[EM] favorite betrayal and 2-party domination

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Thu Sep 8 12:14:56 PDT 2005

At 10:58 AM 9/8/2005, Juho Laatu wrote:
>In range voting the Approval style strategy of giving
>full points both to the favourite small party candidate (A) and the
>best big party candidate (B) could move us towards 2-party domination.

It is interesting that this claim is made, not only by Mr. Laatu, but 
also by Mr. Smith with respect to ordinary Approval.

I see no reason to anticipate that. The net effect, compared to the 
present system, of Approval-style voting would seem to be to *equate* 
small parties with large ones, because at present there is a great 
deal of nose-holding least-of-two-evils voting. Approval will not 
remove the need for that kind of consideration, *but* the additional 
votes for third party candidates are *full* votes. In Range, there is 
a dilemma: either weaken the vote which is likely to be effective, or 
weaken the vote of the favorite not likely to win.

That full points are given to the small party candidate is, I think, 
a pressure in the opposite direction from 2-party domination.

It has been claimed that Range Voting shows more support for 
third-party candidates, based on the results of a poll conducted by 
Mr. Smith. However "more support" in this case means that some third 
party candidates were rated with a grade that would flunk them in 
just about any class, but because it was greater numerically than the 
vote percentage that they got under Plurality or Approval, it was 
considered "greater support."

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