[EM] CR style ballots for Ranked Preferences

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Tue Sep 25 14:50:28 PDT 2001

On Tue, 25 Sep 2001, Bart Ingles wrote in part:

> My personal favorite is approval voting -- the "real" approval voting as
> widely known in the scientific community, not the "dyadic" or other
> variants proposed on this list.  In fact, since you keep coming back to
> simplicity and ease of use, I wonder if you aren't confusing the two. 
> Approval voting is just about as simple as you can get.  It's
> essentially the same as Plurality, except that the rule "vote for one"
> is changed to "vote for one or more" -- no ranking, and none of that
> ">>>" stuff.
> Because of the potential for confusion, I actually object to using
> "approval" as part of the name of methods other than approval voting.

I should have named it Dyadic Pass/Fail.  Perhaps it's not too late to
change the name.  Of course, I have no control over Martin Harper's
nomenclature.  He showed that Universal Approval is a genuine common
generalization of Approval and Condorcet.  Perhaps he would consider
changing the name to Universal Condorcet :-)

I suspect that he chose UA because he likes Approval better than

The dyadic ballots are indeed iterated relative approval ballots; the
question that you must answer repeatedly when filling out a dyadic ballot
is, "Of the candidates in this subset, which would you approve if they
were the only candidates in the race?"  I think that's why Martin and I
both felt that "approval" fit naturally into the names of our methods
based on dyadic ballots.

Furthermore, dyadic ballots are the natural ballot type for simulating
Approval Runoff, or should we call it Pass/Fail runoff.

I don't see how these names detract from the prestige of standard

On the contrary, they set Approval up on a pedestal as the standard worthy
of generalization, the state of the art to try and beat, etc. They bring
needed attention to under publicized Approval.

When I named "Dyadic Approval" I did so out of admiration of Approval,
having taken it as my main source of inspiration, with Condorcet as

In mathematics we don't have a tradition of copyrighting the names of
mathematical objects, so the inventors feel free to use any name that
seems suitable. (Hence, "imaginary" and "irrational" numbers, as well as
"improper" sets and fractions.)

Since election methods are on the borderline of math and political
science, perhaps we should be more cautious.

I welcome suggestions for improved terminology.

All in Peace,


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