, suppose we have the same number of "double
approvers" in the Approval election. I'll assume a fifth of the
compromisers (3% on each end) also approve their preferred wing, just like
for the other factions. So, with an equal amount of "compromising" going
on, the votes are:

34% W
4% WC
19% C
11% FC
32% F

Now, despite the same amount of "favorite betrayal" as in the IRV example,
Favorite still wins. So here we have a pretty good argument that approval
is MORE forgiving in this case than IRV. In general, it takes twice as
much mistaken compromising to sink the stronger wing candidate in approval
versus IRV.

And one last note: this whole strategy problem is trivialized in
Condorcet. Just vote sincerely, and go home. As such, this example makes
a good case for my Condorcet>approval>IRV>plurality preferences.

-Adam

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James Green-Armytage
2004-06-07 22:38:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Adam Tarr
In Approval, I can always vote for favorite, but the question is whether I
approve compromise as well. It's a very similar dilemma, although I don't
have to actually sell out my favorite.
Now, despite the same amount of "favorite betrayal" as in the IRV example,
Favorite still wins. So here we have a pretty good argument that approval
is MORE forgiving in this case than IRV. In general, it takes twice as
much mistaken compromising to sink the stronger wing candidate in approval
versus IRV.
Right, but using equal rankings IRV (whole votes), voters have more
leeway to support the compromise candidate without burying their favorite.
That is, as in approval, they can vote the compromise candidate equal to
their favorite.

Given your first example:
35% Worst
5% Worst>Compromise>Favorite
12% Compromise>Worst>Favorite
13% Compromise>Favorite>Worst
35% Favorite>Compromise>Worst

If 11/35 F>C>W voters vote F=C>W
35% Worst
5% Worst>Compromise>Favorite
12% Compromise>Worst>Favorite
13% Compromise>Favorite>Worst
11% Favorite=Compromise>Worst
24% Favorite>Compromise>Worst

IRV tally using whole votes
Worst Compromise Favorite
40 36 35
+24 -35
40 60

So, it takes 11 voters to compressing their rankings, or 6 voters
reversing their rankings, to elect Compromise in this example. In approval
voting, at least 16 F>C>W voters should have to vote FC in order to elect
compromise, and possibly more if any of the C>W>F voters happen to vote
CW. So from that point of view, it doesn't seem off-base to say that
ER-IRV(whole) handles this example at least as well as approval.
Actually, as a side note, it's not clear to me how this example would
play out in approval. Would the Compromise voters approve their favorite
wing candidates? Would the wing candidates approve the Compromise
candidate? Or is it both?
Anyway, I totally agree that Condorcet handles this example much better
than IRV, better than approval, and better than ER-IRV(whole). But I'm
just pointing out that ER-IRV(whole) does a better job than plain IRV. So
please keep that in mind.

best,
James

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Stephane Rouillon
2004-09-01 12:47:34 UTC
Permalink
Maybe I was not clear.
I consider a small case to be a stusy about of all possible ballot sets
that a small number of voters (3 or 4) can produce. Then for each election
method we would evaluate the esperance of gain of unsincere strategies for
those
methods...
A small case is not an example.
This "small case" is more a huge work...
Post by Adam Tarr
Post by Stephane Rouillon
Maybe I need more mathematical support on this but, even if I agree with
Mike, I evaluate the number of time I would have to bury my favourite in
order to get it elected with IRV far less than the number of time I could
lose him by not setting properly my approval cut-off with approval. It is
a matter of odds (probability). Could someone evalute those, even just
for a small case?
OK, a small case follows.
The names of the candidates are with respect to your preferences. The
35% Worst
5% Worst>Compromise>Favorite
12% Compromise>Worst>Favorite
13% Compromise>Favorite>Worst
35% Favorite>Compromise>Worst
OR,
30% Worst
5% Worst>Compromise>Favorite
12% Compromise>Worst>Favorite
13% Compromise>Favorite>Worst
40% Favorite>Compromise>Worst
The difference, of course, is that in the first case, you lose the second
round runoff in IRV, and in the second case, you win it.
In IRV, if you really hate Worst, you have good reason to sell out Favorite
and put Compromise in first. This causes Favorite to lose in the first
round, so that Compromise wins the runoff. This is the classic "lesser of
two evils" scenario.
In Approval, I can always vote for favorite, but the question is whether I
approve compromise as well. It's a very similar dilemma, although I don't
have to actually sell out my favorite.
Now, here's the twist. Say the second situation is the
reality. Furthermore, suppose that 8% of the 40% in my faction decide to
sell out favorite (and a similar 1% of the 5% in the W>C>F faction). So
30% W
4% W>C>F
13% C>W>F (including 1% insincere)
21% C>F>W (including 8% insincere)
32% F>C>W
So, favorite gets eliminated in the first round, and compromise wins, and
that 8% of the electorate that sold out Favorite spends the next four years
feeling like idiots. Now, suppose we have the same number of "double
approvers" in the Approval election. I'll assume a fifth of the
compromisers (3% on each end) also approve their preferred wing, just like
for the other factions. So, with an equal amount of "compromising" going
34% W
4% WC
19% C
11% FC
32% F
Now, despite the same amount of "favorite betrayal" as in the IRV example,
Favorite still wins. So here we have a pretty good argument that approval
is MORE forgiving in this case than IRV. In general, it takes twice as
much mistaken compromising to sink the stronger wing candidate in approval
versus IRV.
And one last note: this whole strategy problem is trivialized in
Condorcet. Just vote sincerely, and go home. As such, this example makes
a good case for my Condorcet>approval>IRV>plurality preferences.
-Adam
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Bart Ingles
2004-09-02 05:41:54 UTC
Permalink
Just don't fall into the trap of assuming that each ballot permutation
is equally likely. Although even that might be good enough for some
things...
Bart
Post by Stephane Rouillon
Maybe I was not clear.
I consider a small case to be a stusy about of all possible ballot sets
that a small number of voters (3 or 4) can produce. Then for each election
method we would evaluate the esperance of gain of unsincere strategies for
those
methods...
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Chris Benham
2004-06-07 15:30:03 UTC
Permalink
Mike,
I had written:

One of my fundamental standards is that a method should perform reasonably
when all the voters vote sincerely (taking no account of how any other voters might vote).
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
IRV fails your standard in the most flagrant and ridiculous ways. This has
been very well-described on EM, even in recent weeks, and so don't ask me to
repeat the examples. Aside from the recently-posted example, there's also
the absurd nonmonotonicity of IRV, even when people vote sincerely.
Actually, IRV is at its very worst when people vote sincerely. Often the CW
can be saved only be the extreme insincere strategy of favorite-burial.
CB: At least IRV has some appearance of TRYING to meet this standard.
"Electing the CW" is far from the only interpretation of "performing reasonably". As Marcus S.
has explained to you before: "The aim of IRV is not to elect the sincere Condorcet winner. The
aim of IRV is to elect the sincere IRV winner."

I had continued:
A method should be able to cope with insincerity, but to perform reasonably it definitely shouldn't
DEPEND on insincerity.
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
Like when, in IRV, the election of a CW depends on voters insincerely voting
the CW in 1st place, over their genuine favorite?
CB: In Australia and doubtless many other countries, almost none of the voters have a concept of the
"CW", let alone worry about how they are going to strategise to elect that candidate. So what concepts
do they have? They have the concept that political parties that win single-seat elections are those
that get lots of votes, including lots of first-preference ("primary") votes. They have the concept
that the winner definitely should never be the Majority Loser. They have the concept that votes for
losing candidates should not be avoidably completely "wasted". They have a concept that elections
are not purely about who wins, but also about things like identity, self-expression, political
principles and (sometimes class-based)party-loyalty. Very few voters in Australia are remotely
interested in strategising, and in (at least)some countries that even use Plurality, surprisingly
few are.
So instead of "elect the CW", and apart from (the admittedly somewhat circular) "elect the sincere
IRV winner", what do I mean by "perform reasonably"? The method chooses the winner in a (somewhat)
intuitive and orderly manner,without appearing to "waste" more than half the votes, and thus picks
a winner which is widely accepted (by the supporters of the losing candidates) as "legitimate".

There are many quite intelligent and thoughtful voters in Australia, to whom it has never occured
that there might be any better single-winner election method. They have failed to notice IRV's
"absurd non-monotonicity", and they have no concept of the "CW". They have heard of, and recoil
in horror at Plurality ("First-past-the-post"). They would laugh at Approval.

I think in many countries, even the US, voters and political parties would hate approval. If I
were to be persuaded to drop my Clone Independence standard and take a limited-slot method seriously,
I would go for one of Kevin Venzke's 3-slot methods, like "Withdrawable Approval".
As it is, I think most promising-looking for public political elections is probably something from
the "automated approval" family (which uses ranked ballots).

Chris Benham



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MIKE OSSIPOFF
2004-06-09 02:53:43 UTC
Permalink
Chris--
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
Actually, IRV is at its very worst when people vote sincerely. Often the CW
can be saved only be the extreme insincere strategy of favorite-burial.
You replied:

At least IRV has some appearance of TRYING to meet this standard.
"Electing the CW" is far from the only interpretation of "performing
reasonably".

I reply:

But voters have shown that they'll do what it takes to elect the CW. Most
people's voting strategy here, though based on completely false information,
is intended to maximize the voter's utility expectation or to elect the CW.
That's evident from what people say, though they don't mention utility
expectation or CW. Riker demonstrated that if voters want to optimize the
outcome for themselves, and have complete information about eachother's
preferences, then the CW wll win. I don't know exactly what his assumptions
were, but it might have involved repeated elections, converrging on the CW
if one exists.

So a method that requires favorite-burial to elect the CW is going to make
people bury their favorite.
That's what I & others object to about IRV.

You continued:

As Marcus S.
has explained to you before: "The aim of IRV is not to elect the sincere
Condorcet winner. The
aim of IRV is to elect the sincere IRV winner."

I reply:

Every method does a perfect job of electing its own winner. The fact that
IRV is good at electing its own winner can't be counted as an accomplishment
of IRV.

And, because of the drastically insincere strategy (favorite-burial) that
IRV will often require, IRV can't be said to be good at electing the sincere
IRV winner. The sincere IRV winner will often be an extreme candidate far
from the voter median, and the election of the sincere IRV winner could then
be very bad news.
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
Like when, in IRV, the election of a CW depends on voters insincerely
voting the CW in 1st place, over their genuine favorite?
CB: In Australia and doubtless many other countries, almost none of the
voters have a concept of the
"CW"

I reply:

No, but that doesn't mean that they won't do what they can to elect the CW,
though they've never heard the term. Or strategize to maximize their utility
expectation, though they haven't heard of that either.

The CW tends to be the best compromise that you can get, if you need a
compromise.

For instance, here, this year, many who prefer Nader to Kerry have been
convinced by their tv that only Kerry can beat Bush. They believe that if
all the people preferring Nader to Bush voted for Nader, there's a greater
number preferring Bush to Nader who would vote for Bush, and Bush would win.

In other words, they believe that Bush is preferred to Nader by more people
than prefer Nader to Bush. But they believe that more prefer Kerry to Bush
than Bush to Kerry, and it's probably true, for what it's worth. So, as they
believe it, Bush has a pairwise win against Nader, but Kerry has a pairwise
win against Bush.

Anyone with a sincere pairwise win against Bush is what they're looking for,
and they know that if X has a sincere pairwise win against Y, and if
everyone who has that preference votes for X in Plurality, Y loses. They
don't call Bush the CW, but what they're going by differs only in wording.
They're using the drasrtic defensive strategy of favorite-burial to elect
whom they believe to be the CW, based on false information.

Sometimes they'll have to do the same thing in IRV.

And before you say that IRV works fine elsewhere, I point out that here
isn't elsewhere. Political systems, voters, candidates differ.

Recorded data don't contain the information needed to tell us whether CWs
are being eliminated in IRV in current use.
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
From the 3 Australians that I had the opportunity to ask, I heard that it
isn't unusual for preferrers of non-big-2 candidates to insincerely rank in
first place the big-2 candidate whom they like better than the other big-2
candidate, to avoid "wasting [their] vote". Australia has had IRV for a
along time, but parties are still mostly unwilling to run more than 1
candidate per election, contrary to the hopes when IRV was adopted.


So what concepts
do they have? They have the concept that political parties that win
single-seat elections are those
that get lots of votes, including lots of first-preference ("primary")
votes. They have the concept
that the winner definitely should never be the Majority Loser.

I reply:

IRV's flagrant majority rule violations are just as obviously wrong as
Majority Loser violations. Majority Loser violations are a special case. IRV
doesn't need a special case like that in order to fail.

You continued:

They have the concept that votes for
losing candidates should not be avoidably completely "wasted".

I reply:

You mean the way they're wasted in IRV when the compromise that you need
gets eliminated because your traveling vote didn't reach hir in time? So
that your preference for hir over someone worse was never counted?

You continued:

They have a concept that elections
are not purely about who wins, but also about things like identity,
self-expression, political
principles

I reply:

Well then, you've just told why the experience there isn't applicable here:
American progressives care about who wins, and they're quite willing to
flush their principles and self-expression down the toilet if they believe
that it's the pragmatic thing to do, to elect a lesser-evil. Case closed.

You continued:

and (sometimes class-based)party-loyalty. Very few voters in Australia are
remotely
interested in strategising, and in (at least)some countries that even use
Plurality, surprisingly
few are.

I reply:

...which demonstrates that there's no reason to expect U.S. voters to vote
as those others do, in IRV either, if, for instance Australian voters
strategize less than U.S. voters do. (But, as I've said, I've been told that
favorite-burial strategy isn't unusual in Australia either).

You continued:

So instead of "elect the CW", and apart from (the admittedly somewhat
circular) "elect the sincere
IRV winner", what do I mean by "perform reasonably"? The method chooses the
winner in a (somewhat)
intuitive and orderly manner,without appearing to "waste" more than half the
votes
I
I reply:

40: AB
25: B
35: CB

A wins. 60% had voted that they'd rather elect B than A. Do you really
believe that their votes weren't wasted? Maybe you mean something different
by "wasted", but definitely their B>A vote was ignored by IRV, resulting in
a majority rule violation.

Ignore the voted wishes of a majority, and you have a majority rule
violation. IRV will have many avoidable majorilty rule violations.

You continued:

There are many quite intelligent and thoughtful voters in Australia, to whom
it has never occured
that there might be any better single-winner election method.

I reply:

There are people there trying to tell them different. You could help.

You continued:

They have failed to notice IRV's
"absurd non-monotonicity", and they have no concept of the "CW".

I reply:

Our voters, whether or not they have a concept of the CW, will do what it
takes to elect the CW.

You continued:

They would laugh at Approval.

I reply:

Of course it's easy to say that without backing it up in any way. They
haven't been asked about Approval. You don't know how they'd react. You're
trying to speak for them. Approval is one of the most popular alternative
methods.

Some object to Approval because of a mistaken interpretation of
"one-person-one-vote", but that is avoided if Approval is presented as a CR
version. Mention CR 0-10, and then CR 0,1.

Anyway, the topic was about the actual relative merits of IRV & Approval,
not your unsubstantiated claim about how someone would react to a method
that they have never heard of before.

You continued:

I think in many countries, even the US...

I reply:

Now you're getting even farther from justifiability, telling us how people
in another country would react to what they've never heard of.

Admittedly Approval would be new to them. But you're speculating about their
reaction.

You continued:

..., voters and political parties would hate approval.

I reply:

Why would voters hate Approval more than Plurality? Because it lets them
always vote for their favorite instead of having to strategically abandon
hir? Because it gives them the freedom to vote for and show support for
people they like better than their Plurailty compromise?

Your claim is not only unjustified, it's absurd.

Of course, as you said, the Democrat & Repulican parties would hate
Approval. Or Condorcet wv, or any good method, because it would end their
artificial monopoly.

You continued:

If I
were to be persuaded to drop my Clone Independence standard and take a
limited-slot method seriously,
I would go for one of Kevin Venzke's 3-slot methods, like "Withdrawable
Approval".


I reply:

Sure, Approval can be improved upon by more elaborate methods. Especially
Condorcet wv. Approval's appeal is that it needs only a very modest change
from Plurality, with no new balloting or counting technology.

You continued:

As it is, I think most promising-looking for public political elections is
probably something from
the "automated approval" family (which uses ranked ballots).

I reply:

That sounds like Bucklin or DSV(Approval). Well, then propose those instead
of IRV.

Mike Ossipoff

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Jan Kok
2004-06-09 17:10:37 UTC
Permalink
I suggest this alternative description of Approval Voting:

Voters are asked to "approve" or "disapprove" each candidate. Voters
may approve more than one candidate for an office. Whoever gets the
most approval votes wins.

The reasons for proposing this are:

1. I have twice received this objection: With Plurality voting, the sum
of the votes for all candidates for an office is less than or equal to
the number of ballots; with Approval Voting there is no such check.

Having an "approve" and "disapprove" option for each candidate provides
a similar check.

2. To the extent that voters mark "approve" or "disapprove" for every
candidate, ballots can't be tampered with by adding approvals for some
candidate (without creating spoiled ballots).

3. It becomes obvious that existing voting machines and software can
work with Approval Voting, because they already work with yes/no ballot
issues.

4. It might reduce occurrence of the (bogus) "one person one vote"
objection.

Comments?

- Jan



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Chris Benham
2004-06-10 18:54:10 UTC
Permalink
Mike,
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
From the 3 Australians that I had the opportunity to ask, I heard that it
isn't unusual for preferrers of non-big-2 candidates to insincerely rank in
first place the big-2 candidate whom they like better than the other big-2
candidate, to avoid "wasting [their] vote". Australia has had IRV for a
along time, but parties are still mostly unwilling to run more than 1
candidate per election, contrary to the hopes when IRV was adopted.
CB: You are not STILL talking about the apocryphal "3 Australians"?
You don't update the results of your on-going survey
of reports by Australians about how IRV operates there very often, do
you? Let me refresh you memory of an on-list discussion
you had with the Australian Albert Langer in December 1998 with some
excerpts.

This from a post dated Fri.Dec.4, 1998 ("IRO" means IRV, and "VA"
stands for "Votes Against" and refers to Condorcet,
Winning Votes.)
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
[AL]
In Australia IRO makes the support for third parties highly visible.
NOBODY who would vote for them under Approval or VA fails to vote for
them as a result of strategic considerations concerning IRO.
Nevertheless, since they never win any seats they don't get to build
their support in the way that they would if they were represented.
Of course they wouldn't dominate a PR Parliament either. They would
simply be represented, which is all that PR supporters have ever claimed
for PR. As a result of being represented they might build their support,
so the two party monopoly makes damn sure they aren't.
<snip>
[MO]
With IRO something _does_ prevent people from registering their support
for a less winnable alternative: The fact that while their vote is
on their favorite, a needed compromise might get eliminated, resulting
in the victory of one's most despised last choice.
[AL]
Nope. That is just your speculation. Ask any Australian of any political
persuasion and you'll find that this just isn't a factor in the way
people actually vote here (as opposed to the way parties plan their
campaigns). <snip>
..., voters and political parties would hate approval.
Why would voters hate Approval more than Plurality? Because it lets them
always vote for their favorite instead of having to strategically abandon
hir? Because it gives them the freedom to vote for and show support for
people they like better than their Plurailty compromise?
Your claim is not only unjustified, it's absurd.
CB: This thread is "Approval vs. IRV", not "Approval vs. Plurality".
Of course Approval is an unambiguous improvement
on Plurality, and those voters who notice any difference will
(probably) prefer it. Why will small parties prefer IRV to Approval?
Because small parties like it to be possible that all indications from
published polls and previous elections are wrong, and this time
the voters will vote as they reccomend and vote them in to office. Under
Approval, that means either continuing to vote as in
Plurality and foregoing any say among the real contenders (and opening
the door to the election of the Condorcet or even
Majority loser) or completely abandoning the fantasy and saying, in
effect, "We want the result to be a tie between us and one of
the major parties" , which is false and ridiculous. Under IRV, they are
not in that bind. They can say "Vote for us as your unique
favourite, so that if enough of you do we will win, but if we are
eliminated then you can still have your say among the main contenders",
plus they get some clout that can arise if they are seen as having
the power to "direct preferences".

From the point-of-view of voters that aren't interested in
strategising, Approval doesn't "guarrantee" anything. You seem to assume
that the voters all fall into one of two categories:
(1) partially-informed strategists who know that if they don't
compromise by voting Middle first (in IRV) then there is a danger
that Worst will win, but don't know that Favourite can't win if they
vote sincerely; so maybe they'd like to vote maximum clout
against Worst and leave it to other voters to decide which of Favourite
and Middle actually *wins* .
(2) "semi-strategists" who are perfectly happy and comfortable voting
compromises equal to their sincere unique favourite, but
are squeamish about voting a compromise above their sincere favourite.

In the case of IRV, the voter might SOMETIMES be, as you say, be
"strategically forced" (in the setting of a US presidential election)
to Compromise and falsely vote Middle above Favourite. But that is
versus having to falsely vote compromises equal to sincere
Favourite in Approval, ALL THE TIME. That is fine if you think that
order-reversal is terrible, but order-compression is nothing.
But if you consider them both bad, and order-reversal is only about
two or three times worse than order-compression; then IRV
looks like the much more attractive way of voting.

Consider these further categories of voters:
(3) voters who are not be interested in strategy, and so just want a
clear-cut way of voting sincerely. Under IRV, this category
would be much larger than it is under Purality, when voters appreciate
IRV's "majority for solid coalitions" and Condorcet Loser
guarrantees. This is the group who would not be Approval fans.
(4) well informed strategists, who don't mind Compromise-strategy
order-reversal. ("betraying" their favourite).This group
has no real reason to prefer Approval over IRV.

Chris Benham

PS , another interesting excerpt from your chat with Albert Langer
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
[MO]
Speak for yourself. Duverger's law is about Plurality, and doesn't
accurately apply to single-winner methods in general.
Maybe some
like Plurality because it produces a 2-party system, but a better
single-winner method, one that lets people vote sincerely, wouldn't
produce a 2-party system. I claim that even the simple, modest
Approval method would bust the artificial 2-party system wide open.
[AL]
"edit" meaning "edict" :-). Du Verger's law would not apply to "Random
Ballot" but it certainly does apply to IRO as proved for more than half
a century of experience in Australia and you have not advanced anything
resembling an argument as to why it would not apply to Approval. I
cannot even guess what your argument might be. People overwhelmingly do
vote "sincerely" (ie naively) at least as regards first preferences
under IRO in Australia and haven't got the foggiest clue about the fact
that there is something fundamentally absurd about the way votes are
counted. 20% of them sincerely vote for other parties as their first
preference and are not in the least surprised that the two major parties
always win because they understand the elementary logic that if there is
going to be only 1 winner it is going to come from one or other of the
two big parties and not from 1 of the small ones. Any fancy system that
produced a different result would be rightly perceived as just plain
anti-democratic. How could one possibly argue against parties that have
80% of the vote not reliably winning a seat? (Certainly not by
persuading them that a lottery should be used to prevent that obvious
outcome, not by pretending that some weird way of counting votes could
result in 1 or other of 2 parties with 80% support between them winning
the seat rather than 1 or other of the reamaining parties or
independents with 20% support).
If you want representation of other parties then you have to go for PR
as in Europe.
This is just plain obvious and not worth arguing about further.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/election-methods-list/message/2739

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/election-methods-list/message/2805

Something very odd, December 98 seems to be missing from the Electorama
EM archive.
Kevin Venzke
2004-06-10 21:19:04 UTC
Permalink
Chris,

Butting in again...
Post by Chris Benham
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
[MO]
With IRO something _does_ prevent people from registering their support
for a less winnable alternative: The fact that while their vote is
on their favorite, a needed compromise might get eliminated, resulting
in the victory of one's most despised last choice.
[AL]
Nope. That is just your speculation. Ask any Australian of any political
persuasion and you'll find that this just isn't a factor in the way
people actually vote here (as opposed to the way parties plan their
campaigns). <snip>
I think that parenthetical bit is important, since I claim nomination disincentive
is IRV's biggest problem (and also that of FPP, cumulative voting, DAC/DSC...).
Post by Chris Benham
Why will small parties prefer IRV to Approval?
It's OK with me if unwinnable candidates don't like Approval. If they turn out to
be winnable, at least 1) it will show up in the Approval results, and 2) people
voting for those candidates and also their compromise candidate(s) cannot thereby
throw the election to their least favorite.
Post by Chris Benham
From the point-of-view of voters that aren't interested in
strategising, Approval doesn't "guarrantee" anything.
I don't follow here. Order-reversal never helps in Approval. That isn't a
valuable guarantee to a sincere voter?
Post by Chris Benham
In the case of IRV, the voter might SOMETIMES be, as you say, be
"strategically forced" (in the setting of a US presidential election)
to Compromise and falsely vote Middle above Favourite. But that is
versus having to falsely vote compromises equal to sincere
Favourite in Approval, ALL THE TIME. That is fine if you think that
order-reversal is terrible, but order-compression is nothing.
But if you consider them both bad, and order-reversal is only about
two or three times worse than order-compression; then IRV
looks like the much more attractive way of voting.
I think nomination disincentive is ten times worse than order compression.
I claim again that Favorite won't even enter an IRV election without some
ability to coordinate his supporters' voting.
Post by Chris Benham
(3) voters who are not be interested in strategy, and so just want a
clear-cut way of voting sincerely. Under IRV, this category
would be much larger than it is under Purality, when voters appreciate
IRV's "majority for solid coalitions" and Condorcet Loser
guarrantees. This is the group who would not be Approval fans.
I can't picture these voters, who just want to vote sincerely, and think IRV
has better guarantees than Approval. I would think that valuable guarantees
would have to be something about the way a sincere vote will be counted. If
you're just voting sincerely in IRV, without any direction from a party, you
couldn't expect that you would be able to take advantage of Majority, for
instance.
Post by Chris Benham
(4) well informed strategists, who don't mind Compromise-strategy
order-reversal. ("betraying" their favourite).This group
has no real reason to prefer Approval over IRV.
These would be the Nader voters who cheerfully voted for Gore. Yes, to those
people I imagine it wouldn't make any difference whether Favorite entered the
race to begin with.

Kevin Venzke
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Chris Benham
2004-06-12 16:43:46 UTC
Permalink
Kevin,
I had written (Th. June 10):

This from a post dated Fri.Dec.4, 1998 ("IRO" means IRV, and "VA"
stands for "Votes Against" and refers to Condorcet,Winning Votes.
"PR" means Proportional Representation. AL is the Australian Albert Langer.)
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
[AL]
In Australia IRO makes the support for third parties highly visible.
NOBODY who would vote for them under Approval or VA fails to vote for
them as a result of strategic considerations concerning IRO.
Nevertheless, since they never win any seats they don't get to build
their support in the way that they would if they were represented.
Of course they wouldn't dominate a PR Parliament either. They would
simply be represented, which is all that PR supporters have ever claimed
for PR. As a result of being represented they might build their support,
so the two party monopoly makes damn sure they aren't.
<snip>
[MO]
With IRO something _does_ prevent people from registering their support
for a less winnable alternative: The fact that while their vote is
on their favorite, a needed compromise might get eliminated, resulting
in the victory of one's most despised last choice.
[AL]
Nope. That is just your speculation. Ask any Australian of any political
persuasion and you'll find that this just isn't a factor in the way
people actually vote here (as opposed to the way parties plan their
campaigns). <snip>
I think that parenthetical bit is important, since I claim nomination disincentive
is IRV's biggest problem (and also that of FPP, cumulative voting, DAC/DSC...).
CB:I can't say that there is any significant evidence of that in Australia.
In Australia, most voters don't know or care who the individual candidate is. They usually just decide
which party they're going to support, and then fill out their ballots as that party reccomends. In some
seats a major party will have a big majority, and so the election itself seems like a formality. The
major parties are not run particularly democratically, so the decision of who gets endorsed for a given
"safe seat" is sometimes made by party bureacrats on criteria other than merit or local popularity.
Sometimes they go too far, and try to impose a candidate that the local branch and/or the local electors
don't like. In that case, an independent who identifies as a supporter of the major party (whose "safe"
seat it is) will sometimes run ("directing preferences" to that party), and win the seat (sometimes with
the help of the preferences of the other major party). The threat of this happening puts some limit on
the power of major party machines to just give out these seats to whoever they like. Under Approval, I
don't think that this would work as well.
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
40 A
35 C>B
25 B
I call {BC} a half-clone set. In Approval the C>B voters can vote CB and still get
B to win, and this doesn't involve any insincerity. In IRV those voters should put
C below B in order to avoid electing A. Not only does IRV encourage insincere
voting here, but the fact that it does so will be a strong incentive for C not to
enter the race at all.
CB: In some states in Australia, truncation is allowed; but not in national ("Federal")elections.
So until some years ago, C would win in your scenario because all the votes for A and B would be
binned as "invalid". Now where truncation is not allowed the (absurd) law is as follows.
Voters are obliged to number every candidate, and it is illegal to advise anyone to do otherwise.
Each candidate registers a "ticket" with the electoral commission before the election, giving a
full ranking, but this ticket can be "split" (with some equal ranking). I'm pretty sure that if the
voter numbers all but one, that is fine. If the voter numbers more than one, but leaves hir full
ranking ambiguous, then that is an invalid vote. But if the voter numbers one candidate only (with
a [1]), then that is interpreted as a vote for that candidate's ticket! (which the voter probably
knows nothing about).
So something like your scenario would only be possible if A and B both submitted "split tickets",
in which case C and A would each get half B's second preferences, and A would win.

But all that aside,I think that any "disincentive to run" with IRV is absolutely negligible compared
to Plurality, and on balance probably less than with Approval. With Approval, a new candidate/party
running for the first time has to either say to the voters "I'm a sure loser, so vote for me and one
of the the candidates who isn't" or "Vote for me alone in first place and split the (anti-X)vote".
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
Post by Chris Benham
From the point-of-view of voters that aren't interested in
strategising, Approval doesn't "guarantee" anything.
I don't follow here. Order-reversal never helps in Approval. That isn't a
valuable guarantee to a sincere voter?
CB:I had in mind the "one big guarantee" that voters are "never strategically forced" to downrank
their favourite (use the Compromise strategy) that Mike O. trumpets.
Ok, in theory a sincere voter could be disadvantaged, but in practice, voters who are not interested
in strategising are usually not interested in strategy. If after an IRV election in which some voters
successfully Compromised, you wanted to demonstrate to some sincere voters that they had been
disadvantaged, you would show them the ballots and say....what??
Post by MIKE OSSIPOFF
I can't picture these voters, who just want to vote sincerely, and think IRV
has better guarantees than Approval. I would think that valuable guarantees
would have to be something about the way a sincere vote will be counted. If
you're just voting sincerely in IRV, without any direction from a party, you
couldn't expect that you would be able to take advantage of Majority, for
instance.
CB:I would think that voters who just want to vote sincerely, wouldn't even understand Approval's
"guarantees", let alone appreciate them. I can't see any sense in your last sentence. Usually it is
easily predictable which two candidates will make the final runoff, so if you have a preference between
them, you rank the preferred one over the other.
Also Majority (for solid coalitions, aka Mutual Majority) is not really something that is there for
individual voters "to take advantage of". It is a criterion that is about the fairness of the result.


Chris Benham
Kevin Venzke
2004-06-13 03:51:13 UTC
Permalink
Chris,
If two voters rank
A=B, the effect should be the same as if one ranked A>B and the other
ranked B>A.
Dave didn't say anything about no votes for truncated candidates, so I guess he now
advocates Margins.
Post by Kevin Venzke
I think that parenthetical bit is important, since I claim nomination disincentive
is IRV's biggest problem (and also that of FPP, cumulative voting, DAC/DSC...).
CB:I can't say that there is any significant evidence of that in Australia.
I'm not sure what this evidence would look like. I think that is why so many
people, such as Langer, when discussing different methods, don't seem to consider
nomination incentives. Most people see that Borda would start a clone war, I suppose.
In Australia, most voters don't know or care who the individual candidate is. They usually
just decide
which party they're going to support, and then fill out their ballots as that party
reccomends.
I think this is a side-effect of a parliamentary form of government. I'm very sad if
this is inevitable, because I prefer this form of government. But I think some measures
might be effective in reducing this. One is to use an election method which isn't so
prone to being spoiled by a new, non-party candidate.

My other idea is to give legislators long, fixed terms, and to have a small chamber.
The reasoning is that if the individual legislator is more important, voters will pay
more attention to the race.
In some
seats a major party will have a big majority, and so the election itself seems like a formality.
The major parties are not run particularly democratically, so the decision of who gets
endorsed for a given "safe seat" is sometimes made by party bureacrats on criteria other than >
merit or local popularity.
Sometimes they go too far, and try to impose a candidate that the local branch and/or the local
electors don't like. In that case, an independent who identifies as a supporter of the major
party (whose "safe"
seat it is) will sometimes run ("directing preferences" to that party), and win the seat
(sometimes with the help of the preferences of the other major party). The threat of this
happening puts some limit on
the power of major party machines to just give out these seats to whoever they like. Under
Approval, I don't think that this would work as well.
I think it would work 10x better in Approval. In IRV the independent's supporters can
spoil the election just by voting sincerely. In Approval those voters have to downrank
the unpopular nominated candidate, which has obvious risks which they can consider, in order
to spoil the result.
Post by Kevin Venzke
40 A
35 C>B
25 B
So something like your scenario would only be possible if A and B both submitted "split
tickets",
in which case C and A would each get half B's second preferences, and A would win.
On a different note, it occurs to me that an independent candidate could also be
discouraged by major party supporters who claim to be uninterested in giving a lower
preference to the independent. Even if voters are unaware of this, the independent
candidate should probably realize he has a good chance of being a spoiler.
But all that aside,I think that any "disincentive to run" with IRV is absolutely negligible
compared
to Plurality, and on balance probably less than with Approval.
I think the disincentive is considerably less in IRV than in Plurality, but this is
mostly because unwinnable third parties can run harmlessly in IRV. Neither method can
gracefully handle three viable candidates, in my view. It's really more *viable*
candidates that I would like to see in an election.
With Approval, a new candidate/party
running for the first time has to either say to the voters "I'm a sure loser, so vote for me and
one of the the candidates who isn't" or "Vote for me alone in first place and split the
(anti-X)vote".
I think every candidate says "vote for me alone." Approval's mechanism is simple enough
that voters should then be able to decide for themselves how to vote.
Post by Kevin Venzke
Post by Chris Benham
From the point-of-view of voters that aren't interested in
strategising, Approval doesn't "guarantee" anything.
I don't follow here. Order-reversal never helps in Approval. That isn't a
valuable guarantee to a sincere voter?
CB:I had in mind the "one big guarantee" that voters are "never strategically forced" to
downrank their favourite (use the Compromise strategy) that Mike O. trumpets.
Ok, in theory a sincere voter could be disadvantaged, but in practice, voters who are not
interested in strategising are usually not interested in strategy. If after an IRV election
in which some voters successfully Compromised, you wanted to demonstrate to some sincere
voters that they had been disadvantaged, you would show them the ballots and say....what??
I have trouble imagining what you have in mind. I would never think of the problem
being that one voter compromised and caused another voter to be disadvantaged. The
idea is that the voter is disadvantaged (i.e. kicked in the ass) by *not* compromising.
I would show that kind of scenario.
Post by Kevin Venzke
I can't picture these voters, who just want to vote sincerely, and think IRV
has better guarantees than Approval. I would think that valuable guarantees
would have to be something about the way a sincere vote will be counted. If
you're just voting sincerely in IRV, without any direction from a party, you
couldn't expect that you would be able to take advantage of Majority, for
instance.
CB:I would think that voters who just want to vote sincerely, wouldn't even understand
Approval's "guarantees", let alone appreciate them.
Well, I'm talking about weak FBC and Participation, which I think are quite easy
to explain. I have much greater difficulty explaining "majority for solid
coalitions," Clone Independence, and Condorcet Loser, which require me to first
explain, respectively, "solid coalitions," "clones," and "pairwise contests."
I can't see any sense in your last sentence. Usually it is
easily predictable which two candidates will make the final runoff, so if you have a preference
between them, you rank the preferred one over the other.
If there are a number of candidates, and you are not using a party's advice card,
it is hard to expect that your sincere vote will place you in a majority-strength
solid coalition. (In response to which one might say the below...)
Also Majority (for solid coalitions, aka Mutual Majority) is not really something that is
there for individual voters "to take advantage of". It is a criterion that is about the
fairness of the result.
Then I don't follow, why a voter who is only interested in voting sincerely is more
concerned about criteria about the "fairness of the result" than about criteria
regarding how a ballot (every single ballot) will be counted, such as weak FBC and
Participation. I'm not even sure it is possible to make a clear distinction between
these two types of criteria...

Kevin Venzke
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Dave Ketchum
2004-06-13 23:23:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Venzke
Chris,
If two voters rank
A=B, the effect should be the same as if one ranked A>B and the other
ranked B>A.
Dave didn't say anything about no votes for truncated candidates, so I guess he now
advocates Margins.
I said "rank" - agreed that truncated candidates are liked less than

those explicitly ranked, but they get there via truncation rather than

ranking, and this does not demonstrate equal liking or dislike.
--
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If you want peace, work for justice.

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Kevin Venzke
2004-06-14 03:37:41 UTC
Permalink
Dave,
Post by Dave Ketchum
Post by Kevin Venzke
If two voters rank
A=B, the effect should be the same as if one ranked A>B and the other
ranked B>A.
Dave didn't say anything about no votes for truncated candidates, so I guess he now
advocates Margins.
I said "rank" - agreed that truncated candidates are liked less than
those explicitly ranked, but they get there via truncation rather than
ranking, and this does not demonstrate equal liking or dislike.
I see. I wasn't sure if you were still advocating a Margins/Winning Votes hybrid,
or if you had decided to only advocate Margins.


I imagine something like an A>B>C>A cycle, where C>A is the weakest defeat, so that
C is the winner. In Winning Votes, it's possible that if equal numbers of A>B and B>A
voters change their ranking to A=B, then A>B will be the weakest defeat, and A will be
elected.

I think this is justifiable. A voter ranking A=B instead of A>B is giving up the
ability to support A over B, in exchange for a greater probability of getting one
of the two elected instead of C.

If the method doesn't permit equal ranking to accomplish this, then some of the A>B
voters will wish that they had instead voted B>A, in order to turn B into a Condorcet
winner. That seems undesirable to me.

Kevin Venzke
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w***@xoom.org
2004-06-14 14:57:09 UTC
Permalink
Many on this list have expressed a desire to represent complex voter
preferences over and above a simple ranking of candidates. Typically this
is done in order to justify various strategy considerations. Sometimes
even "non-linear" preferences are expressed, in which
Condorcet-cycle-style ambiguities are allowed for a *single* voter (such
as A>B>C>A).

No single ranking of candidates can express such relationships, not even
if equality and truncation are allowed. Something more complex is
required, and I'd like to propose one such system.

Consider an election with three candidates: A, B, C.

There are 26 possible rankings, allowing equality and truncation:

(EMPTY)

A
B
C

A=B
B=C
C=A

A>B
B>C
C>A
A>C
C>B
B>A

A>B>C
B>C>A
C>A>B
A>C>B
C>B>A
B>A>C

A>B=C
B>C=A
C>A=B

A=C>B
B=C>A
B=A>C

A=B=C

Each such ranking can also be taken to represent a possible election
outcome, with equality indicating a tie and truncation indicating that a
candidate did not finish the race (either recieving 0 votes or dropping
out for some reason). Determination of second (and additional) places can
be accomplished by re-tallying ballots with the previous winner
eliminated.

So, voter preferences can be thought of as expressing a desired outcome
for the election -- an outcome for *all* candidates, not just the first
place winner. I believe this is justified by the fact that many voters
will care which candidate wins second place, since that so often
determines which party is deemed a "major" party in subsequent elections.

For instance, there are many current US voters who would prefer:

Kerry>Nader>Bush

or even:

Kerry=Nader>Bush

to:

Kerry>Bush>Nader

What's more, these same voters would likely prefer *any* of the above
outcomes to:

Bush>Kerry>Nader

So in order to fully express the preferences of these voters, a full
ranking of all 26 possible election outcomes would be in order.

Allowing for equality and truncation, there are far more than 26! rankings
of election outcomes, which is already more than 4x10^26.

I'd think *that* should allow for preferences as complex as you'd like to
make them, expressing any sort of strategy concerns or ambiguities you can
dream up. It also strikes me as a straight-forward generalization of the
simpler preferences expressed by a single ranking.

-Bill Clark
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http://vote.3rd.party.xoom.org/
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w***@xoom.org
2004-06-14 15:38:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by w***@xoom.org
I'd think *that* should allow for preferences as complex as you'd like to
make them, expressing any sort of strategy concerns or ambiguities you
can dream up. It also strikes me as a straight-forward generalization
of the simpler preferences expressed by a single ranking.
Actually, I think it might also be a generalization of the Dyadic Approval
method, if we use rankings-of-outcomes as a ballot format.

Traditional ranked preferences (or ballots) can be created by using just
the singleton and empty sets from our 26-member set of possible
rankings/outcomes. If our primary preference (i.e. first choice for the
election outcome, out of all 26 possibilities) is:

A>B>C

Then this can be represented by ranking:

[A]>[B]>[C]

If we want to express something like:

A>B>>C

We could use:

[A=B]>[A>B]>[A]>[B>A]>[B]>[C]

(or something similar).

Ambiguous preferences such as:

A>B>C>A

might now be represented as:

[A>B]=[B>C]=[C>A]

I think this new notation might prove convenient, not just for formalizing
some of the intuitive descriptions of voter motivation we've seen around
here, but also as an alternate method of evaluating election results
(alongside things like social utility maximization).

It might also be useful in generating complex strategies, either for
simulation purposes or as part of a DSV system.

-Bill Clark
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Dave Ketchum
2004-06-14 16:00:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Venzke
Dave,
Post by Dave Ketchum
Post by Kevin Venzke
If two voters rank
A=B, the effect should be the same as if one ranked A>B and the other
ranked B>A.
Dave didn't say anything about no votes for truncated candidates, so I guess he now
advocates Margins.
I said "rank" - agreed that truncated candidates are liked less than
those explicitly ranked, but they get there via truncation rather than
ranking, and this does not demonstrate equal liking or dislike.
I see. I wasn't sure if you were still advocating a Margins/Winning Votes hybrid,
or if you had decided to only advocate Margins.
I get dizzy on this, but wv sounds better to me.
Post by Kevin Venzke
I imagine something like an A>B>C>A cycle, where C>A is the weakest defeat, so that
C is the winner. In Winning Votes, it's possible that if equal numbers of A>B and B>A
voters change their ranking to A=B, then A>B will be the weakest defeat, and A will be
elected.
I imagine something like an A>B>C>A cycle, where **B>C** is the weakest defeat, so that
C is the winner. In Winning Votes, it's possible that if equal numbers of A>B and B>A
voters change their ranking to A=B, then A>B will be the weakest defeat, and **B** will be
elected.
Two changes necessary. Sorry. I hope my intention was clear anyhow.
I lost track of the original context, but it SHOULD have been Condorcet,
for which I wrote what I CLAIM should be true, NOT Kevin's different
assumption.
Post by Kevin Venzke
I think this is justifiable. A voter ranking A=B instead of A>B is giving up the
ability to support A over B, in exchange for a greater probability of getting one
of the two elected instead of C.
If the method doesn't permit equal ranking to accomplish this, then some of the A>B
voters will wish that they had instead voted B>A, in order to turn B into a Condorcet
winner. That seems undesirable to me.
Kevin Venzke
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Dave Ketchum 108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY 13827-1708 607-687-5026
Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
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Kevin Venzke
2004-06-14 19:15:01 UTC
Permalink
Dave,
Post by Dave Ketchum
Post by Kevin Venzke
I imagine something like an A>B>C>A cycle, where **B>C** is the weakest defeat, so that
C is the winner. In Winning Votes, it's possible that if equal numbers of A>B and B>A
voters change their ranking to A=B, then A>B will be the weakest defeat, and **B** will be
elected.
I lost track of the original context, but it SHOULD have been Condorcet,
for which I wrote what I CLAIM should be true, NOT Kevin's different
assumption.
What I was doing was explaining how Winning Votes can treat A>B B>A differently from
two copies of A=B, and trying to argue that this is defensible behavior.
Post by Dave Ketchum
Post by Kevin Venzke
I see. I wasn't sure if you were still advocating a Margins/Winning Votes hybrid,
or if you had decided to only advocate Margins.
I get dizzy on this, but wv sounds better to me.
It sounds better to me, too. However, since WV does not count votes to either
Post by Dave Ketchum
Post by Kevin Venzke
If two voters rank
A=B, the effect should be the same as if one ranked A>B and the other
ranked B>A.
If you want this behavior then you have to use Margins.

Kevin Venzke
***@yahoo.fr







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Dave Ketchum
2004-06-15 04:37:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Venzke
Dave,
Post by Dave Ketchum
Post by Kevin Venzke
I imagine something like an A>B>C>A cycle, where **B>C** is the weakest defeat, so that
C is the winner. In Winning Votes, it's possible that if equal numbers of A>B and B>A
voters change their ranking to A=B, then A>B will be the weakest defeat, and **B** will be
elected.
I lost track of the original context, but it SHOULD have been Condorcet,
for which I wrote what I CLAIM should be true, NOT Kevin's different
assumption.
What I was doing was explaining how Winning Votes can treat A>B B>A differently from
two copies of A=B, and trying to argue that this is defensible behavior.
Post by Dave Ketchum
Post by Kevin Venzke
I see. I wasn't sure if you were still advocating a Margins/Winning Votes hybrid,
or if you had decided to only advocate Margins.
I get dizzy on this, but wv sounds better to me.
It sounds better to me, too. However, since WV does not count votes to either
Post by Dave Ketchum
Post by Kevin Venzke
If two voters rank
A=B, the effect should be the same as if one ranked A>B and the other
ranked B>A.
If you want this behavior then you have to use Margins.
Sez WHO?

My point is that, if we continue to debate whether to use wv, margins,
etc., we properly debate details of each.
Post by Kevin Venzke
Kevin Venzke
--
***@clarityconnect.com people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
Dave Ketchum 108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY 13827-1708 607-687-5026
Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
If you want peace, work for justice.

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Kevin Venzke
2004-06-15 06:08:35 UTC
Permalink
Dave,
Post by Dave Ketchum
Post by Kevin Venzke
If two voters rank
A=B, the effect should be the same as if one ranked A>B and the other
ranked B>A.
If you want this behavior then you have to use Margins.
Sez WHO?
Sez anybody. You get this behavior by using Margins or half-votes (which are
the same thing). You can't by using WV.

Here's an example.

Election 1
1 A>B
1 A>B
1 B>A

Election 2
1 A>B
1 A=B
1 A=B

With Margins, A beats B in both elections with strength 1. With half-votes, it is
strength 2.

With WV, in election 1 A beats B with strength 2, while in election 2, A beats B with
strength 1.

So Margins treated A>B and B>A the same as two A=B, while WV did not.

Kevin Venzke
***@yahoo.fr







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Dave Ketchum
2004-06-15 07:11:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Venzke
Dave,
Post by Dave Ketchum
Post by Kevin Venzke
If two voters rank
A=B, the effect should be the same as if one ranked A>B and the other
ranked B>A.
If you want this behavior then you have to use Margins.
Sez WHO?
Sez anybody. You get this behavior by using Margins or half-votes (which are
the same thing). You can't by using WV.
Here's an example.
Election 1
1 A>B
1 A>B
1 B>A
Election 2
1 A>B
1 A=B
1 A=B
With Margins, A beats B in both elections with strength 1. With half-votes, it is
strength 2.
With WV, in election 1 A beats B with strength 2, while in election 2, A beats B with
strength 1.
So Margins treated A>B and B>A the same as two A=B, while WV did not.
Ok, so sez Kevin - but we knew that already. Who else?
Post by Kevin Venzke
Kevin Venzke
--
***@clarityconnect.com people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
Dave Ketchum 108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY 13827-1708 607-687-5026
Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
If you want peace, work for justice.

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