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Manipulability of consular election rules

ABSTRACT

The Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem is a cornerstone of social choice theory, stating that an onto social choice function cannot be both strategy-proof and non-dictatorial if the number of alternatives is at least three. The Duggan-Schwartz theorem proves an analogue in the case of set-valued elections: if the function is onto with respect to singletons, and can be manipulated by neither an optimist nor a pessimist, it must have a weak dictator. However, the assumption that the function is onto with respect to singletons makes the Duggan-Schwartz theorem inapplicable to elections which necessarily select a committee with multiple members. In this paper we make a start on this problem by considering elections which elect a committee of size two (such as the consulship of ancient Rome). We establish that if such a consular election rule cannot be expressed as the union of two disjoint social choice functions, then strategy-proofness implies the existence of a dictator. Although we suspect that a similar result holds for larger sized committees, there appear to be many obstacles to proving it, which we discuss in detail.