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Re: Statistical analysis of the DPL 2005 election

Rafael Laboissiere wrote:
Well, the whole "Discussion" section was already subjective and
speculative even before I added Steve's interpretation.  I think I have
made it clear from the beginning.

Well, subjective and speculative is fine -- but is completely irrelevant to the statistics. We've got plenty of places where you and others can be subjective and speculative about the results; the whole point of doing a statistical analysis is to be evidence and fact driven, surely?

That said, your comment above is not
wrong.  If you wish, I can add a paragraph with your comments.  Just send
me privately what you wish to be added to the paper.

I can understand you including your own speculations -- I mean, you wrote the analysis -- but I don't think that's a good idea, and it certainly seems a bad idea to include anyone else's.

One obvious conclusion from the Factor Analysis is that the election was
polarized around the AT option, meaning that voters tended to rank AT
either above or below all the others (this is factor #2).

Err. By my count, I was ranked last on 50 ballots, Branden was ranked last on 65 ballots. Branden likewise was ranked first on more ballots than I was (144 versus 136). If you don't canonicalise the results, the only rankings I receive more of the Branden are [3], [4], and [5], Branden gets more of each of [1], [2], [6], [7], and [-].

(To get number of ballots ranking each candidate last:

$  for x in "" . .. ... .... ..... ......; do (n=0;
   for a in 1 2 3 4 5 6 7; do b=$(($a + 1));
n=$(($n + $(cat tally.txt | ./canonize.pl | grep -v "$b" | grep "^V: ${x}${a}" | wc -l) ));
   done; echo $n); done

OTOH, Branden
and Andreas received similar ranks and they were opposed to Matthew
(factor #3).  Notice that the FA does not allow to understand why one of
the options won.  Instead, it only allows to understand the main patterns
of opposition among the voters' choices.

So, afaics there's some misinterpretation going on there: if "AT versus the world" was the meaning of the "factor", "BR versus the world" should have been a slightly stronger one.

I don't know the statistics; but if "factor" means something similar to "vector basis", then I would've said it meant that "in choosing rankings, people tended to rank AT independently of other candidates". ie, that people first decide how they're going to rank NOTA, Angus and Jonathan (which tended to have a significant influence on how they ranked Matthew); then they decide how to rank me (which has no influence on how they rank anyone else); then they decide either how to rank Team Scud, tending to favour Branden; or they decide how to rank Branden which influences how they rank Andreas.

If that were the case, then "AT versus the world" would be a graph with values (-1, -1, -1, 1, -1, -1, -1), not more or less (0,0,0,1,0,0,0).

If it is independence that's being measured; you'd want to explain why people tended to vote other candidates together (do I like foo? then I like bar as well, and dislike baz) but not me. Possible explanations might be that I had a confusing mishmash of policies compared to other candidates so had to be thought of separately; or that I explained my policies more clearly so that people could form their own opinions of me; or that my platform was "out there" enough that people couldn't help but form their own opinion of me; or something else.

That's a different line of thought than "It may be interpreted as a tendency to differentiate candidate AT, by ranking it either much higher or much lower than the others candidates" though.


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