Filterman Reply (brief)

Mike Ositoff ntk at
Sun Sep 27 18:29:44 PDT 1998

I agree with most of Charles Filterman's letter, but would
like to make a few brief comments.

It's true that people more willing to co-operate deserve
amy extra influence that they gain thereby. But it's important
that the Approval method doesn't give them more power: Their
co-operation gives them more influence.

In fact, when proposing Approval, it's dangerous to say that
people who vote for more candidates have more power. The fact
is that, for every pairwise comparison, everyone has equal
power to express a distinction or not to. Every voter has
equal power to give or not give a vote to any particular 
candidate. That's the important thing to emphasize.

Sometimes, when people are stubborn on the power issue, it's
helpful to ask them how much power or influence they'd have if
they voted for _all_ of the candidates.


I don't believe that a 1-dimensional simplification is all that
unreasonable, even if it isn't absolutely literally accurate.

Many of the issues are grouped by most voters, so that there's
some tendency for people who feel a certain way on one issue
to also feel a certain way on other issues too. Some say that
happens more than it should. I don't know, but, to a large extent
I'm sure it's rational voting behavior. Maybe several different
issues are underlain by more basic issues like caring vs
uncaringness, consideration & compassion vs their opposites.
If so, then it isn't surprising that there tends to be a 1-dimensional]
issue-space, at least to some extent.

Mike Ossipoff

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