Re: Problems with the majority requirement
> > I guess you mean that if the vote defaults the issue is not resolved by
> > the vote.
On Fri, May 30, 2003 at 10:53:42PM -0400, Andrew Pimlott wrote:
> My understanding is that a win by "further discussion" will
> generally be followed shortly by another vote, and that when there's
> a possibility to expressly do nothing, that will be a separate
> So a voter for "further discussion" either honestly thinks
> not enough debate has occurred, or think he can somehow do better in
> a revote, perhaps by persuading people, or perhaps (and this is more
> what I was getting at) by wearing down the other side--causing the
> votes to end in a tie until he gets his way. Sort of like a
Except: a relatively small minority can impose a filibuster on an
concerted and opposed majority. While something similar might be
somewhat possible in debian (perhaps by continually raising objections
and alternatives about something about to come to a vote). Voting for
the default option doesn't have this property unless quorum and/or
supermajority become relevant.
> > > This is true
> > > in straight Condorcet systems, but is more likely in the proposed
> > > system, given the "knockout punch" of the default option.
> > Actually, it depends on what other people think. It's certainly not an
> > "always succeeds" strategy.
> Absolutely true. But if we haven't worked out all the odds, it
> remains a possibility that some clever person will find a way to get
> a statistical edge. Like counting cards--it doesn't win any
> particular hand, but it gets you kicked out of the casino in the
> long run.
> Further, this possibility is more remote in straight Condorcet,
> which has been analyzed by more people.
"we haven't worked out the odds" does not support your assertion that
"this possibility is more remote in straight condorcet".
In fact, straight condorcet (with no mechanism for choosing a winner
when there's multiple options in the schwartz set) would seem to be more
prone to delays.
[Perhaps you don't realize that the proposed voting system, with its
majority requirement does, in fact, pick a winner from within the schwartz
set. Quorum can prevent that, but only for excessively low participation.
Supermajority can prevent that, but that's not the issue you claim to
I don't see quorum as an issue, because the sampling error is so large
when quorum kicks in that it's all too likely that the group as a whole
has a different opinion from the voters.
I don't see supermajority as an issue because with supermajority we're
talking about structural issues (such as changing the rules by which
further votes can be resolved) which are much more significant, in the
long term, than the outcome of a single vote.
> > > This inclines voters to insincerely promote the
> > > default option, since causing the default to win is a small penalty.
> > > Arguably, a voting system should counterbalance this inclination.
> > Here, you seem to be saying that the voting system should force people to
> > choose between the lesser of two evils, even when they're opposed to both.
> No, no--just that it shouldn't make the default option too tempting.
How is that any different?
> > >  As an aside, there is a case that vexes me considerably, and it
> > > pertains to pure Condorcet/CpSSD. Say you have sincere preferences
> > >
> > > 8 ABC A>B 8:7 A wins
> > > 7 BAC A>C 15:5
> > > 5 C B>C 15:5
> > >
> > > If only A swaps B and C, the outcome is the same. If only B swaps A
> > > and C, B wins in the tie-break (A>B 8:7, C>A 12:8, B>C 15:5). If
> > > both swap, C wins outright.
> > I don't have a clue what you're saying, here. A is an option, how can
> > an option swap two other options?
> Sorry, this was a thought that I just dashed off, and you can ignore
> it. But if you want to understand what I meant: I was using "A" as
> both the option A, and the contingent (pretend for the moment that
> they are a bloc that acts in concert) that favors A (then B then C).
> My vexation is that I've convinced myself that if everyone is
> rational and willing to vote strategically, then "second-place"
> candidate will win, because its backers can improve their outcome by
> ranking the lower preferences insincerely, whereas A's backers
> cannot. This is highly counter-intuitive to me. But again, this
> has nothing to do with the proposal, only with Condorcet plus any of
> the tie-break mechanisms I've seen.
"everyone is rational" is, in general, not the same as "willing to vote
Anyways, it sounds like you're comparing the above vote with
Intuitively: there's near universal agreement that C is a fairly good
option, and the people favoring A over C are just about cancelled out by
the people favoring B over C. In your previous vote, there was no such
agreement that C was a decent option (most people voted it dead last).