[EM] Approval discourages issues?

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 20 02:49:23 PST 2004

James cooper said:

The most compelling argument against Approval voting from the Science
mag article is the idea that it will result in non-substantive
campaigns where candidates try to come across as totally inoffensive
in order to gain approval from as many voters as possible.

I reply:

You mean as Kerry tried to do?

Kerry did that in Plurality. Kerry would do that in IRV. Kerry do that in 
Approval or Condorcet.

The solution? Don't vote for someone dishonest. An honest candidate won't 
try that. Do you really want to vote for a sleaze?

With any method, dishonest candidates will be trying to position themselves 
as voter-median candidates. If people believe them, that will help them in 
Approval and Coindorcet. If the voters are idiots, no voting system can help 
us. Candidates & their trainers are experts in taking advantage of the 
gullible. They won't quit trying because of a new voting system.

In Approval, the millions of progressives who always give it away to the 
Democrat will, for the first time, fully vote for their favorite, whose 
support will then be known. If they vote for Kerry, in the 1st Approval 
election, it will be because they think no one honest can win. Then, when 
Nader/Camejo outpolls the Republican, the progressives will know that they 
no longer need to vote for Democrats.

Till we have a better voting system, the lesser-of-2-evils problem will 
remain. But only if you believe everlything you hear on the networks or NPR. 
Don't let anyone tell you that no honest candidate can win, or that we have 
to support someone dishonest. That should sound a bit fishy to you. There's 
nothing pragmatic about voting for sleaze,

You know what's funny? People were saying that Kerry should have better 
policies, more exciting, more progressive, to be more winnable, to inspire 
people to vote. And these policies that Kerry should have, to be more 
winnable, turn out to be remarkably like those of Ralph Nader and Peter 

And yet we're told that Nader isn't viable--but Kerry could win if he'd 
offer Nader's policies.

Polls show that, overall, what the public want coincides very closely with 
what Nader offers. And that Kerry's policies tend to be contrary to what the 
public want. That's why he's so vague, so noncommittal. That's why he 
flip-flops so much. Something-for-everyone has got to contradict himself  
sometimes. That's why only 28% of his mailings even mentioned issues. Would 
you talk about issues if you wanted votes from people who don't like what 
you intend to do? Bush criticized him for flip-flopping. Be understanding: 
When you're going to do things that people don't want, and don't want to 
admit it, and you want their votes anyway, you have to be agile.

So yes, James C., there are candidates like that. But you don't have to vote 
for them, now or with Approval.

Are you really  so demoralized and so resigned that you'd perceive someone 
like John Kerry as your hope? I was going to put a "smiley", but decided 
that it isn't funny.

The media, including TV & NPR, decide who will be winnable, who's viable, 
who's fringe, who's mainstream.  Then you faithfully follow them. And even 
if you know that there's  deception, you follow the people who are following 
the media, like cattle following eachother into a slaughterhouse. Nowhere 
does the herd insinct show more than in voting behavior.

You know that, for whatever reason, Nader can't win. And that for whatever 
reason that's the reality. But if a "realitly" had its origin in the media, 
maybe you should disregard it.

MIke Ossipoff

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