Re: Fw: Voting project

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Mon Aug 11 2003 - 17:11:49 CDT

David> However, all styles of tabulation (by mathematical proof--not
David> given here, but it exists) produce results that are intuitively
David> "wrong" in some cases, IRV included. For example, suppose you
David> have these ballots:

Skip Montanaro <skip@pobox.com> wrote:
|Intuitively, it seems that in an election with a large number of voters the
|scenario you describe would be much less likely to occur than in an example
|as you described which has sort of "club size" numbers of ballots cast.
|Does the math support my intuition?

My understanding (without having really studied the math, admittedly) is
that various paradoxes exist across sizes of electorates. It's
certainly easier to illustrate explicitly with just a few votes (as I
did).

But voter preferences in a large electorate is normally not smoothly
distributed. People tend to feel strongly about a few key issues, and
those key issues lead to specific candidate rankings. I.e. if you think
abortion is the most overriding issue, you rank candidates a certain way
(or in the exact opposite order, depending on why you think it is
important :-)). But if you think income you think tax policy is the
most important issue, you rank candidates a different way. What happens
to a large extent is that the number of preference-orders that attract
significant numbers is much less than the total number of permutations.
So effectively, the voters are partitioned into a "club sized" number of
preference categories.

It looks like Alan's link gives a good explanation of the several
desiderata for outcomes behaviors (and explains why you can never
satisfy them all at once, in any preference system).

Yours, David...

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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:08 2003

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