# MOAV "criterion"?

Saari at aol.com Saari at aol.com
Sat Feb 22 03:57:30 PST 1997

```>D- It is of course possible to have a Don't Care column---
>               Yes      No     Don't Care
>A               x
>B                                      x
>C                        x
>
>If so, should the Don't Care votes be half yes, half no votes such that a
>candidate may have a vote of
>40 Yes, 3O No, 30 Don't Care
>which would become
>55 Yes, 45 No ?

A vote of "Decline" (aka "Neither") could have several possible reasons -
"don't care" is only one of several, so I would prefer use of the term
"Decline" meaning "Decline to support or oppose."  This is only a nit, but I
think it is important to use voting terminology which is as accurate as
possible to avoid misleading or confusing people.

For that matter, I now prefer "Suppose" and "Oppose" over Yes/No.  The word
"No" is actually pretty ambiguous.  (Does "No" mean merely "No I do not
support." or does it mean the stronger "No I am actively opposed."?  It's
unclear which.)  "Oppose" is crystal-clear.

Functionally, Decline can probably be viewed as exactly halfway between
Support and Oppose.  Although I can envision plausible arguments in other
directions.  But turning a Decline vote into "half-yes plus half-no" seems to
be adding complexity for no net purpose.

And with other scoring systems, it introduces a level of distortion.  For
example, assume a "ratio" scoring system.  Then 6 Support, 1 Oppose, 20
Decline would have a support/oppose ratio of 6:1.  But if we turn the 20
Decline votes into half-yes, half-no, then the final result is 6+10=16
Support, 1+10=11 Oppose which changes the ratio to 16:11 - a substantial
alteration.

So simpler and better to simply not count Decline votes, IMHO.

Mike S

```