First Choice Criterion

Blake Cretney bcretney at
Thu Nov 5 07:57:28 PST 1998

On Wed, 04 Nov 1998 17:28:39   Beth Cornell wrote:
>I believe that one should vote for the candidate that has the best 
> ideals for ones town,state,country.   
> Beth Cornell 

I think it depends on what voting method you're using.  If the vote
is being counted by plurality, there's a lot that can be said for
compromise.  If every party, instead of having primaries, just
entered all their candidates in the election, the vote could
be split 30 ways.  The results of the election would be almost
random.  If most people are able to vote for their first
choice, wihout making the system look absurd, it is only because
the options available have already been reduced.

Similarly, in AV, I don't see anything wrong with voting a more
central candidate over your favorite in order to defeat extreme
candidates on the other side.  Unfortunately, most voters will
not know to do this.

How much we worry about strategic voting should depend on the
election method.  If it gives good results when people are
sincere, it would be better if there was no strategy.  But 
strategy can also mitigate the effects of a bad method.



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