[EM] RE: percentage support

Simmons, Forest simmonfo at up.edu
Tue May 3 15:35:05 PDT 2005

Sometimes when a concept is presented fuzzily it stimulates more creative thought than when it is set forth more definitively.
This percentage support idea reminds me of an observation made by Martin Harper a few years back.  
If you list the candidates in order of approval, and then assign each ballot go to the highest candidate on the list that is approved on that ballot, then the approval winner will always end up with the greatest number of ballots.
Martin used this device to show (somewhat facetiously)  that Approval (like IRV) could be presented as a vote transfer scheme that satisfies "one person, one vote" as well as IRV does. 
[IRV has a little genii that shuttles votes around,etc.]
But the same device could be used to express percentage support for candidates in an approval election.

The percentage of the ballots assigned to a candidate is that candidate's percentage of support.
Now let's take this idea a little further:
If these percentages were used as weights to determine new approval cutoffs, in general we would expect to get new percentages of support.  But there might exist "equilibrium support percentages" that wouldn't change under this process.
If so, these support percentages might deserve special mention.
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