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Re: Hybrid Theory

On Sun, Dec 08, 2002 at 11:13:23AM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
>      "RATIONALE": Options which voters rank above the default option are
>      options they find acceptable.  Options ranked below the default
>      option are unacceptable options.  Supermajority options require
>      some approximation of unanimity before they can be accepted.

That's really more of an extended explanation than a rationale, per
se. I'm inclined to think that phrasing it as instructions to the voters
is probably more useful.

Can we possibly stop coming up with full blown voting systems while
we still don't have a firm idea of the underlying things we're trying
to achieve? Seriously: if we can't come up with a list of acceptable,
mutually understood criteria by which we can judge our voting systems,
getting bogged down in implementation details is just confusing the issue.

Here's a start:

	(0) The default option should be to leave the vote unresolved;
	    if people wish to actively preserve the status quo, they should
	    ensure that is listed as a separate option on the ballot.

	(1) We want a voting system that handles quorums.
	(1a) Quorums are handled on a per-option basis.
	(1b) Electors are counted toward the quorum if they vote, and if they
	     rank the option above the default option.

	(2) We want a voting system that handles supermajorities.
	(2a) An option requiring an N:1 supermajority means that 1/(N+1) of
	     the voters may block that option from passing.
	(2b) An option that does not meet its supermajority requirement does
	     not affect the outcome of the vote.
	(2c) Options with a supermajority requirement should be treated as
	     similarly to other options as possible.
	(2c.i) The supermajority requirement should be satisfied by more
	       than N/(N+1) voters ranking that option above the default
	(2c.ii) All other comparisons, including transitive comparisons,
		should not be scaled.

I presume there are some people on this list who would say "actually, I
don't want (1)" or "(2) is undesirable and unnecessary". That's fine: we
can list those as alternatives on the vote we eventually have if there's
support for them; what's *important* is to make sure we're all on the
same page as to what we're trying to achieve and _why_ we're trying to
achieve it.

In particular, dropping the options that don't meet their supermajority
requirement before applying CpSSD meets the above criteria better than
strengthening the default versus supermajority-option defeat: it avoids
scaling transitive comparisons and ensures that options that don't meet
the supermajority requirement don't prejudice other options. There may
be other reasons to go the other way, but if we're going to stop going
round and round in circles on this, we need to be *explicit* about them.

Raul, can you give a good a priori reason for declaring the vote:
	30 ABD  (A requires a 2:1 supermajority, B a simple majority)
	10 BDA
	10 DAB
to be a draw between B and D [0], when the vote:
	40 BD   (ie, how the vote would've gone if A had not been an option)
	10 DB
would have been a clear win to option B?


[0] There's a tie amongst B,D,A, and A defeats B 40:10 and B defeats D
    40:10 are equally weakest defeats, so both are dropped, if A is
    kept around.

Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

 ``If you don't do it now, you'll be one year older when you do.''

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