[SW] Hitler-Stalin-Middle Example Again

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[SW] Hitler-Stalin-Middle Example Again

Craig Carey-2
keywords:  single winner election reform Condorcet pairwise
           approval disapproval NOTB "None of the Above" dilemma

Demorep1 wrote:
>Condorcet fans seem unable to comprehend that with 2 of 3
>candidates being "extremists" on a ballot that each "middle" voter
>will be in a tough situation about what to do about their second
>choice vote (if any).
[snip]

There *is* a minor voter dilemma here, I think.  If you slightly
prefer Hitler to Stalin you want to rank Hitler over Stalin.  But if
you think Hitler has more support than Stalin then you want to rank
Stalin over Hitler, hoping to make Hitler "more beaten" than Middle
in the tie-breaking.  If I'm wrong, then I need to work through some
tie-breaking examples until I get it.

Demorep's real point, missed by Rob and Mike since it wasn't clearly
stated, is that ordinary Condorcet allows a candidate disapproved by
majority to be declared the winner.

Condorcet+NOTB provides for a stronger vote against the disapproved
than leaving them unranked in ordinary Condorcet.  

Condorcet+NOTB provides protection against majority-disapproved
candidates as strong as Approval's, and it doesn't have Approval's
tactical voting problems.  

My dilemmaless vote:  1=Middle  2=NOTB
(I would vote 1=NOTB if I disapprove of Middle too.)

Rob & Mike et al, what's wrong with Condorcet+NOTB?  Is it so
unlikely that all candidates will be disapproved that you're
comfortable with a dumbed-down ballot?  Why the silence?

---Steve     (Steve Eppley    [hidden email])

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No Objection to NOTB or disapproval count

Craig Carey-2
I have absolutely nothing against Steve's suggestion of NOTB, or
Lucien's disapproval count. Neither of those things would interfere
with Condorcet's method's properties. Of those 2 proposals, I prefer
NOTB, because it may have a more precisely-defined meaning:
NOTB is an alternative in the election, the alternative of rejecting
all the candidates & holding a new election with new candidates.

But, in that case, are you sure that any candidate beaten by NOTB
should be rejected? In a circular tie every candidate is beaten by
some alternative (candidate or NOTB). Why should NOTB have the
privileged status of eliminating anyone it beats? If NOTB were
included, I'd want it to have no more status than the candidates
have.

Of course if you cast a "disapprove" vote against Buchanan, that
means that you'd rather have another election than let Buchanan
win. But Lucien would require a majority who say that, to disqualify
Buchanan, while Steve would merely require that NOTB win, even if
a full majority don't rank it over Buchanan. But, in a way, requiring
NOTB to win in order to disqualify anyone is a tougher requirement
than disqualifying Buchanan if a majority disapprove him (prefer
NOTB to him), because Steve's proposal requires that NOTB win the
whole election before it disqualifies anyone.

I have to admit that I don't know which of those 2 proposals is
better. I guess they both have equally well-defined meanings, but
which one I'd like best would depend on which one would give me
the best opportunity to disqualify a candidate whom I really
dislike. It isn't clear to me whether that's easier by getting
a full majority to dispprove him, or by getting NOTB to win.

But, actually, NOTB can disqualify a candidate even if NOTB doesn't
win: All the people who don't like candidate X, even if they have
nothing else in common, and wouldn't all rank the same candidate
over candidate X, can come together by all ranking NOTB over
candidate X, and this will effective prevent X from being the
least beaten candidate. And it doesn't take a full majority--it
just takes more people than the number by which some other candidate
is beaten. So X is out, even if NOTB doesn't win. And if NOTB beats
everyone, or even if it's otherwise the winning alternative, it
makes sense to hold another election, since voters knew that that's
what NOTB means. So it seems to me that NOTB is easier to disqualify
a disliked candidate with, and so, of those 2 disapproval options,
I'd prefer NOTB.

And no, it isn't that I believe that NOTB would be unlikely
to win. But I do believe that, though I have no objection to NOTB
& the disapproval count, and though I'd like to make use of them in
a Condorcet election, they aren't really necessary.

You said that Condorcet allows a candidate disapproved by a majority
to be declared the winner. True, if we define "disapproved" as "liked
less than a new election with new candidates". Conceivably there could
be a natural circular tie in which someone is the least beaten by
any 1 candidate nevertheless has a majority who have ranked NOTB
over him. But please note that, in that case, the guy is "majority
rejected", he has another alternative ranked over him by a full majority
of all the voters. (that alternative being NOTB)

That means, then, that in order for that candidate to win, _every_
alternative, including every candidate & NOTB, must also be majority-
rejected, by having something else ranked over it/him/her by a full
majority of all the voters. So, Condorcet's method makes it difficult
for a majority-rejected candidate to win, since in order for everyone/
everything to be majority-rejected requires either order-reversal or
an extreme form of natural circular tie--a chaotic & indecisive
situation. That's why I say that NOTB & the disapproval count aren't
really _necessary_, since Condorcet's method does a good job of
defeatng majority-rejected candidates, as-is.

Still, NOTB would be useful, as a gathering place for everyone who
wants to defeat candidate X, even if they don't agree on exactly whom
they like more than him. So I agree that including NOTB would be
a good thing.

That brings me to "dumbed-down". I've proposed Condorcet's method
in more than 1 form. I proposed in in a form that, in the event of
a circular tie, picks the winner from that circular tie. Everyone
rejected that as being too complicated, because the definition of
a circular tie, of which candidates it includes, was the last straw
that made people throw up their hands and say "Forget it! This is
too complicated. You'll have to come up with something simpler."

So I did. I began proposing a version of Condorcet's method, which
I'll call "Plain Condorcet's method", which, when there's a circular
tie, doesn't limit its choice to the members of that tie. As soon as
I began posting that in the newsgroups, I began getting letters
saying that I _had_ found an adequately simple method.

You, you'll notice that my definition of Condorcet's method doesn't
say anything about limiting the choice to the members of the circular
tie. This avoids the (unacceptably complicated, to most people)
definition of who is in the circular tie.

You can call that dumbing it down, but if something is rejected by
the public, it doesn't matter how good it is. The Single-Winner
Committee's task is to find the best method to propose to the
public.

So then, in that same spirit, any additional rules, or paragraphs,
or even sentences, in the definition of a proposed method is very
likely to be that last straw that makes a member of the public reject
that proposal, even if he/she would have accepted it had it not been
for that 1 sentence that was 1 sentence too many.

My experience has been that _extreme simplicity_ is absolutely
necessary. So, though I personally like NOTB, and would like to
have it, to use against Clinton, and anyone worse, I have to
recognize that what's best has to be tempered with what's simple
enough for the public to accept. In this respect, adding NOTB
as an alternative is simpler, in terms of rules, than is the
dispapproval count, which adds rules to the balloting & count.

Still, the addition of NOTB requires an extra paragraph & sentence,
so I have some trepidation about adding even that to a 1st proposal
for Condorcet's method. On the other hand, given voters' cynicism,
maybe if they like it that could make up for it's complication of
the proposal. We'll have to try Condorcet, with & without NOTB
on some sample people.

***

But everyone I've talked to likes the idea of rank-balloting, and
immediately understands the desirability of expressing preferences
among several candidates via a ranking. So there's no case for saying
that rank-balloting is too complicated for voters.

On the contrary, it's Approval that I get resistance to, from people
who believe that it violates 1-person-1-vote. Even those who don't
object to it have never expressed any enthusiasm for it. People are
usually enthusiastic about rank-balloting when told about it.
Rank-balloting will easily win when it's offered to people.

I'm not criticising Approval; it would be a big improvement over
Plurality. But we're looking for the _best_ proposal, in terms
of merit & public acceptance.

***

Mike Ossipoff













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[SW] Hitler-Stalin-Middle Example Again

Craig Carey-2
In reply to this post by Craig Carey-2
On Fri, 1 Mar 1996, Steve Eppley wrote:
> Rob & Mike et al, what's wrong with Condorcet+NOTB?  Is it so
> unlikely that all candidates will be disapproved that you're
> comfortable with a dumbed-down ballot?  Why the silence?

Well, I had to think about it.  What if NOTB wins?  Do we hold another
election?  It just doesn't seem to be a very useful mechanism, since
extreme voters will most likely classify moderate compromises as
unacceptable.  Could you outline a specific set of numbers where NOTB helps?

One possibility would be to change the length of the presidential term
depending on the winner's showing in the race.  For example, in the U.S.
Presidency, ff they beat NOTB, they get a 6 year term.  If they don't beat
NOTB, they get a 2 year term, essentially installed as an "interim"
president until the country can figure out what it really wants.  That
would add meaning to the NOTB label.

On the issue of giving candidates a "mandate", the winner always
interprets their victory as a mandate, regardless of how close it is.  
Clinton did in 92 after getting only 43% of the vote.  Abraham Lincoln
only received 39% in 1860.  So, trying to take away "mandate" status from
a winner is a losing cause.

Holding second and third elections doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  If
the voters are undecided the first time, there isn't much that will
change their mind.  However, I suppose that a runoff between the first
and second place Condorcet winners might be good in the case of circular
tie-breakers.  But doing that adds potential strategic advantage to
forcing a second election through the order reversal techniques Mike
explained earlier.  Risky, but possible.

Rob Lanphier
[hidden email]
http://www.eskimo.com/~robla


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reply to earlier letter re: H,M,S example

Craig Carey-2
In reply to this post by Craig Carey-2
Steve Eppley writes:

>
> keywords:  single winner election reform Condorcet pairwise
>            approval disapproval NOTB "None of the Above" dilemma
>
> Demorep1 wrote:
> >Condorcet fans seem unable to comprehend that with 2 of 3
> >candidates being "extremists" on a ballot that each "middle" voter
> >will be in a tough situation about what to do about their second
> >choice vote (if any).
> [snip]
>
> There *is* a minor voter dilemma here, I think.  If you slightly
> prefer Hitler to Stalin you want to rank Hitler over Stalin.  But if
> you think Hitler has more support than Stalin then you want to rank
> Stalin over Hitler, hoping to make Hitler "more beaten" than Middle
> in the tie-breaking.  If I'm wrong, then I need to work through some
> tie-breaking examples until I get it.

Middle voters have no real need to vote for either extreme. If
Middle isn't Condorcet winner then an extreme has a majority, in
which case it doesn't matter about Middle voters' 2nd choices. If
Middle is Condorcet winner then he's the rightful winner, and Middle
voters don't need to vote for an extreme, because 1 of the extremes
needs Middle. The election of the opposite extreme would hurt Middle
voters less, and all the voters know that.

But, unless large-scale order-reversal is likely, there's no penalty
for Middle voters voting in 2nd place whichever extreme canddiate
they prefer to the other. With that lineup, however, as a Middle
voter, I'd not vote a 2nd choice, for the reasons I gave above.

By the way, if Middle, is bigger than the difference between the
extremes, that's all it takes to make Middle the Condorcet winner.
A sufficient, but not necessary, condition for this is for all
the candidates to be within a factor of 2 of eachother.


Another thing: If we're talking about dilemma about whether or
not to vote a 2nd choice, it's Approval that has a problem here,
not Condorcet. With just 3 candidates, in Condorcet, no one has
a dilemma. But with Approval, the extreme voters have a dilemma,
since they have to try to guess whether their favorite has a win,
and whether, if not, the opposite extreme will win if they don't
help Middle.

Now, if we want Condorcet to have a strategy dilemma, we need to
have 1) at least 4 candiates, with uncertainty about which one is
middle Condorcet winner; & 2) The likelihood that the devious
offensive strategy of order-reversal will be attempted on a
scale sufficient to change the election result. This is improbable
for several reasons: a) Order-reversal is risky, and well-deterred;
b) If a group wanted to organize such cheating on a large scale,
it's unlikely that they could keep that campaign secret from the
intended victims of the strategy, and those intended victims
could easily make it backfire with the simple countermeasure of
not ranking the candidate of the order-reversers; c) Order-reversal,
since it only works if the victims vote for the perpetrators' candidate,
is a really dastardly betrayal. The victims would never again
support the perpetrators' candidate.

But say we have lots of candidates, and suppose that order-reversal
is considered likely. Then Condocet's method does indeed have
a strategy dilemma. But its strategy dilemma, in that situation,
is the same dilemma that Approval has all the time, without anyone
cheating. So Approval has the same dilemma all the time, which
Condorcet's method has only if devious & risky offensive strategy
is attempted on a large scale. This strategy dilemma that Condorcet
has under those improbable conditions is, in fact, quantitatively
the same as the one that Approval has all the time.

So it isn't fair to criticize Condorcet's method because it can,
under some rare conditions, have a strategy dilemma. Other methods
have strategy dilemma under much more common ordinary conditions.
Approval has one in typical conditions.

I should add that Condorcet's strategy problem under those
conditions isn't really as bad, though, because the would be
cheaters know that their intended victims have access to the same
predictive information, and that they know what's going on just
as well, and that their defensive strategy will be accordinglyk
well-informed. Considering the other reasons I gave why
order-reversal on a significant scale is unlikely, it can be
said that Condorcet never has a strategy problem as bad as
Approval--due to the fact that cheating is well-deterred.



>
> Demorep's real point, missed by Rob and Mike since it wasn't clearly
> stated, is that ordinary Condorcet allows a candidate disapproved by
> majority to be declared the winner.

But, as I said, a candidate who has another candidate ranked over
him by a full majority can't win in Condorcet's method unless every
candidate is similarly majority-rejected. And that's improbable.
Improbable for people to attempt & succeed at electing a majority=
rejected candidate by order-reversal; & improbable for a natural
circular tie to have everyone majority-rejected.

And if the selection is so bad that the winner is someone disapproved
by a majority, the electorate have no one to blame but themselves,
for not running someone they like.

>
> Condorcet+NOTB provides for a stronger vote against the disapproved
> than leaving them unranked in ordinary Condorcet.  

I don't object to NOTB, or to the disapproval count, in a Condorcet
election.


But adding even the small paragraph needed to define that
option could be enough to make people consider the overall method
too complicated.  Also, I'm not completely sure whether or not
it could be abused by offensive strategizers, especially if NOTB
can disqualify a candidate merely by beating him. I don't know.
If there isn't an obvious big probem about that, then maybe
there isn't a problem.

Anyway, since Condorcet does a good job of defeating candidates
who are _relatively_ disapproved by a full majority, and because
there's no excuse to not have a candidate selection that includes
candidates who aren't absolutely dispproved by a majority, I don't
think majority disapproval would be a problem anyway.

All-in-all, I don't object to NOTB or disapproval count, but I
don't really consider them necessary.

>
> Condorcet+NOTB provides protection against majority-disapproved
> candidates as strong as Approval's, and it doesn't have Approval's
> tactical voting problems.  

True. In fact it provides better protection.

>
> My dilemmaless vote:  1=Middle  2=NOTB
> (I would vote 1=NOTB if I disapprove of Middle too.)
>
> Rob & Mike et al, what's wrong with Condorcet+NOTB?  Is it so
> unlikely that all candidates will be disapproved that you're
> comfortable with a dumbed-down ballot?  Why the silence?

With the good selection that would become available, when we're
using Condorcet's method, it seems to me very unlikely that all
the candidates would be absolutely dispproved by majorities. But,
as I said, I don't object to NOTB or the disapproval count, especially
if they'd make Condorcet's method more acceptable, and would get rid
of some objections that would otherwise be used against it.

>
> ---Steve     (Steve Eppley    [hidden email])
> .-
>


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