[EM] Re: Condorcet's strategy problem

Abd ulRahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sat Sep 17 13:40:13 PDT 2005

At 12:43 AM 9/16/2005, Rob Lanphier wrote:
>It's a matter of degrees.  Under Approval, the voter is saying that both
>Kerry and Nader are equally acceptable.  For that matter, they may even
>have to say McCain or Giuliani is just as acceptable if it means beating

Something like this is often said. It is not accurate.

First of all, when I want to say something, I used words and 
language. And I think I'm typical in that respect. Voting is only 
metaphorically saying something. Rather, to be exact, voting is an 
action, a movement in the world that has effects. The meaning of the 
action is the intended effect. A semantic difference, but it can be 
surprising how important semantics can be.

In Approval, if we want to attribute a "statement" to the vote, a 
vote for a candidate is saying that the election of that candidate is 
approved, in comparison to other choices present. If more than one 
are approved, there is *no* statement made about their relative merits.

The clear statement is that any one of the set of approved candidates 
is preferable to the voter than any one of the set of the remaining 
candidates. I'd think that is pretty simple, and there is nothing at 
all "insincere" about it. It is not "Favorite Betrayal." The Favorite 
is included in the set.

I have argued that, if it is practically possible, an option should 
be included on the ballot to indicate Favorite. However, this would 
not be Range Voting, for the option would not be used to determine 
the winner (unless there was an approval tie). Rather, it's normal 
effect would be to politically inform and to determine, if 
applicable, some kinds of funding.

If it turns out that, due to political miscalculation, the true 
preference of a majority of voters, who would have clearly won if not 
for Approval voting, loses to another candidate because people 
thought this other candidate was a frontrunner when it was actually 
the majority favorite, then, because of this ballot option, we would 
know. It would not be guesswork. It would not be based on unreliable polling.

This outcome is not likely in the near future, but if Approval or 
other changes in the political scene produce a more healthy 
multiplicity of parties, it becomes much more possible.

And then (or perhaps as we see this approaching) we could proceed 
with further reform. As I've stated before, there are better methods; 
but when I have described one of them, it has happened that my posts 
have been rejected as not being relevant to "Condorcet." We'll see if 
this one gets through.....

The relevance here is that, in my understanding, Approval is being 
considered as one of the options to be presented for possible implementation.

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