[EM] Donald's Approval strategy

Rob LeGrand honky1998 at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 30 16:27:47 PST 2002

Donald wrote:
> The people on this list can vote anyway they want to in an Approval Voting
> election, that is not important.  What is important is the way the public
> should vote and that is as follows:
>   The supporters of the two largest factions should only cast one vote each.
> Doing this insures the winner will be one of the top two candidates.  As I
> have said before, the voters of the top two candidates are not interested
> in electing the third place Nader.  Bullet voting is the best defense
> against Approval Voting.  (I keep expecting that some day the Approval
> crowd will insist on a rule in which all voters must cast n-1 votes.
> That's the only way Approval Voting will ever be able to con the public.)

Donald's imagined Approval strategy can backfire badly for the two largest
factions.  Consider


According to Donald, neither the Reagan nor the Carter voters should approve
Anderson.  But if they don't, one of them will be very sorry.  If the Anderson
voters approve only Anderson, Reagan will win and the Carter voters will wish
they had approved Anderson.  If the Anderson voters approve Anderson and
Carter, Carter will win and the Reagan voters will wish they had approved
Anderson.  The only stable Approval outcome for the above voters is


Anderson, the Condorcet winner, wins, and no voter has reason to regret his
vote.  Donald should remember that each voter should be expected to vote in his
best interest.  If the two largest factions agree to approve only their
favorites, they simply allow the Anderson supporters to play kingmaker.  One of
the two largest factions will regret it.

Forest mentioned my favorite Approval strategy:  Approve every candidate you
prefer to the current frontrunner; approve the current frontrunner if you
prefer him to the current second-placer.  What are some other good strategies? 
How would you decide to vote in Approval given the current projected ranking of
candidates and your own preferences?

Rob LeGrand
honky98 at aggies.org

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