[EM] 03/30/02 - Re: How to vote in Approval:

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sun Mar 31 16:06:49 PST 2002

On Sat, 30 Mar 2002 05:27:56 -0500 Donald Davison wrote:

> 03/30/02 - Re: How to vote in Approval:
> Dave wrote:
> "I like Condorcet because I CAN say the two things I care most about:
> Approve of the candidate I MOST like.
> Get in on deciding between the candidates most likely to win."
> Dear Dave, Donald here,
> I like IRVing because I CAN say the two things I care most about:
> Approve of the candidate I MOST like.
> Get in on deciding between the candidates most likely to win."
> Plus, with IRVing, my lower choices will not be helping some other
> candidate while my first choice is still a contender.

And THAT LAST is why I prefer Condorcet.  Given more than two candidates 
competing, I can RELY on Condorcet seeing my choice between the most 
likely candidates EVEN if my first choice is enough of a contender that 
IRV will never see my second choice.

> Mike wrote:
> But 3 different Australians have told me that it's common for
> preferrers of 3rd parties to insincerely rank one of the big-2 in
> 1st place, so as not to "waste [their] vote".
> Donald: I don't believe this.  Either those three Australians are telling
> you what you want to hear, if in fact they really did tell you that, or you
> are only hearing what you want to hear.  You are either fooling yourself or
> are being fooled.
> In any IRVing election it is stupid "...for preferrers of 3rd parties to
> insincerely rank one of the big-2 in 1st place..."  To do so will reduce
> the election down to a Plurality election.  I would say that you are trying
> to pass as much misinformation about IRVing as possible so you can promote
> Approval Voting, the Trojan horse, the actual sick horse of election
> methods.
> Back to Dave, take everythig that Mike writes with a grain of salt.  To
> understand Mike you must know what his agenda is, which is, he wants an
> election method that will put his third party candidate on the fast track
> to the winner's circle, by hook or by crook. IRVing will not do this for
> him.  In IRVing the winner must have the votes in the end, but Approval
> Voting is able to do this little trick of deception.

Your bit about having the votes is shaky - this can fail with IRV if the 
counting gets confused by IRV not looking at the whole ballots.

> A conclusive majority of the public is not interested in electing the third
> candidate, but if only half of them make the mistake of foolishly giving a
> second vote to a third candidate in an Approval election, then it is
> possible for that candidate to win.  This is the deception of Approval
> Voting and this is what Mike and his cohorts are counting on.  Give the
> public more votes and then maybe the third candidate will get enough to
> win.  Giving the public more votes is like giving them more rope to hang
> themselves.

I have nothing nice to say about Approval, noting that no one seems able 
to give me useful guidelines as to how well I should have to like a 
candidate to say "approve".

In Condorcet, and even normally in IRV, I list candidates first because I 
would be pleased if they won, and last to discourage their winning.

I do not buy "conclusive majority" as something that could be depended on 
once you leave the Plurality world (a world that discourages third parties 
getting the votes the voters might desire to give them).

> 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.)

What I read from that is such a strong dislike of Approval that you would 
encourage voters to waste all the effort and do Plurality with Approval 
machinery (or negative Plurality in which the fewest negative votes wins).

> If the third parties also bullet vote, then the election is reduced down to
> Plurality - the more things change the more they remain the same.  So,
> third party voters should cast more than one vote.  If so, then the
> Approval Voting election is now reduced to a form of IRVing.  All roads
> lead to Rome and all single seat method lead to IRVing.

Assuming, back in the 19th century, that the Republicans are approaching 
major party strength, how would I decide which is the appropriate strategy?

DO NOT see this as approaching IRV - IRV never looks at whole ballots.

> Best to start with IRVing and not with Approval nor Borda nor Condorcet.

What I have read of Borda is complexity without resulting benefit.

IRV is going to get its deserved bad name when a CLEARLY best liked 
candidate fails to get credit for a deserved win.

> Regards,
>    Donald Davison, host of New Democracy at http://www.mich.com/~donald

  davek at clarityconnect.com    http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
   Dave Ketchum    108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708    607-687-5026
              Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                    If you want peace, work for justice.

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