# [EM] 12/30/02 - Alex, Irving still holds the Trump Card:

Donald E Davison donald at mich.com
Sun Dec 29 23:56:09 PST 2002

```12/30/02 - Alex, Irving still holds the Trump Card:

Dear Alex Small,

On Mon, 23 Dec 2002 I wrote:
> Approval Voting is just fine for any meaningless election, but as the
> election becomes more political we will find more voters bullet voting
> and therein lies the trump card that Irving holds over Approval Voting.
> While there is no danger for the voter to make choices in an Irving
> election, but if most of the voters do bullet vote, Irving can survive
> and still function as Irving, but Approval cannot function as Approval
> when faced with bullet voting by most of the public, it will turn into a
> variant of Irving (poetic justice).

To which you commented: "Um, if enough people bullet vote, the election is
de facto plurality."

Donald here:  No, you are in error, if some voters still make lower
choices, then the election becomes an Irving election.  You fail to see the
mathematices of what I said.  I said `if most of the voters do bullet
vote'.  I did not say all voters would bullet vote.  There is an important
difference that changes everything.  An Approval election only becomes
Plurality if all the voters bullet vote.  You are reading into the letters
of others what you want to read and believe.

Small: "Are you saying that because IRV and Approval can both suffer the
same malfunction in practice that IRV somehow has a trump card over
Approval?"

Donald:  Irving has a trump card over Approval because it will not suffer
the same effects of bullet voting by most voters that Approval will suffer
due to bullet voting by most voters.

In an Approval election there is no reason for the supporters of the two
leading candidates to make any lower choices, but suppose ten percent do
make lower choices.  In an Approval election it is to the advantage of the
supporters of the lessor candidates to make lower choices, that is, if they
wish to have any say as to which of the two leading candidates is to win
the election.  So, let's suppose fifty percent of the supporters of the
lessor candidates make lower choices.

Now, let's see what we now have.  The lower choices made by ten percent of
the supporters of the two leading candidates are not enough to help any of
the lessor candidates win the election.  But, the lower choices made by the
supporters of the lessor candidates can be enough to decide the election
between the two leading candidates.  This result is the same as if the
lessor candidates were eliminated and their votes transferred to the next
choices.  You should be able to realize that this ending to the election is
the same ending as an Irving election and that the Approval election has
turned into a variant of Irving.

Small: "I'd think both degenerate to plurality if too few voters use the
option to support multiple candidates (be it through listing lower choices
or approving multiple candidates)."

Donald:  This is wishful thinking on your part.  You know Approval will
fail under bullet voting by most and you want Irving to also fail under the
same conditions.  It's not going to happen, Irving can survive bullet
voting by many or by most or by all the voters.  Irving will not
degenerate, while Approval will degenerate.  Irving has far more endurance
than Approval Voting.

Small: "That's like saying that if two race horses with broken legs are
unable to run then one holds a trump card over the other."

Donald:  The legs of the Approval horse can be broken by the voters, but
the voters cannot break the legs of the Irving horse.  No matter how many
voters refuse to make lower choices in an Irving election the method can
still function and finish the race.  If you cannot see that Irving is
holding a trump card over Approval, then there is something lacking in your
understanding of election methods, but you are not alone in that respect on

Irving still holds the Trump Card.

Donald Davison,

Post Script:  Thanks for the No vote.  This is the third or fourth time
that Mikeo has tried to have me recalled.  Looks like I dodged the `bullet
vote' again (pun intended).

On Christmas Eve night, Marley's ghost visited me and said that I shouldn't
be rude to Mikeo.

I'm not afraid of Marley's ghost, but those other two guys scare me.

Regards,
Donald Davison, host of New Democracy at http://www.mich.com/~donald
Candidate Election Methods
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|                        Q U O T A T I O N                          |
|  "Democracy is a beautiful thing,                                 |
|        except that part about letting just any old yokel vote."   |
|                           - Age 10 -                              |
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