[EM] Unranked IRV versus Approval

Tom Ruen tomruen at itascacg.com
Mon Apr 2 18:23:31 PDT 2001


One-vote definitely makes a difference for multiseat elections if you want
PR. Unranked IRV is cumulative voting w/o the elimination part.

My biggest problem with Approval is that I'm uncomfortable awarding victory
if there are more than one majority winner. If there are 2 majority
candidates, that means some voters "overvoted" their compromises. We can
offer a runoff, but that's what we're trying to avoid!

I'd prefer Approval in decisions/elections that allow runoffs and no
elimination. Just let voters start with their full set of favorites and keep
voting, slowly reducing their choices as they are comfortable and declare a
winner when exactly one candidate exceeds 50% or 60% or whatever. But that's
not going to work in big elections. Maybe it won't even work in small
elections, but actually consensus is the real test for agreement. In theory
you could demand 100% support for one choice for victory. Approval runoff is
less competitive than plurality runoff and therefore it seems more able to
find a consensus choice with less hard feelings.

Overall for political elections I see that it is plurality that is failing
us and runoffs are the solution people are used to. I really haven't heard
anyone, outside of election methods, complain that runoffs fail them.
Without ranked ballots, you can't even measure properties like Monotonicity.

I would be interested in experimenting with approval in practice, but I'm
not willing to impose it on anyone. For me it is an experiment only.

I do plan now that when pollers call me in the future and ask who I support,
I'm going to make an effort to pick two choices I like. Then I expect
they'll say they'll put me down as undecided and I'll say NO, I'm decided
FOR these two and AGAINST all others. Perhaps it'll get them thinking of
making new categories and approval will be born! Well, I can dream.

That's my thoughts for now, whatever they are worth.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Simmons" <asimmons at krl.org>
To: <election-methods-list at eskimo.com>
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2001 3:37 PM
Subject: [EM] Unranked IRV versus Approval

> >> From: Tom Ruen
> >> Subject: Re: [EM] Unranked IRV versus Approval - divergent winners
> >> My main defense for and attraction to Unranked-IRV is that
> >> it satisfies the one vote/seat rule of our current
> >> elections. It is a good compromise in my opinion since it
> >> is just another way to count approval ballots. I like that
> >> approval votes could still be used for measuring support
> >> for each party, and split votes can be used to determine
> >> elimination order.
> But it's already been demonstrated that whether there is one
> vote or more per seat is just a matter of definition.  If a
> perceived problem turns out to be a trivial technicality that
> depends on an arbitrary definition, why should matter?
> What is so special about the number of marks on the paper?
> Why is one vote/seat a good rule?  Yes, I understand that it
> reminds us of what we have now, but if that's what counts,
> the best thing we could do is use Plurality, which is as
> close as we can get to what we have now.

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