[EM] Could CR-style ballots help ballot measures pass?

Moe St. EverGreen evergreen at lovemail.com
Wed Sep 26 18:20:11 PDT 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Blake Cretney" <bcretney at postmark.net>

> We often seem to assume that a voter's chief problem with a system is
> number of options in their heads.  That would leave plurality, limited
> voting (one vote), and party list (including some open list variants)
> as possible methods.  Of course, more difficult methods could still be
> used in legislatures and private organizations.

Why not a CR-style ballot with
Strongly Favor to Strongly Oppose
on a 3 or more (always odd) point scale of favor and oppose?

All candidates without a vote get the middle vote (no opinion).

This is the method using in many polling scenarios.

The only difference could be, when there are too many candidates
to list on the ballot, to allow a person to choose which persons they
want to list.

I.e. each line could consist of : for a non-electronic ballot, they could write in a name, for an electronic they could choose from
a list, and then the
rest of that ballot line would be a selection on the scale of favor to oppose,
and they could enter as many ballot lines as candidates (or as allowed.. one
could allow a limit, like 10 max for a large number of candidates) or as few
as none.

The actual mechanics of deciding the winner of the vote could then
be determined in a number of ways... Several suggestions have been
made here for how to implement various CW like methods using CR style
votes which could be used for this.

Even if something similar to plain CR was used for the decision,
it might be no worse than approval, with the possible advantage of
satisfying both those that do not like something too complex and those
who want something more than approval.

As for strategy problems, I think arguments about strategy seem lost
on the general public, and are likely not the reason for why a voting
method succeeds or fails... see the success in other areas of IRV and
also the actual reasons for its failures which do not seem to be clearly
related to its strategy problems.

- Moe.

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