Plan B and Secret Lower Choices

New Democracy donald at
Fri Oct 2 06:49:21 PDT 1998

Dear Mike Ossitoff,

     In regard to my suggestion of Cumulative Approval Voting, you wrote:
"It's equivalent to FFP. Your best strategy is to give all your votes to
the candidate with greatest strategic value."

     You are correct, it is equivalent to First Past the Post(FPP).

     But, the value of considering Cumulative Approval Voting is that it
will give us some insight into the wishes of the voters. Most of the voters
will put the lion share of their cumulative votes on one candidate. This is
the wish of the voter.

     You have no right to say that the voters wish something else. For
years you have been including the lower choices into some sort of summary
and declaring that you know the "wishes of the voter". Your summary is not

     The first choice of the voter is the voter's "Plan A".
     The second choice of the voter is the voter's "Plan B".

     As a voter I would like my lower choices to be secret - secret from
the eyes of everyone. Secret until I need to go to Plan B. I want my lower
choices kept secret because there are people like you that try to read
things into my lower choices - things that are not there.

     Approval Voting and/or Condorcet are not in my lower choices. The only
thing in my lower choices is my Plan B. I want my vote to be on my first
choice - my Plan A. And to stay with my first choice for as long as my
first choice can make the cut. When my first choice can no longer make the
cut then I will go to Plan B.

     I accept that my first choice may miss the cut by only one vote. Just
like I accept that my first choice may only win by one vote.

     It is acceptable to eliminate the lowest candidate because the lowest
candidate did not make the cut. It is acceptable for a method to eliminate
the lowest candidate.

     Choice Run-Off is the best method because it keeps my next choice out
of play until I want to go to my Plan B.

     If I am forced to vote in an Approval Voting or Condorcet election, I
will not make any lower choices. And, I will tell everyone that they too
should not make any lower choices - because the lower choices will directly
or indirectly work against their first choice - against their Plan A.

Donald Davison

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