Election methods

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Mon Aug 11 2003 - 19:32:13 CDT


I happened to take a bit more of a look at this URL that Alan mentioned.
While it indeed contains some useful information, I just wanted to note
that readers shouldn't put too much weight on it. Not that I think Alan
was endorsing it, as such, of course.

This Election Methods sites has a bone to pick in favor of the Condercet
method. To the point of being a bit deceptive about some of the
mathematics, and very selective about the relative advantages of
each[*]. I think it is particularly harsh on the Instant Runoff
method... probably because the latter has garnered some popular support
in the USA, and is used in a couple other countries. I am expressing no
opinion about the merits of different techniques, BTW, so don't read any
into this.

Anyway... this question is quite unimportant for EVM. While we should
allow ballots to have ranked preferences, the specific tabulation
techniques used will not be decided by us, but rather by the
jurisdictions conducting elections. We have no control over that
(although we *should* eventually--probably post-demo--provide tabulation
support for all the popular methods).

Yours, David...

[*] The main false assumption they make, IMO, is the idea that all
ordered preferences are reducible to pairwise preference. Under a very
naive version of a "rational actor" economistic calculation, that idea
seems right. But with a more robust psychological concept of how people
actually judge, it's quite wrong.

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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:09 2003

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