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Re: Constitutional amendment: Condorcet/Clone Proof SSD vote tallying

Dear Raul,

you wrote (25 May 2003):
> Quorum of 10, ballot A, default (D), votes:
> 31 A D
> 28 D A
> Here, A does not defeat D by 10, but still satisfies
> the quorum requirement.

As far as I have understood Manoj's May 15 proposal
correctly, A defeats D by 31 in your example.


I wrote (25 May 2003):
> As far as I have understood Manoj's May 15 proposal correctly,
> an option is dropped unless it _directly_ defeats the default
> option with the required quorum. I suggest that it should be
> sufficient that this option _transitively_ defeats the default
> option with the required quorum.

You wrote (25 May 2003):
> As stated, this changes the quorum requirement from a concept
> of "minimum level of approval required to conduct business" to
> a concept of "required margin of victory required against the
> default option".
> In earlier discussions, it was felt that the "margin of victory"
> concept was too heavily biased in the direction of the status quo.
> That said, I'll note that your explanation, further down, actually
> indicates you had a different idea in mind.

What makes you believe that I prefer margins? Actually, I don't
even mentioned the "margins vs. positive votes" issue in my last


I wrote (25 May 2003):
> Situation 1:
>    04 ABCDEF
>    02 ABFDEC
>    04 AEBFCD
>    02 AEFBCD
>    02 BFACDE
>    02 CDBEFA
>    04 CDBFEA
>    12 DECABF
>    08 ECDBFA
>    10 FABCDE
>    06 FABDEC
>    04 FEDBCA
>    A:B=40:20
>    A:C=30:30
>    A:D=30:30
>    A:E=30:30
>    A:F=24:36
>    B:C=34:26
>    B:D=30:30
>    B:E=30:30
>    B:F=38:22
>    C:D=36:24
>    C:E=22:38
>    C:F=30:30
>    D:E=42:18
>    D:F=30:30
>    E:F=32:28
>    The beat paths have the following strengths:
>    A:B=40:36
>    A:C=34:32
>    A:D=34:32
>    A:E=34:32
>    A:F=38:36
>    B:C=34:32
>    B:D=34:32
>    B:E=34:32
>    B:F=38:36
>    C:D=36:38
>    C:E=36:38
>    C:F=32:34
>    D:E=42:36
>    D:F=32:34
>    E:F=32:34
>    Therefore, the ranking according to the beat path
>    method is ABFDEC.
>    Suppose that, for example, the default option is C
>    and the quorum is 38. Then the winner is candidate D.

I wrote (25 May 2003):
> Manoj's May 15 proposal would choose candidate E. In the next
> elections, when candidate E is the default option, Manoj's
> May 15 proposal would choose candidate D. My proposal would
> choose candidate D immediately. In my opinion, the advantage
> of my proposal is that it doesn't lead to unnecessarily
> frequent changes of the status quo.

You wrote (25 May 2003):
> It's true that in your example, E was ranked second last (with C,
> the default, ranked last).  But, given that not many voters elected to
> participate, and given that those who did vote couldn't muster enough
> agreement that any of the other options were better than doing nothing,
> I think this is a worthwhile outcome.
> More fundamentally, however: you've assumed that while only 24 people
> thought D was a good idea in the first election, that 42 would think it's
> a good idea in the second election.  In other words, your starting point
> is thinking of the default option as an outcome, rather than a refusal
> to choose an option.  At the same time, you've assumed that the large
> majority of voters who didn't participate in the first election would
> continue to ignore the second.
> The way I see it, either these options just aren't all that important
> (in which case there's no reason for 18 people to suddenly decide to
> change their minds about whether or not D is a good idea), or they are
> important (in which case there should be many more people participating
> in that second election).

There is only one election. In this election, 38 voters prefer E to C,
42 voters prefer D to E and 24 voters prefer D to C. When the default
option is changed from C to E, then the number of voters who prefer D
to the default option is raised from 24 to 42 without having any voter
to change his mind.

You wrote (25 May 2003):
> In neither circumstance does the extra "decisiveness" gained by your
> approach yield a positive result:
> For the case that these options aren't that important, it's harder to
> explain to people what the default option means.  [It no longer means
> postponing agreeing on some decisions, except for cases where people
> can come to some sort of agreement on the overall ranking of options.]
> For the case where these options are important, we're achieving a decision
> before people have realized that they care.

My proposal isn't "extra decisive." When Manoj's May 15 proposal
disqualifies all options (other than the default option) because
of the quorum requirement then so does my proposal.

Markus Schulze

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