You're the pres. candidate, and I offer you this choice...

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Syzygys, Oct 23, 2008.

?

You would prefer me to vote according to...

Poll closed Nov 22, 2008.
  1. 1. Unknown political leaning.

    3 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. 2. Random coinflip result.

    4 vote(s)
    57.1%
  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,671
    This is a math question, not a political one!

    So you are the presidential candidate, I am the voter, and I offer you this:

    I either vote according to my political leanings, what you don't know of, or I flip a coin and vote according to the result.

    Which one would you take???

    1. Unknown vote based on political leaning.
    2. Random vote based on coinflip.

    I have an answer, but first want to see what you guys say....
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I'd rather vote with my conscious and any information that I might be able to learn about a candidate from reliable sources.
     
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    The coin flip
     
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  7. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Am I supposed to assume that there are only two political parties and that this voter has a 50% chance of being in either?
     
  8. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    12,671
    Only the first one. 2 candidates, but you don't know what's the chance of the voter's being a fan of you is.
     
  9. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    12,671
    Oh boy. You are NOT the voter, you are the CANDIDATE in this thread!
     
  10. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Then I will abstain from voting because I really don't know what the fuck I'm doing!

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  11. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Basicly it boils down to the everlasting question of: if you run for office, would you want an average non-voter to help to vote if you don't know what his/her vote is going to be??? Of course not. You want them to vote for you, not for the other candidate.
     
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    But I don't want to elected to anything!

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  13. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    In that case, I don't think I can answer the question without knowing how likely the person is to be in my party. If 55% of the population supports my party, I would tell him to vote according to his party. If 45% of the population supports my party, I would want him to flip a coin because it increases the odds that he will vote for me from 45% to 50%.
     
  14. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,833
    I would prefer the coin flip because presumably by that time the decision has been whittled down to a two-way decision between the perfect choice and some less-than-perfect choice.
    For using your unknown political leanings as an oracle, there is no guarantee that the perfect decision would be considered, and since the oracle is unknown, I must treat it like a randomizer.
    If by "a coin flip" you meant in all cases you would toss as many coins as it took to take any action possible from the whole universe, I would still prefer the coin-flipper since the law clearly allows us to remove you from society, which is not necessarily the same as the one who caters to his oracle.

    But what I prefer the most is a science-based inquiry into the decision that is the best and to vote accordingly. Without going into details, I think that the candidate who gets the most lies told about him might be less of a liar. I think the candidate that claims to stand on principles and breaks those principles is a hypocrite. And I would prefer the leader of my country not to be a liar and a hypocrite.

    So to all of those coin-tossers, I recommend that they use their decision process to consider suicide once a day every day before the election. And to those with party afflilation, I ask them to study whether the goals of their party would best be met by their party's candidate or the opposition's candidate. If your own party's candidate is a confirmed liar and hypocrite and to a greater level than expected, then wouldn't your best bet would be to vote for the opposition until your party gets it's act together?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  15. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    So was there supposed to be a "correct" answer, or am I missing something?
     
  16. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    12,671
    You gave the correct answer (I think) in post #10. If you as the candidate are ahead in the polls, you could assume that a random voter would vote for you with a slightly bigger chance than 50-50. If you are trailing in the polls, you might as well choose the coinflip, because at least that gives you even odds, which is better than let's say 41-49 as currently for McCain...

    So the poll can not be answered with a straight 1 or 2, you have to (as in real life you would) know the current standing in the polls...
     
  17. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe "not enough information given" should have been a poll option?
     
  18. §outh§tar is feeling caustic Registered Senior Member

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    4,832
    Given what we know about the disgraceful failures of right wing ideology and the empirical fact (polling) that masses of the country are (apparently/temporally) coming to their senses, I'll take my chance with political leaning.
     
  19. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Well, maybe but basicly it was a trick question. We can logically assume that the candidate knows the latest pollnumbers...
     
  20. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Although I do not know the political affiliation of the voter offering me this deal it is safe to assume that both of the two parties are nearly equal in size. Why?

    Well if I am of the clear minority party, then I would chose the “coin flip” but if I am of the majority party I would chose: "vote your party?"

    A voter of even average intelligence would know this and know my party. Thus he would not think it any dilemma (or even an interesting offer) to present to me unless the two parties are of approximately of equal size. (I.e. the offer would never have been made if my choice was already obvious to the voter making the offer.)

    Thus, my expectation of getting his vote about 50% with either choice I can make, unless I can change his mind with my reply to his offer, to make him more likely to vote for me. Thus, my reply is:

    "Well, I thank you for your offer, but I am a strong believer in democracy and hope you are too. - So of course, please vote your preference. Democracy would eventually fail if elections were decided by coin flips."

    If he is of higher than average intelligence and thinks about my reply - he may conclude that I am of higher than average intelligence also - just the sort of politican he wants to elect.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2008
  21. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    12,461
    Easy. Just look at the person. Is it a white male from the midwest? If so, he's likely to vote Republican. Is it an African American? If so, it's a 90% certainty he's going to vote Democratic. Is it a female? If married, and white, and suburban, she's Republican. If single, Democrat. Is there an accent? Eastern? Democrat. Southern? Republican.

    So to answer the question, assess the demographics of the particular voter and if they're against you, go with the coin toss. If they're in your favor, have them vote however they're inclined.
     
  22. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    If you are considering this current US election, then that is a good reply, but I think the question was more general - for all elections not related to even the existence of Democratic and Republican parties - just two unspecified parties in a democracy in some country. Then my answer in prior post is better. The OP states this is a math, not a politcal, question.
     
  23. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    12,671
    You failed, because there were no more information provided...So there is no looking at the person. Say you get the offer in email.

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    Billy T's answer was interesting, although he introduced psychology into the question and it was clearly a math question and he assumed he can change the voter's mind.
     

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