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

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Tue Dec 2 12:18:52 PST 2008

At 06:17 PM 11/26/2008, Jonathan Lundell wrote:

>(Which is why I'm partial to ordinal systems; it seems to me that I as
>a voter can pretty easily order candidates without considering
>strategy, whereas the decision of where to draw the line for Approval,
>or how to assign cardinal values to candidates, explicitly brings
>strategy into the picture.)

Okay, here is the problem. "Strategic voting" gives more power to 
voters with better knowledge. We can expect, on general principles, 
that this will improve election results! This is an effect quite 
difficult to simulate, I'd think.

However, the extra power is quite limited. In Open Voting (Approval), 
all that is involved is voting for a frontrunner. Most voters, by 
definition, are going to do that anyway. The only ones that need to 
know to add a vote for a frontrunner are those who are supporters of 
a minor candidate. Almost all those know that their candidate is 
unlikely to win.

Yes, voters have long been voting, knowing how the votes will be 
counted. It's what they are accustomed to, and they pay no attention 
to the *name* of the system; in fact, Plurality is so entrenched that 
many simply think of it as "voting." They know that voting for the 
favorite and not a frontrunner is very likely to "waste" their vote, 
in the sense that it won't make a choice between the reasonably likely winners.

Real voters will generally have very little difficulty understanding 
Open Voting. And if they simply vote as they have been accustomed to 
voting, vote for their sincere favorite, being a frontrunner, no problem.

But then, if they prefer another candidate, they will surely not fail 
to notice. Wait! I'm voting for this bozo because he's my best shot, 
but why not vote also for someone really good? And, in the U.S., if 
they don't think anyone good is on the ballot, they can write it in. 
Open Voting allows much more sincere voting than Plurality, though it 
can get better still, of course. Bucklin. Have I mentioned Bucklin?

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