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

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Tue Dec 2 18:03:39 PST 2008

At 06:38 PM 12/1/2008, Jonathan Lundell wrote:
>On Nov 30, 2008, at 9:44 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
>>It certainly is not an expression of "approval," hence I have often
>>stated that ballot instructions for voters should not use the word
>>"Approve." The instructions *might* use the word "accept," but even
>>that is doubtful. Voters aren't stupid. A statement could be like,
>>"This election will pick one winner. You may vote for as many
>>candidates as you choose to support, including a write-in candidate.
>>The winner will be the candidate who receives the most votes."
>I agree with this sentiment, by the way. The voters should be told how
>the method works, and left to their own devices. It eliminates the
>value-laden discussion of whether a ballot is "honest" or not, though
>of course it doesn't eliminate strategic considerations.

Agreed. Please, please, do not suggest, as ballot instructions that 
the voter do anything other than "vote." "Approve" is quite 
misleading, and many critics of Approval simply assume that voters 
are supposed to vote for all candidates they "approve." And then we 
get the ridiculous position that an Approval vote for one candidate 
only, the favorite, is "strategic" because the voter allegedly "also 
approves" of another. No, the voter decide to support the voter's 
favorite and, either strategic considerations were moot -- this was a 
frontrunner --, or the voter decided that they were not important.

Burr dilemma, grrrr.....

>Ranked-preference methods (including IRV and any Condorcet method) are
>a little more difficult in this respect, since by far the simplest
>voter instruction is "rank the candidates in order of preference",
>rather than trying to explain the tabulation method in detail.

Yes. The tabulation method, unfortunately, is far too complex to 
describe on a ballot. Not so with Range. Ahem. Better method, easier 
to use, explain, apply. Ballot instructions should not instruct 
voters to act contrary to their own interest. And that instruction, 
in IRV especially, if followed, can be contrary not only to the 
voter's interest, but also to the interest of society as a whole. If 
an IRV election encounters a potential Center Squeeze effect, voters, 
particularly supporters of the less-likely to win of the extremist 
candidates, should consider Favorite Betrayal, i.e, voting first 
preference for the center instead of one's favorite. Otherwise they 
may well end up with the worst result.

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