[Slightly OT] Re: Voting (was Re: PEP 318

Joe Mason joe at notcharles.ca
Wed Mar 24 16:39:27 CET 2004


In article <10637ibo30epo6f at news.supernews.com>, John Roth wrote:
>> There's a fair amount of analysis on the best method, actually.  In this
>> case, "Guido's choice" is probably a good one.  (Normally it's done by
>> counting the relative magnitude of each pairwise win and things like
>> that.  I'm not clear on whether the existance of a cycle means everyone
>> in the cycle is really a tossup or if it's fuzzier.)
> 
> Your comments indicate you're probably much more in touch with
> voting method theory than I am! My take on it is that it needs to be
> done using availible data - that is, the original votes.

I spent a while hanging out on the election-methods mailing list after
the last US election, and discovered it was basically a big
Condorcet-vs-IRV flame war.  There's a good summary of lots of methods at
http://electionmethods.org/, although it's pretty biased towards
Condorcet.

(The crux of the flamewar is that Condorcet tends to elect
"compromise candidates" who are few peoples' favourite but palatable to
most, while IRV is more likely to elect people that are the first choice
of a large block but hated by others.  Which is preferable is a matter
of philosophy.)

> I don't know if the original data on PEP 308 is still availible. It would
> be interesting (although it might just be throwing fuel on a fire that
> should
> be allowed to die down) to reanalyze it (and I don't know if I'm
> volunteering
> to do it or not!)

It's at the end of http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0308.html.  I haven't
looked at it in detail, but it looks wacky.

Joe



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