[EM] Who says you can't vote a candidate at 2 rank positions.

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 16 19:38:40 PDT 2005

In discussions about what could spoil a rank ballot, there's sometimes 
agreement that the one way to spoil a rank ballot would be to rank a 
candidate at more than one rank position.

Sure, it doesn't make sense to say that you like Smith more than Smith. Or 
that you like Smith more than Jones, and Jones more than Smith.

But who says your ballot has to make sense? Why should law require that? 
Shouldn't you be allowed to vote Smith against Smith if you want to, thereby 
adding to Smith's votes against, provided that you don't do it more than 
once? Shouldn't you be allowed to give Smith a vote against from Jones, and 
Jones a vote against from Smith thereby increasing their votes against, 
provided that you don't do it more than once? Of course it would violate the 
principle of MMPO if you voted more than one vote between two candidates.

Obviously that could be done accidentally, or it could be done with 
strategic purpose.

Say that MMPO is being used without the power truncation option. Vote all of 
the unacceptabale candidates in last place, and also in 2nd to last place, 
to vote all of them over eachother. Why shouldn't you be able to (once) cast 
any pairwise vote you want to, even if you contradict yourself?

Power truncation is justified because it makes MMPO as good as Approval. 
It's also justified because what it gives is attainable by ranking, provided 
that we don't say that you can't contradict yourself in your ranking.

Of course it's better to have power truncation, so as not to need to rank 
all the acceptables, in last place and 2nd to last place.

By the way, someone could argue that _effectively_, though not by 
definition, you're falsifying a preference when you use power truncation, 
because you're casting an automatic vote for Bush over Howard Dean (and for 
Dean over Bush).

But, by the definitions of voting one candidate over another, that isn't so.

But that isn't just a loophole. With power truncation you are meaningfully 
freed of the need to bother falsifying preferences among the unpreferred 

Mike Ossipoff

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