@andy-dienes said in Threshold MES:
I do really want to emphasize that one of my main theses for this design is that the mere existence of 'sincere' utilities for each candidate, when in a proportional multiwinner context, feels somewhat nonsense to me.
In principle, I fully agree with you. In practice, I think assigning utilities to each individual candidate works pretty well. An individual voter will only have a marginal effect on the outcome; questions that cause the individual-candidate-utilities model to break down (such as comparing between electing 5 candidates you love, 3 candidates you love and 2 candidates you hate, and 2 candidates you love and 3 you hate to a five-person committee) become irrelevant (at least usually). If a single ballot can cause at most one of the winners to be different, I can't think of an example off the top of my head where the model of having individual utilities of each candidate and maximizing the sum over all the winners breaks down.
Let's say the percentages of the electorate are respectively w, x, y, z%. This is (kind of) an instance of laminar vote splitting---at least if there is some candidate popular among the entire Left wing, and likewise for the Right. To me, I would prioritize the guarantees in this order
Left gets at least (w+x)% seats and Right gets at least (y+z)% seats
Within Left seats, the Far and Center factions get seats in a ratio w:x, within Right seats, the Far and Center factions get seats in a ratio z:y
Residual preferences respected (i.e. cross-party preferences and low scores come into play to flip small win margins or change election order within party)
I have two major points of disagreement. First, I place no intrinsic value whatsoever on having guarantees; all I care about are results and incentives. I am completely indifferent between having a result occur with it being guaranteed to occur and it occurring without a guarantee. Second, I consider the second point to be undesirable. In my example, voters have somewhat stronger preferences for who wins within the opposing party than within their party, and I don't think the weaker preferences should take precedence over the stronger preferences. Also, points 2 and 3 are in direct conflict, and I care about point 3 because it encourages depolarization.
The proportionality guarantees mean that no matter how much strategic jankery happens, as long as Far Left voters give Far Left cands higher scores than Center Left cands and vice versa, and all Left voters give Left cands higher scores than Right cands (and again, vice versa), then both 1. and 2. have to hold.
The stringent conditions (e.g. "all Left voters") make these guarantees seem weak to the point of irrelevance; "strategic jankery" that is well-justified and outside your allowed parameters will void these guarantees entirely. And strictly speaking, I don't think these guarantees are strong enough to prove what you want. Like, if most Left voters give the Left candidates a score of 3 and Right candidate a score of 0, but slightly less than a full quota of Left voters give the Left candidates a score of 5 and the Right candidates a score of 4, these latter Left voters will function like Right voters who will fill the quotas of Right candidates. Contrived, I know, but still. you need to assume a lot, including some pretty unreasonable things, in order to get a mathematical guarantee.
Conversely, in Allocated Score (with or without runoffs), we can only get guarantees 1. and 2. if every Left voter min-maxes their candidates. And in fact if they start peppering 2s to the opposing party I think it's quite likely that they will lose seats.
True with respect to guarantees (though I don't care about guarantees). As for the latter point, more precisely they can lose seat. Most of the seats will be decided by the filling of quotas; so long as their voters don't fill the quotas of opposing candidates, giving 2s to the opposing party is only harmful for winning the final seat. Still a solid argument against giving out these 2s, but I don't think it's an overwhelming one.
I think our big disagreements are (1) Should a voting method favor moderates over extremists? and (2) Are formal guarantees valuable? Our disagreements seem to be more over what a voting method should do than over what certain voting methods will do. I am not particularly optimistic about coming to an agreement on these points, but I think the agreements we have reached are valuable.