[EM] Moral basis for "Approval"

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Mon Sep 19 11:45:47 PDT 2005

On Mon, 19 Sep 2005 00:08:20 -0400 Abd ulRahman Lomax wrote:

 > At 02:07 AM 9/18/2005, Rob Lanphier wrote:
 >> For voters, "approving" a candidate is cheap, and in the context of an
 >> election, has little to do with any sort of absolute
 >> approval/disapproval of the candidate, and much more to do with
 >> increasing/decreasing the relative strength of that candidate to the
 >> rest of the field.  In other words, Approval asks voters to assign an
 >> absolute property when the question is all relative.
 > Approval is not an absolute property, but a relative one. I don't have a
 > clue where Mr. Lanphier got the idea that approving a candidate is
 > assigning an absolute property.
 > If there are two candidates in an election, and I vote for one of them,
 > I have assigned no absolute value to either candidate. The winner might
 > be lousy, the loser might be a genius and a saint. But not both at the
 > same time....
 > Voting is expressing relative preference, in plurality and Condorcet,
 > and relative acceptability, in Approval.
 > If there are three candidates in an election, and I vote for two, again,
 > I have assigned no absolute value to any candidate, but have only acted
 > to effect my preference: I prefer the election of either of the two I
 > voted for over the election of the third.
 > I think that some critics of Approval are grasping at straws. But I
 > commend the effort. Even defective arguments are valuable, for we will
 > meet all of them again.

I see Abd as grasping at straws:

If I see a diamond I can approve, as being as acceptable as I can say.

If I see a rotten lemon I can disapprove, as being as rejectable as I can say.

If I see average humans I cannot express relative preference, to say less
acceptable than the diamond while less rejectable than the lemon.

      All I can do for or against each of them is to lump them as equally

acceptable with the diamond, or equally rejectable with the lemon.

Looking closer, seems like Abd is commenting on some property other than
the relative strength involved in Approval.

My complaint about Approval is inability to assign a relative strength to
the humans I describe above.


   davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
   Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
             Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                   If you want peace, work for justice.

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