# [EM] One man, one vote and Approval: Pragmatic Approach

Rob LeGrand honky1998 at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 27 18:38:05 PDT 2002

```Craig Carey wrote:
> EXAMPLE showing Approval will get rejected by voters (if politicians
> pass it):
>
>    1. Suppose that there are 45 candidates.
>    2. The number of seats to be filled equals 3. (3 winners).
>    3. Suppose that the latest poll data indicates that 14-20 of the
>        candidates running a close contest.

I have never seen Approval recommended for multiwinner elections; I advocate
Approval only for single-winner elections.  Contrary to popular intuition, the
number of seats to fill should have nothing to do with the allowed number of
votes per voter.  In fact, rather ironically, when considering election
methods that allow at most one vote per candidate per voter (like FPTP,
Approval and everything in between), allowing multiple votes per voter (i.e.,
Approval) is best in the single-winner case and allowing only one vote per
voter (i.e., SNTV) is best in the multiwinner case.  Unfortunately, common
intuition leads to the reverse (i.e., using FPTP for single-winner elections
and "vote for up to n" for n-winner elections).

> What is the person that wants to put 2 marks on their ballot paper
> going to think when considering that some of the other voters will
> be using at least 15 marks.

Each person has the same available options and thus identical power.  It may
be smart for a given voter to vote for only two candidates, but deciding
beforehand to vote for only two is rather silly.  Each voter is responsible
for estimating his utility for each possible vote and choosing the best one,
whether that means voting for one, two, four or all but one.  A ballot with
votes for 15 candidates is not necessarily more powerful than one with votes
for only two.

> Mr Rob LeGrand has a 5 check box example of an Approval ballot
> paper:
>
> -----------------------------------
>
>           Approval ballot
>
> Directions:  Vote for one or more.
>
>   [ ] Harry Browne (Libertarian)
>   [ ] Pat Buchanan (Reform)
>   [ ] George W. Bush (Republican)
>   [ ] Al Gore (Democrat)
>   [ ] Ralph Nader (Green)
>
> -----------------------------------

I'd like to change those directions to allow voting for none, to allow for the
possibility that 50% approval is needed for a candidate to win.  Does anyone
know of a succinct way to revise that?  Does "vote for any number" sound good?

=====
Rob LeGrand
robl at aggies.org
http://www.aggies.org/robl/
for Texas State Representative, District 50

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