MOAV "criterion"?

Saari at Saari at
Mon Feb 17 15:53:55 PST 1997

MOAV "majority of all votes" requires support by 51% of all who vote
(assuming yes/no votes).  But I feel there are 3 distinct opinions to be
counted, not 2.  There is 
No=opposed, and 
neither-yes-nor-no(blank)=neither support nor oppose, e.g. "neutral" or
"don't care"

MOAV requires 51 Yes votes out of 100 ballots cast.  Therefore, whether a
person votes "No" or (blank) for a given candidate the result is the same.
 MOAV (and many other tallying systems) blur the distinction between
"neutral" and "opposed".

I like yes/no voting.  But a better tallying system would count both the Yes
votes and the No votes and then combine appropriately.  For example, you
could subtract the No count from the Yes count.  Or you could compute the
ratio of support over opposition (my current favorite - it gives a "score"
which is meaningful regardless of the number of voters).  But whatever
tallying method is used, it should allow and encourage an honest "neither"
vote (to indicate neutral, don't care, don't know, willing to go along, etc).

Any system which lumps "neither" in the same bin as "No" doesn't adequately
represent the opinions of the voter.  It also encourages "Yes" votes based on
nothing more than a willingness to be cooperative.  Better to have honest
"neither" votes in these cases.  The tallying system needs to NOT encourage
inaccurate votes.

Mike Saari

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list