[EM] CR style ballots for Ranked Preferences

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Fri Sep 14 14:36:38 PDT 2001

On Tue, 11 Sep 2001, Dave Ketchum wrote in part:
> Ok, approval voting is a possibility, though I HOPE for better - I see
> most voters wanting to list their first choice up front, and have this
> affect who wins ...

Five Slot Approval has all of the nice properties of standard Approval
(since it is standard Approval instrumentally) and still allows the voters
to express their first choice above their compromise, apparently a very
strong psychological need.

For new readers, FSA allows all voters to grade all candidates on a scale
of zero to four (F to A, respectively). The candidate with the most
passing grades (C and above) wins.

For those that prefer preference ballots to five slot ballots the Approval
instrumentality and preference expressivity can be combined by introducing
a fictitious candidate (MAC for minimum acceptable candidate, or NOTB for
none of the below) that marks the Approval cutoff.  The candidate who
beats the fictitious candidate by the greatest margin is the Approval
winner. If no candidate beats the fictitious candidate, then either nobody
wins (Demorep's rule) or else the candidate that loses to the fictitious
candidate by the least margin is the winner. 

But if you are going to all of the trouble of preference ballots, you
might as well take the Condorcet winner if there is one, and the Approval
winner otherwise (with beating the fictitious candidate required in
Demorep's version).

A related use of the five slot ballot that is more appealing to Condorcet
supporters than simple FSA is to declare as winner the "beats all
candidate" if there is one, otherwise the candidate with most passing

A "beats all candidate" is one who beats every other candidate pairwise.
It's the closest thing to a Condorcet winner discernible by grading.

As near as I know the methods discussed above are the most practical
expressive methods that satisfy the FBC.

In my opinion the expressive advantage of these methods compared to
ordinary Approval is merely a psychological advantage, but psychology
counts in politics.


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