Borda Count At T&b And Da

As a welcome to fellow Chicagoan Ian Cook, I offer this link to his interesting and informative post on Borda count voting at Truck and Barter. I also recommend Steve Verdon’s post that got Ian thinking about this.

Borda presents us with an interesting dilemma when considering collective choice mechanisms: it has the problems that Ian and Steve discussed, but it does a better job than other mechanisms at communicating intensity of preference.

Anyway, thanks for the thought-provoking post, and welcome!

2 thoughts on “Borda Count At T&b And Da

  1. Thanks for the link and the note.

    I’ll most likely rant about this at T&B soon, but since you mention intensity of preference here… it’s always been a peeve of mine that people talk about higher margins of votes won as some sort of “mandate” for the candidates policies. Over a range of policies, and facing only two options, there’s just no way to know if it happens that, say the margin of 10 percentage points is simply based on a whole lot of people attempting to pick the second-worst outcome rather than that number of people being REALLY into the candidate’s agenda.

    But I digress. Thanks again.

  2. While I share your frustration with voting systems, I do want to make mention of the fact that Arrow didn’t show that all voting systems are flawed, exactly. Rather, the result was that, given a few restrictions on voters (completeness and transitivity, roughly) the results from any social choice scheme has the potential to violate one of the requirements. Clear, rational outcomes can still result — there is just no way to guarantee them; so every voting mechanism can be manipulated.

    The other thing to address is this:

    =ALL= voting systems s*ck, because they are =ALL= based on the false premise that “The Many” have the right to impose their will by force on individuals.

    Simple majority voting certainly has this ability. Which is why it’s so strictly prevented by the US constitution and institutionalized with the electoral college. The weighting of vote strength by population is designed specifically to prevent candidates from being elected by New York, LA, Chicago and Miami. Large states are underrepresented, small states overrepresented, and we hope that it ends up coming out in the wash. (Well, in the extensive process of deciding electoral votes for states we do more than “hope”, but I figure you take my meaning.) And, of course, the representative republic that is the US is designed to prevent dominance of majority will as well as confronting issues bound up in having people vote directly on subtantive issues. (And thus we return to voting mechanism failures.)

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