MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 13 16:40:33 PST 2001

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I was surprised & disappointed to find out that, with very few voters
the above-mean strategy isn't valid in Approval. I kept denying it
for a long time, not because it was something I didn't want to believe,
but because it really seemed contrary to what I expected.

As I said, it needn't be a problem for committees & meetings, where
preliminary balloting is easily feasible, and so there's no need for
a 0-info election.

But the demnstration poll is an example of when a preliminary balloting
isn't so feasible. It's difficult enough to get people to vote once,
much less twice in the same poll.

That, by the way, also argues against Tom's suggestion to use
a runoff with Approval in the demonstation poll.

By the way, if we agree that it's more democratic not to exclude anyone
from the runoff, then Approval with Runoff just becomes Approval with
a preliminary balloting by Approval. Since the balloting is of everyone
who is voting, it can be assumed to be a very reliable prediction of
how the alternatives will do.

So what strategy do we use for Approval in the demonstration poll?

Certainly there's a good mathematical 0-info strategy, for very few
voters, in Approval. We just don't have it yet. Bart has suggested
that a good Approval strategy is to just guess which set of candidates
is the best to vote for. I don't like that, it seems to me much more
of a wild guess than estimating our sincere ratings (and relevant
probabilities if we have probability info). But it looks as if we're
stuck with that guessing strategy right now, for very few voters and
0-info. But if we say to just guess which set of voters are the best
to vote for, that doesn't get me anywhere--I don't know about you.
The way I'd put it is: Guess which alternative(s) you most likely need
as a lesser-evil compromise to keep something worse from winning.

When we don't yet know how (with few voters) to use 0-info, which is
the best assessment of what we have, we have to use very-questionable-
guess-info, to vote an Approval ballot in the demonstration poll.

I don't suggest that Approval be left out of the demonstration poll.
Using it will demonstrate how we feel about the reliability & results
of out questionable-guess-info strategy.

Mike Ossipoff

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