[EM] Why the concept of "sincere" votes in Range is flawed.

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km-elmet at broadpark.no
Tue Dec 2 03:25:43 PST 2008

Paul Kislanko wrote:

> I agree with almost all of what Jonathan says except that "as a voter" (and
> that's my main perspective) I _CAN_ see a need for equal rankings in a
> method that requests my ordinal list of alternatives.
> A>B=C=D=...>V>W=...X=Y=Z
> fairly precisely expresses what I was thinking when I voted. "Of the
> lower-alphabet alternatives I prefer A, but if A doesn't win I prefer any of
> the other top-alphabet alternatives to all of the lower-alphabet
> alternatives, of which I prefer V to any of the others that I find equally
> distastefull."
> One can (and folks on this list often do) describe the > between one set of
> =s and another as an "approval cutoff", but that is unnecessay if you have
> fully ranked ballots with equal ranks allowed. From such collection
> mechanisms one can count ballots by pretty much any method, which is why "as
> a voter" I prefer a vote-COLLECTION method that allows ranked ballots with
> equal ranks and truncation allowed, regardless of how votes are COUNTED.

That's not really what an approval cutoff is. An approval cutoff is used 
by some methods to denote "the candidates above are those I can accept; 
those below, I really don't like". At least that's what I understand, 
though some methods may reward strategic placement of the cutoff as well.

In any case, these methods use that additional information to do things 
an ordinary ranked method couldn't. For instance, MDDA satisfies FBC and 
  SFC. No purely ranked method that I know of does this.

> (truncation actually is like A>B>C=D=...=M>(any not listed) which gives me
> (the voter) the option of not having to think about which of the
> alternatives I disapprove of I have to rank least-least desirable.)
> PS. This is what I don't like about approval. In my generalized
> voter-friendly ballot, Approval requires me to vote A=B=C=D... when I really
> like A a lot better than the others. But that method doesn't have any way
> for me (the voter) to tell it that I do. So no matter how an approval count
> turns out, I'm likely to believe my vote didn't matter.
> On the other hand, I think Approval is PERFECT for party primary elections,
> since in addition to the voter's first preference with respect to the
> candidates' positions on the issues, the voter has to think about how likely
> her party is to win the general election. If she can vote her favorite and
> the other candidates she "could live with" the party would be likely to
> present better (non-polarizing?) alternatives for the general election.

The odd thing is that no party has actually done that. If using Approval 
would let a party pick a candidate that's more likely to be accepted by 
thevoters, then why wouldn't they? They could only gain. The same holds 
if what the parties are really interested in is finding candidates at 
+/-0.5, not +/-0.001 - a better election method would let them do so 
more consistently, which would give a better result (to them).

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