[EM] Re: Vote trading: Repub vote for Lib, & Dem vote for Nader

Rob Brown rob at karmatics.com
Wed Aug 4 10:30:41 PDT 2004

MIKE OSSIPOFF <nkklrp <at> hotmail.com> writes:
> There's a website that describes an interesting solution to the 
> lesser-of-2-evils problem, a solution that works even with Plurality:
> Say you prefer Nader, but you're going to vote Democrat, in the belief that 
> that's the only way to keep the Republican from winning. And say that 
> there's someone who prefers the Libertarian, but is going to vote 
> Republican, in the belief that that's the only way to keep the Democrat from 
> winning.
> Yes, you're way ahead of me: You and s/he agree that you will both vote 
> sincerely: You'll vote for Nader, and s/he'll vote for the Libertarian.

This doesn't seem to accomplish anything in terms of correcting the problems 
of vote splitting.

If the number of people who prefer libertarian but could choose to vote 
republican out of strategy is about equal to the number of people who prefer 
Nader but could choose to vote democrat....then there isn't really a problem 
in the first place.  The two things already cancel out, the votebuddy thing 
does nothing to help.

But in reality, the numbers are nowhere near equal, and this system will not 
do anything to address that.  Statistically, this system should have zero 
effect on the election, even if millions used it (and did so honestly).  If 
all it is used for is to ease people's minds, I am having a hard time seeing 
the point.


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