Approval voting defects

Tue Sep 29 19:08:31 PDT 1998

Mr. Ossipoff wrote in part--

As for the people attacking Approval, that method is so simple
that its properties are obvious, and not debatable, so it doesn't
really need any defending.

Approval is a very major improvement over Plurality but Approval has its own
set of defects.

Approval is very defective in the special case where a choice gets a majority
of first choice votes (if number voting was being used).

Example-- 100 voters
     Number of votes in indicated place (if number votes were being used)
View table in Monaco for alignment
       1st   2nd      3rd      Total
A       9     15       51        75
B      15     51       10        76
C      51     10                 61
D      25      9                 34
      100     95       61       256

B wins using Approval.  C has a majority of the first choice votes (and is
thus an automatic Condorcet winner).

That is, the 51 C first choice voters by voting for other choices cause a
defeat for their first choice if Approval is used.

Thus, I have suggested that Approval (in the form of a YES/NO vote) be used
along with number votes.
A, B and C each get YES majorities (assuming the votes for each are YES
A, B and C would go head to head using the number votes so C would win.

There is also the Approval case if ALL of the choices fail to get majorities
of ALL of the voters.

Example-- 100 voters
President of the U.S.
K    41
L    45
M    43
N    39

Multiply by 1,000,000 for a possible real election.

L wins using simple Approval.  I suggest that having minority winners is
extremely dangerous (especially for public chief executive offices who have a
very bad tendency to go powermad -- Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, etc.,

Another fundamental election reform is having voter recall petitions to remove
from office any legislative body and/or any elected or appointed executive or
judicial officer, if/when they/he/she go(es) powermad.

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