[EM] Approval Promoters; "Stop Fooling Yourselves"

Martin Harper mcnh2 at cam.ac.uk
Thu Apr 5 08:05:58 PDT 2001

I Like Irving wrote:

> Harper, you wrote: "A ranking of A>B>C>D>E does not equate to an approval
> vote which approves all five candidates."
> Davison: I know this and you know this, but if and when there is ever an
> Approval election

There have been plenty already.

> most of the voters will cast their ballots as: A>B>C>D>E and you Approval
> promoters will have no qualms about tabulating these
> ballots as A=B=C=D=E.

The mirror problem is that some people voting in an IRV election (with 3+
candidates) will cast their ballots as A=B, and IRV promoters will have no
qualms about tabulating these ballots as 50% A>B and 50% B>A. Both problems can
be solved either by the use of voting machinery which does not permit voters to
spoil their votes in this way, and/or by the use of education to inform people
of how to vote properly.

My pet psychologist informs me that, after exhaustive experimentation,
psychologists have discovered that people make more mistakes doing complicated
things than simple things. As a ranked vote is considerably more complicated
than an approval vote, one would expect ranked votes to have more errors. In
addition to this, actual approval elections do not appear to have these problems
you claim they suffer from.

> My original point still stands, Approval will give false results,

This conflicts nicely with your other original point: the claim that Approval
will give exactly the same result as IRV on 'realistic' ballots. Would you like
to resolve my confusion on this issue?

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