Definite Majority Choice

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Definite Majority Choice (DMC) is a voting method proposed by several (name suggested by Forest Simmons to select a single winner using ballots that express preferences, with an additional indication of Approval Cutoff.

If there is a candidate who is preferred over the other candidates, when compared in turn with each of the others, DMC guarantees that that candidate will win. Because of this property, DMC is (by definition) a Condorcet method. Note that this is different from some other preference voting systems such as Borda and Instant-runoff voting, which do not make this guarantee.

The main difference between DMC and other Condorcet methods such as Ranked Pairs (RP), Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping (Beatpath or Schulze) and River is the use of the additional Approval score to break ties. If defeat strength is measured by the Total Approval score of the pairwise winner, DMC is equiavent to each of these other methods [This needs to be verified! --Araucaria 12:22, 21 Mar 2005 (PST)]

DMC chooses the same winner as (and could be considered equivalent in most respects to) Ranked Approval Voting (RAV) (also known as Approval Ranked Concorcet), and Pairwise Sorted Approval (PSA).


The Ballot

One implementation of Definite Majority Choice might use a Graded Ballot with a Lowest Passing Grade option. Voters can grade their choices from favorite (A) to least preferred (ungraded), and give some or all of their graded choices a "passing grade" to signify approval.

            A    B    C    D    E    F    G

      X1   ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )

      X2   ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )

      X3   ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )

      X3   ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )

   Lowest  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )  ( )

A voter can give the same grade to more than one candidate. If not given a higher grade, he LPG candidate has a grade of G by default, giving each graded candidate a "passing grade", or one Approval point.

Ungraded candidates are graded below all others and get no Approval points.

A voter may optionally specify a Lowest Passing Grade (LPG), which means that any graded candidates with lower grades will receive no approval points.

If this were a vote for president, one could compare the LPG 'candidate' to Gerald Ford. One might argue whether he was a good or bad president, but anybody better would be a good president, and anybody worse would be bad.

The main reason for a voter to grade candidates below the "Gerald Ford" mark would be if the voter is not optimistic about the chances for higher-ranked favorite and compromise candidates. Grading candidate X below the LPG mark gives the voter a chance to say "I don't like X and don't want him to win, but of all the alternatives, he would make the fewest changes in the wrong direction. I won't give him a passing grade because I want him to have as small a mandate as possible." This allows members of the minority to have some say in the outcome, instead of leaving the choice to the strongest core support within the majority faction.

Tallying Votes

Rankings are added into a Round-Robin array, and the approval scores of each candidate are tabulated into the otherwise unused diagonal entries.

To determine the winner:

  1. Eliminate any candidate that is defeated in a one-to-one match with any other higher-approved candidate. So by 2 different measures, a definite majority agrees that candidate should be eliminated.
  2. If more than one candidate remains, the winner is the single candidate that defeats all others in one-to-one (pairwise)contests.

Handling Ties and Near Ties

In ordinary DMC, the winner is the candidate in Forest Simmon's P set, the set of candidates which are not approval-consistently defeated.

But in the event of a tie or near tie (say, margin within 0.01%), there may be no clear winner.

In that case, form the superset P*, the union of all sets P that result from all possible combinations of reversed ties or near-ties. Then choose the winner from P* using Random Ballot Order.