# The Age of Majority

Bart Ingles bartman at netgate.net
Tue Sep 29 20:56:13 PDT 1998

```New Democracy wrote:
>
> [deleted]
>      But, we do not use that defination in regard to elections. The
> defination to be applied to an election is: "a number greater than half of
> a total" Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, 1976.
>
>      And, I insist that the word "total" means all the votes in use at the
> time a majority is claimed to have been reached - which may be more or less
> than the number of voters we started with - it all depends on the method
> used to reach a majority.

I don't agree with this.  Approval is logically a group of separate
YES/NO races, one for each candidate.  The total number of votes for
each race is equal to the number of voters in each race -- including
both yes and no votes (i.e. 100).

This is similar to the way separate but competing ballot initiatives are
handled in California:  If two or more conflicting measures pass, the
one with the greatest plurality becomes law, and the others are defeated
(wholly or in part, depending on the way they were worded).  The only
difference is that each ballot measure must first get a majority in its
own race.

>
>      But in your example, 60 is not a majority of 291. The majority
> requirement for your example would be 146 - which is impossible for any
> candidate to have - which means that Approval Voting in not a valid
> election method.

Actually, if you want to add the votes of all the races together, the
total is 600 in this example.  It doesn't really matter whether you use
100 or 600 anyway, since the method neither demands nor guarantees a
majority of any total.  I suppose this makes it no more and no less
valid than FPP in that respect.

This doesn't mean I support this method, but if not it will be for other
reasons.

Bart Ingles

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - repeat letter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>
> >Mr. Davidson seems not to be able to understand that there can be bare
> >majorities and higher majorities.
> >
> >Example-- using Approval Voting (in which a voter can vote for one or more
> >choices without number voting for the choices)- 100 voters
> >A  45
> >B  51
> >C  60
> >D  49
> >E  30
> >F  56
> >
> >B gets a bare majority (51), C gets the highest majority (60).
> >
> >As I have noted a few times, approval voting is defective in not
> >distinguishing between the choices that get majorities (since such majorities
> >are based on a combination of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. votes-- if number votes were
> >being used).
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