jlundell at pobox.com
Sun Dec 9 10:16:40 PST 2007
On Dec 7, 2007, at 6:54 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
> Approval, however, fixes the spoiler effect. The effect we are so
> unfortunately familiar with takes place when a candidate with no
> chance of winning the election flips the result from one party in our
> two-party system to the other. In such a context, if voting for
> multiple candidates is allowed (in a single-winner election), most
> voters, I would predict, vote only for their favorite. *By
> definition, most voters' favorite is one of the two frontrunners.*
> Now, when only two candidates are in range of winning, votes for
> other candidates are essentially moot for victory purposes. So for
> this alleged "harm" to take place, the voter must be considering
> voting for both frontrunners. Like voting for Bush and Gore in 2000.
Florida 2000 would presumably have been "fixed" by a wide variety of
alternative voting schemes, including approval, IRV, and even two-
Approval fixes Florida 2000 nicely, though, only because Nader had no
serious chance of election, so a Nader voter wouldn't have hurt
Nader's chances (zero) by approving Gore as well.
In a different election profile, though, an approval voter faced with
a "good-bad-worse" choice where all three candidates are viable is
forced to strategize. Having approved "good", my approval of "bad"
could be decisive in bad beating good--which leads me to prefer later-
no-harm methods: I want to be able to both express my preference for
"good" over "bad", and at the same time "bad" over "worse". I can't do
that with approval.
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