[EM] Defects in various election systems
robla at eskimo.com
Thu Feb 22 20:22:30 PST 1996
On Thu, 22 Feb 1996 DEMOREP1 at aol.com wrote:
> Based on relative comparisons and not absolute approval or disapproval
> (especially for second and later choices).
>From a pragmatic point of view, how useful is information about the
absolute preferences of the voters? If we need to pick one and only one
President, we only need to know which one (and only one) they like best.
Since voters seldom agree, we *then* need mechanisms for determining
Hence the ranked ballot. Voters pick *one* top choice, and then can list
other candidates the can "live with", in order of preference.
Absolute approval/disapproval is irrelevent when we want people to
*choose* a candidate. If giving each candidate a grade is what we care
about, then we should consider approval.
> Circular result ties possible in
> pair comparisons.
A system that measures voter ambiguity is far superior to one that
arbitrarily chooses a winner in spite of ambiguity. Ties are highly
unlikely in any election method with a sufficient number of voters,
> Approval Voting (AV)
> Based on absolute approval or disapproval. No relative comparisons among
> multiple majority winners.
It also gives disproportionate representation to voters who can't
distiguish the difference between several candidates. It is riddled with
very real strategy problems.
Consider the 1992 election, had it been an approval election. Voters who
preferred Clinton, but would take Bush in a last ditch effort to keep
Perot out of office stood the danger of helping Bush get elected if they
voted for Bush and Clinton. Yet they also stood the danger of losing to
Perot if they voted for only Clinton, since there was probably a large
number of people who would have voted for Clinton and Perot to run Bush
out of office. Perot voters who really didn't like Clinton or Bush would
be forced to vote for neither if Perot is who they truly wanted. Bush
voters would have had the same problem.
Ultimately, voters should be expected to choose a candidate, and give
fallback info if their first choice is not acceptable. They shouldn't be
able to choose a wad of candidates and leave it up to everyone else to
decide. Nor should voters be forced to use this as a method of
expressing their preference.
robla at eskimo.com
More information about the Election-Methods