[EM] 22 March, 1435 GMT, Chris: Approval

Michael Ossipoff mikeo2106 at msn.com
Fri Mar 23 16:03:06 PDT 2007

Chris said:

In a way Approval is worse. In my example, the five AB compromisers
might correctly believe that A has at least as good a chance of winning as B 
and that C has the least chance to win. They don't need to be
convinced that their favourite isn't viable, just (given their abhorrence of 
C) that C has some 'significant' chance of winning.

I reply:

If they vote for B when they think A is winnable, and C is least likely to 
win, then they must like B about as much as C, and so there’s nothing wrong 
with B winning.

If, under those conditions, they vote for B, though they like B a lot less 
than A, then that will disappoint me. You’re saying that it could happen, 
but it seems to me that it probably won’t.

Speaking for myself, as a Nader voter, I wouldn’t vote for a Democrat in 
Plurality or Approval. You don’t vote for a completely unacceptable 
candidate in Approval. Strategy forbids it if there’s an acceptable 
candidate in the race. Many, most, or all of those who now vote for Nader 
consider the Democrats completely unacceptable. I certainly do. Then there’s 
the separate, non-strategic matter of principle and deservingness. Even if 
Hillary and Giuliani were the only candidates in the race, that doesn’t 
change the fact that Hillary doesn’t deserve a vote. She wouldn’t get one 
from me, even if it were just her and Giuliani.

People who’d rather not vote Democrat are more principled than you might 
think. That’s why they now vote for Nader even though we’re told that Nader 
can’t win. If you think that those Nader voters are going to start giving an 
Approval vote to Hillary when we change to Approval, then you don’t know 

On the other hand, the Nader-preferring, Democrat-voting LO2E progressives 
will definitely give an Approval vote to Nader, in addition to the one that 
they give to Hillary.

Chris continues:

In this scenario
if the method was FPP they would have voted for their sincere favourite A.

I reply:

You mean if they believe that A has as good a chance as B? That would be 
nice, but I wouldn’t count on it. Anyway, it’s irrelevant, because, as long 
as we have Plurality here, that day will never come. That’s because, with 
1-vote Plurality, if the media tell a gullible public that a certain two 
parties are the only winnable ones, “the two choices”, then those two 
parties, which could be _any_ two parties, will win from now on, at 
Myerson-Weber equilibrium. The result (low vote total for Nader, much higher 
vote total for Clinton) is consistent, and seems to confirm, the 
misinformation from the media. So the Democrats and Republians keep winning 

I wouldn’t quite call that as good as Approval.

As I said, Approval will quickly home in on the voter median, and stay 
there, because if Nader is outpolling the Republican, it will be clear that 
Nader-preferrers have no need to vote for a Democrat lesser-evil. With 
Approval, lesser-evils would be all washed-up.

Chris continued:

And likewise if it was IRV they would have voted sincerely

I reply:

Has IRV delivered on its initial promise in Australia?

Mike Ossipoff

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