[EM] Dyadic approval implemented as CR

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Sun Aug 26 16:19:19 PDT 2001

On Fri, 24 Aug 2001, Moe St. EverGreen wrote:

> Another argument for CR is that it is far easier
> to implement than Condorcet.. much easier to 
> describe than IRV, and more likely more satisfying 
> than approval (through allowing differences in ratings).
> If it "boils down" to be no worse than Approval,
> then it is not bad at all.
> Are there some specific problems with CR that make
> it a worse choice than IRV ?
> - Moe.

In answer to your question: no, unless you count the perceived problem
that is not really a problem: some people believe that relative rankings
are easier to decide than ratings.

For example, it might be easier to decide that you prefer candidate X to Y
than to rate each of these candidates.

But that is an illusion, because if you can rank, then you can start with
the ranks as the rates and then refine them if you think some gaps should
be bigger than others. If you want to strategize, give all approved
candidates maximum rate, and all of the others zero.

Personally, I think that the Five Slot ballot has sufficient resolution
for practical CR, and is very easy to fill out.

But Five Slot Approval is even easier to do (on the exact same ballot),
and gives the same instrumental result with less strategic distortion of
the expressive result. 

In FSA you give your preferred front runner an A, B, or C, depending on
how much you like her. Which of these three choices you use makes no
difference in who the winner will be for the current election, but it does
give useful information.

Then you give the other front runner a D or F, unless you happen to like
her quite a lot, also. The other candidates are filled in with "relative
sincerity". Make sure your favorite gets an A, and your most hated gets an

By the way, Five Slot Approval is the natural solution to the grade
inflation problem in academia.

The instructor gives a letter grade, which goes to the student's mailbox.
The only thing recorded on the official records and transcripts of the
college is a pass/fail notation for the student's performance in the

The student gets valuable, relatively undistorted feedback, while
sufficient transcript information is recorded for future employers, etc. 

College age suicide rates go down, etc.

Doing the same thing in high schools would alleviate even more problems.


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