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

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Dec 2 21:35:26 PST 2008

--- On Tue, 2/12/08, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd at lomaxdesign.com> wrote:

> > I think it depends on the society and its rules (and
> the method and election in question) if insincere voting is
> considered to be "wrong" or not. In many cases the
> society will benefit if insincere voting is generally not
> accepted. (Strategic voting can be accepted in elections
> where strategic voting is the "agreed" way to
> vote.)
> Here is the problem. We make ordinary choices, all the
> time, "strategically." Expecting elections to be
> different is swimming against the tide.
> Rather, harness it.

Different societies have different "morale".
Somewhere people may e.g. expect everyone to
try to cheat the method while in some other
places people hate even the idea of someone
trying to cheat the method. This "morale" is
one way of harnessing the problems. People
are social beings and they tend to form
common norms that most members of the society
will follow.

> The only way to consider a sensible Open Voting (Approval)
> vote as "insincere" is to use a rather warped and
> specialized definition. Everything expressed in the vote is
> sincere, and the only thing missing is some preference
> information.

Note that term "insincere" refers to "not in line
with one's sincere opinion", not to "morally wrong".

Approval is a special case since the votes are so
simple that it is hard to tell when one votes in
line with one's sincere opinion and when not. One
could say that any placement of the approval
cutoff is sincere as long as it respects the
sincere preference order of the voter. But one
could also require that the approval cutoff should
be placed on some "main gap". I mean that if the
sincere ratings are A=93, B=31, C=30, D=4, and B
and C are the front runners, then Approval vote
{A, B} is probably a strategic/optimized vote. It
doesn't strictly violate the sincere preference
order but probably the voter would have voted in
some other way if he had not had some strategic

In Range this is clearer. Vote A=100, B=99, C=1,
D=0 obviously is not based on the sincere
ratings only.



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