[EM] Demonstration that Approval doesn't pass our CC

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 28 03:40:25 PST 2004


Bill Lewis Clark wrote:

>CC doesn't say anything about requiring "fully specified" preferences.

I skipped over this part (because I figured I already knew what a "sincere
vote" was, but apparently not:)

[ From http://www.electionmethods.org/evaluation.htm ]

>A sincere vote is one with no falsified preferences or preferences
>left unspecified when the election method allows them to be specified
>(in addition to the preferences already specified).

In any event, Approval still satisfies this constraint.  According to this
definition, it's only possible to vote insincerely under Approval if:

1) Only one candidate is preferred (and all others equally disdained), but
not approved.

I reply:

Doesn't that mean that you don't vote at all?

You continued:

2) All candidates are equally preferred except for one, but that single
candidate is approved.

I reply:

That's a falsification, but falsification doesn't require that scenario.

You can vote insincerely in Approval by falsifying a preference. You prefer 
Smith to Jones, and you mark Jones but not Smith. Or you're indifferent 
between Smith & Jones, but you mark only one of them.

You continued:

Otherwise, Approval escapes the clause because any preferences it leaves
unspecified aren't allowed to be specified by the election method.

It still looks like Approval satisfies CC, under the same sort of
interpretation given for MC.  (At least as these two criteria are depicted

I reply:

Depicted where?

I hope that our definitions are complete enough to not leave lots of room 
for interpretation.
If one or more definitions are missing, I'll argue for putting them up.

In Approval, if you vote only for your favorite, that's a sincere ballot, 
because it doesn't falsify a preference--you really do prefer your favorite 
to all the others over whom you're voting your favorite. And if you voted 
for your 2nd choice, you'd no longer be able to vote your preference for 1st 
choice over 2nd choice. So, by my definition of sincere voting, bullet 
voting is sincere in Approval, beause the balloting system in use doesn't 
let you vote your preference for 2nd choice over the lower choices in 
addition to the preference for 1st choice over 2nd choice.

(But I'm not saying that bullet-voting is the only sincere way to vote in 

Now say the CW isn't your 1st choice. You can vote sincerely without giving 
a vote to the CW.

So here's an example of Approval failing our CC. It's my standard 
3-candidate example:

Sincere preferences:

40: ABC
25: BAC
35: CBA

B is the CW.

A possible set of sincere Approval ballots:

40: A
25: B
35: C

The premise of our CC is complied with: There's a CW, and everyone is voting 
sincerely. But the CW doesn't win. So the requirement isn' t met.

Approval doesn't pass our CC.

But yes, it would pass Blake's CC if he didn't stipulate that his CC only 
applies to rank methods.

IRVists: Please note that I said that that example's voting is sincere, but 
that I didn't say that it's going to happen in our public elections. The 
Nader preferrers who now feel a need to vote for the Democrat will still 
feel that need in Approval, but then they'll be able to vote for Democrat & 

On the other hand, maybe there's sometihing to what the CVD people say: If 
Nader outpolled the Republican, then next time the Nader preferrers should 
and hopefully would refuse to vote for the Democrat.

Let me know if there's anything else unclear about the website. I'm 
especially interested in comments about definitions that should be added, or 
whose meaning isn't clear, so that I can relay such comments to the owner of 
the website.

Mike Ossipoff

Rethink your business approach for the new year with the helpful tips here. 

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