What are we all about?

Joe Weinstein jweins123 at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 24 13:16:22 PDT 2002

James Gilmour writes:  "If I've got it right, Approval Voting breaks the 
first and most fundamental rule of democratic representation: "one person, 
one vote".

JAMES, you've got it WRONG - or at any rate USELESS.

If the rule is construed narrowly to mean just one mark allowed on a marked 
ballot, there are very few voting systems that would qualify.  In fact maybe 
none apart from the existing lone-mark plurality.  (Certainly not IRV, for 

Rather, in any reasonable interpretation, the rule MEANS 'one person, one 
ballot' (of equal inherent power to each other cast ballot).

However, if you INSIST on the narrow interpretation, then Approval voting is 
still meaningful, as a short-hand way of voting on each of a list of 
propositions.  Namely, look at each race for an office as a list of the 

Is candidate A acceptable? (In response you get one vote opportunity: 
"yes"=check, or "no"=blank).
Is candidate B acceptable? (again you get one vote opportunity).
Is candidate C acceptable?

So long as at least one candidate IS acceptable to 50% or more of the 
voters, so that one or more of the propositions pass, the passed 
propositions will result in the office going to the candidate with the 
highest number of yes votes, i.e. the Approval winner.

Various (though not all) on this list have argued that if there is no such 
candidate, then the office may as well remain unfilled (even by the Approval 
winner), or be filled by a legislative body, or by a re-election.

Joe Weinstein
Long Beach CA USA

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