[EM] Addendum to approval voting

Antonio Oneala watermark0n at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 28 18:58:03 PDT 2006

There could be an option on the ballot, that a voter may or may not mark, to choos one of the candidates a "favorite".  Those with "favorite" vote would then be empowered to unrank any of the candidates that the person had ranked.  The obvious situation in which this would work is when believe that you may be hurting your favorite by ranking one of the other candidates; therefore, if your vote caused them to lose, they can unrank the votes that caused them to lose and win.  

This almost makes approval satisfy the majority criterion (anyone with a majority of first place votes can withdraw enough votes from other candidates who may be approval winners to become the winner), it doesn't fully, however, because we don't know how many people won't trust candidates enough to mark favorites.  This situation will probably be rare.  It also brings it far closer to satisfying later-no-harm, as the burying strategies that exist under approval (by not ranking candidates) will be reduced because the voter will be assured that if their equal rankings hurt their favorite candidate, the votes will probably be withdrawn.

This addendum will make approval more likely to pick a Condercet winner.  It won't simply reduce to plurality because now if your favorite doesn't win, they can simply refuse to withdraw votes from a more moderate candidate on your ballot, thereby denying the other guy a victory that he would've gotten under plurality.

What do you think?  Is it a good idea?

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