Approval equilibrium. Pushover strategy.

David Marsay djmarsay at
Fri Oct 9 04:31:18 PDT 1998

In response to:
> From:          Mike Ositoff <ntk at>
> Subject:       Approval equilibrium. Pushover strategy.

The earliest and perhaps still the most important attribute of voting 
is that one should be able to dispose of tyrants - or other 

Approval voting is good from this point of view: if the main aim of 
the majority of voters is to depose a tyrant, they should approve of 
all other candidates. For AV, they simply rank the tyrant last.

For FPP the tyrant could arrange for many candidates to split the 
votes against, relying on a small minority that gain advantage from 
her(!) rule. This doesn't work in AV because the votes are 
re-distributed as small candidates are eliminated.

In approval, voters who like the tyrant may selectively approve of 
other candidates. Hence the majority may vote to depose the tyrant, 
but the tyrant may choose who replaces her. (For comment!)

> Also quite right about that Approval example not being a wrong
> outcome.
> And the things that critics of Approval point to are things
> that don't happen at equilibrium. An equilibrium, as defined
> by the 1st proponent of Approval, is an outcome that doesn't
> contradict the voter beliefs that led to that outcome.
> At equilibrium, Approval gives as good results as you could ask
> for.
> Someone named Myerson showed that, at equilibrium, Approval is
> all that would be needed to drive dishonest politicians, or
> politicians of questionble desirability, out of office.
Sorry folks, but apparently I have to do this. :-(
The views expressed above are entirely those of the writer
and do not represent the views, policy or understanding of
any other person or official body.

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list