[EM] A problem, but not a problem for voters?

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 7 21:36:54 PDT 2005


You said:

but not all voting method problems are strategy problems. (IMHO).

I reply:

Sure, anyone can have a problem with anything. Someone can have a problem 
with your polka-dot tie.

But it's about the voters...remember them? An aesthetic problem for some 
post-election critic isn't quite the same as a problem for voters, something 
that gives voters a problem about how to vote.

Perhaps it's easy to not appreciate the amount by which lesser-of-2-evils 
giveaway voting, when voters need to indicate preferences opposite to their 
actual preferences, makes a joke of democracy.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't look at post-election aesthetics, but I 
suggest that you keep it in perspective.

One way to compare those two kinds of problems is: One jeopardizes the 
continued use of the method. The other makes garbage of the method's 
results. I mean real garbage, the kind that results from reversed 
preferences, not just something that looks funny to someone after the 

Don't computer programmers have a term GIGO, "Garbage in, garbage out"? 
Might that not apply to voting systems,  when they receive garbage for 
input? Then might it not be better to use voting systems that don't force 
voters to input garbage?

That's why failulre of the Plurality Criterion doesn't begin to compare in 
importance to failure of FBC.

Mike Ossipoff

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