Approval and twins

Mike Ositoff ntk at
Wed Oct 28 18:15:19 PST 1998

replying farther down:

> I consider rich-party and vote-splitting to be two of the most
> important problems, so I think it's important to ask how well
> approval does in regard to them.
> Certainly, approval passes GITC.  However, GITC was designed
> for rank methods.  In theory, plurality passes GITC.
> In ranked methods, a voter can differentiate between the
> members of a party, and still rank those members higher than
> anybody else.  This is not possible with approval.  In
> approval, a voter must decide whether to help the party as
> much as possible, or to differentiate between members of
> the party.  And if voters tend to vote purely along party
> lines, the choice within the party could be made by very
> few people.
> There are two strategies that I can imagine voters employing.

Approval has more than 2 strategies, that I've read of. The ones
you list aren't among the ones I"ve read of or would use.

> They will largely be psychologically determined, so it would
> be necessary to find out which is used by polling and
> observation.
> Except Worst
> The voter votes for most members of the party, but witholds from
> a few of his least favorites.
> Only Best
> The voter votes only for a few of his favorite candidates from
> within his party.
> If a party thinks its voters fall into the "Except Worst" category,
> then it makes sense to run more candidates, and thereby spread out
> the "No" votes.  If on the other hand they follow the "Only Best"
> strategy, it makes sense to run fewer candidates in order to
> concentrate the "YES" votes.

Approval gives no incentive to "concentrate" votes. A party
runs the best candidates it can, and lets anyone run who wants
to, since people can vote for him without abandoning other's.

> ---
> Blake
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