[EM] Vote Management

Alex Small asmall at physics.ucsb.edu
Thu Apr 10 16:11:16 PDT 2003

It seems that this phenomenon of figuring out how many candidates to run
is a common feature of PR systems that focus on candidates rather than
parties.  Cumulative Voting, Limited Voting, and STV all come to mind off
the top of my head.

Party list systems, even open-list systems, suffer from no such defect.

I've never taken the time to wrap my brain around Proportional Approval
Voting, so I don't know how it fares in that regard.  My hunch is that,
since members of a party can treat all of the party's candidates equally
on their ballot, such a problem does not commonly occur, but that is just
a hunch.

Can anybody think of other PR methods that don't force parties to either
limit the size of their tickets, or persuade their voters to distribute
their votes among candidates in a particular manner?

I realize that some people aren't big fans of PR based on parties. 
Certainly, it's ideal if voters decide for themselves which groups of
candidates best represent their interests, rather than adhering to labels
designated by politicians.  However, the concept of a party is useful for
analyzing PR systems.  Even if candidates run without a formal partisan
label, a group of voters with a common interest (e.g. environmental
issues, gun rights, ethnic matters, etc.) might strategize among
themselves to maximize the number of winning candidates who support their
cause.  The word "party" then denotes any group of people with common
interests, not just the formal parties found in list PR systems.

Anyway, I'm curious if anybody can name other systems with few "vote
management" issues.


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