[EM] Approval Vote ballot paper sought; rejected by 'one man one vote' rules

Craig Carey research at ijs.co.nz
Sun Apr 8 10:43:58 PDT 2001

At 2001.04.04 17:47 +0100 Wednesday, Martin Harper wrote:
 >Approval for Tom, and others who reckon one-man-one-vote is solely 
referring to
 >how an invisible genie moves your vote around, and is absolutely sacred - I
 >it "Instant Approval Poll and Plurality Voting".
 >1) collect approval votes. This is no worst for 1-man-1-vote than IRV
 >2) do a 'poll' with the approval votes to get a ranking from most approved to
 >least approved. This is a calculation done simply for the little genie's
 >benefit, not for electing anyone, so it doesn't violate 1-man-1-vote. This is
 >similar to the way that the first round of IRV is done solely for the little
 >genie's benefit, not for the final decision on who to elect.
 >3) everyone gives a plurality vote for the person that they approve who has 
 >highest level of approval. Little genie moves your vote to where it decides 
 >should be, and you get no control over this, just as in IRV. Unlike IRV, this
 >choice for the Plurality vote maximises your expectation, based on the
 >information from the poll and in the approval vote.
 >4) the person with the most plurality votes wins. This will always be the
 >approval winner.
 >Bingo - Approval voting counted in such a way that one-man-one-vote remains
 >sacrosanct, even under the weirdest interpretations of the mantra. Happy? ;-)

Two parties, the Green and the Orange party, would have a spokesperson elected.

The candidates are:

R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7, R8, R9, R10
O1, O2, O3, O4, O5, O6, O7, O8, O9, O10,
X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7, X8, X9, X10,
Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6, Y7, Y8, Y9, Y10

Voting block A had 20 voters that each voted with identical papers. Each
paper was marked in this way:

  Subvotes list = { R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7, R8, R9, R10 }

Also, voting block B had 20 voters that voted as follows:

1, 2:  Subvotes list = { O1 }
3, 4:  Subvotes list = { O2 }
5, 6:  Subvotes list = { O3 }
7, 8:  Subvotes list = { O4 }
9, 10:  Subvotes list = { O5 }
11, 12:  Subvotes list = { O6 }
13, 14:  Subvotes list = { O7 }
15, 16:  Subvotes list = { O8 }
17, 18:  Subvotes list = { O9 }
19, 20:  Subvotes list = { O10 }

There were very few other voters, but a very small number of them voted for the
X and Y candidates.

As Mr Bath. O. knows, the R candidates tend to win because their voters
have roughly ten times the power than they ought have. If ten is too
small, and slighly bigger example could get the power excess beyond a
factor of 30 million.

Whether the fanciful would visualise the Approval method to have
checkboxes or accept STV style papers, the blowout of a failure
in restraining power of voters is quite a feature of the so called
and not yet proven to exist, and hard to find, Approval Voting

At 2001.04.02 22:03 +0000 Monday, Anthony Simmons wrote:
 >>> From: Tom Ruen
 >>> Subject: Re: [EM] Unranked IRV versus Approval
 >>> Anthony,
 >>> One-vote definitely makes a difference for
 >>> multiseat elections if you want PR. Unranked IRV
 >>> is cumulative voting w/o the elimination part.
 >Hmm, what I was asking is:  What is the significance
 >of "one vote per voter"?  How does it matter how many
 >marks a voter makes on the paper?  Basically, why
 >should anyone care?

The significance of it could be that it is the most fundamental
principle of preferential voting (provided the method is unique
and reproducible and gets the right number of winners). Other
people writing to this list say that later votes should not
harm earlier votes but isn't that a principle that is less

Regarding the definition of "one vote per voter", it can have
3 aspects:
   (1) the vote (with weight 1) shan't have an effective weight
    that is greater than 1, and
   (2) the vote shan't have an effect consistent with it having
    a negative weight [i.e. monotonic]. and
   (3) subject to all else, a vote of weight 1 ought have an
    effective weight that is near 1.

The First Past the Post method passes (1) and (2) and it is not
so good on (3) if it has STV papers. The IRV method is easily
rejected for failing (1) and (2). Mike's Approval method novaes
in a dim dirty flash over rule (1).

 >It's a natural human tendency to accept what we have
 >heard unchallenged all of our lives, but it seems to
 >me that this business about "one vote per voter" is a
 >flat earth theory.
 >I mean, the actual vote isn't an individual mark.  If
 >it were, then you could turn Plurality in a "many
 >votes per voter" method by requiring voters to vote
 >against all but one candidate.  It would be logically
 >equivalent to the usual way Plurality is done, but
 >one of the equivalents satisfies "one vote per voter"
 >and the other doesn't.  Therefore "one vote per
 >voter" is not, as they say, even well-defined.  In
 >other words, it's a phantom.

Really?. It can be defined without a lot of difficulty, for
3 candidates. It is worthwhile to do so, since the proper
definition of "(1)" is not entirely plain. A step might be
to consider the (AB), (B), (C) election, which can be
plotted in a triangle, and calculate the negative weight
that makes IRV fails (2). It won't be the case that IRV
would be caught failing (1) with those papers.

I presume the Tideman and SSD and whatever else came from the
age of the dinosaurs, will fail all three. That comment can
serve to remind the readers of the reality that subscribers
here are typically not sharp enough to reject rules, so that
they do not reject methods (so of the methods are incredibly
bad). Many of Mr Ossipoff's rules do not actually exist but
are boring blimps that lack definition and at least one uses
the opinions of voters, if I recall right.

An obvious question that would make beginners doubtful of the
3 rules is: are those rules when taken together, too strong?.
The answer would be no I'd say (but their definition gets less
obvious as more candidates are added). Anyway, Mr Harper's
comments are much disbelieved by me because I derived an
expression for (1) [which seems to be mainly what Mr Harper
was writing about], with these equations:
'Limitation of Power'

 >"One vote per voter" never had anything to do with
 >how many marks are made on the ballot.
 >>> My biggest problem with Approval is that I'm

Before Approval is commented on, can an exact high quality
PNG (or JPG or GIF) image of the typical Approval Vote
voting paper be posted?. Last time I was inquiring into
that, Rob Lanphier ruled that Mike Ossipoff did not have
to answer that question (I thought it was a ruling on an
issue like nepotism vs. pure knowledge, but anyway this
is a list to be ignorant in, and Mike is there setting the

Some of the Mayors that read this list might want to see
the ? Approval paper, and read the text at the top and the
text at the sides and the view the markings. Something that
Mike Ossipoff has personally deprived subscribers of for
quite some time. Still, if we get good maths at the end of
ten years, then what Mike had to say might have been true
all along. Is Mike studying maths and progressing fast
enough that some good results will appear in 10 years?.

The Utility theory is one of the dumbest ideas ever advanced
in the topic of preferential voting.

If others are uncomfortable about entering my "Approval
actually exists" fantasy, then rest assured that Mike would
then have the image and his association with the lists
first owner and great figure did not come to the final
ruling that every one had to be deprived of that for no
good reason (e.g. the advancement of knowledge or something).

The method might have been registered with the Patent Office,
and if so then I would want to see the voting paper, and I
am sure I would be representing others if I asserted an air
of a lack of clarity on why exactly, I expect Mike to stop
writing about the Approval method, and prove the method
does in fact exist. Certainly Mr Davison and maybe even Mr
Schulze have been assuming the Osspipoff Approval idea of
a method exists, but maybe they got high quality data
privately that Lanphier's list never got (in part due to
Rob's ruling that such information could be withheld if it
was precisely requested). I shall give it a day and then all
the list's subscribers can give up and brace themselves for
a few more years of Approval advocacy.

 >>> 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!

A method too bad to use, except in USA especially near
Washington, the vacuum hole of a formerly great nation's ideals...

[not proof read]

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