[Election-Methods] utility theory lesson for a very confused

Don&Cathy Hoffard dchoffard at verizon.net
Mon Jan 7 00:50:17 PST 2008

Abd ul-Rahman Wrote:

>The Range vote is a red herring, the same objection would be made if this
were an Approval election with votes of 1/1/0 for ABC from Clay and 1/0/0
for >Don. Don would then complain that he did not get to cast a vote for C.
But he did have the opportunity to cast that vote: 

>initially, and he chose not to cast it.


You just took away my right to vote.

You say I could have voted for C by voting for (A>C>B) 1/1/0 (But if I did
that I can't vote for A over B).

With my vote of (A>C>B) of 10/1/0 I am saying that I do have preference for
C over B.

With Approval voting you are not allowing me to vote for a candidates that I
like better than another.

You also took away Clay's right to vote.

Clay can vote (A>B>C) 1/1/0 for A over C and B over C but you are saying
(with approval) that he can not vote for A over B.

He also indicated a preference of A over B with (10/9/0).


(assuming 4 candidates(A/B/C/D))

Now Plurality voting is limited to the following: 

(1/0/0/0) or (0/1/0/0) or --- to (0/0/0/1)


Approval voting is limited to the following:

(0/0/0/0) or (1/0/0/0) or (1/1/0/0) or --- (1/1/1/1)

This is clearly better than Plurality voting.  You have a lot more chances
to express you opinions


Preference voting is limited to the following:

Voting for A>B (1/0) or (0/1), and for A>C (1/0) or (0/1) and ---- etc.

In Pure Preference voting you have a ranking of (A/B/C/D) states only that
you prefer A>B and A>D and they are treated the same.

This method clearly provides more options for the votes than Approval

You may "Approve" of A and B but you still can have a preference of A over B

It also encompasses Approval voting if A=B (1/1) voting is allowed

A problem with Preference voting is that it does not always come up with a
clear winner.


Range voting is limited to the following:

(10/x/y/z) for A/B/C/D or any other combination (were x/y/z =< 10 and >= 0)

This method allows the voter to "Quantify" his or her Preferences. A>B
(10/9),--, or 10/0)

There are different forms of range voting, you could used 10 but you could
use 100 or 3 (3/2/1/0)

Range voting provides the maximum (or closes to it) flexibility (options)
for the voter.

Range voting however does add a lot more complexities to the voting process,
this makes it more difficult to see the impact of ones vote.

And there may be the Problem of adding individual quantified preferences.


A question voters need to ask is "how much added complexities do they want".

Plurality has been with us for a couple of hundred years.

If you ask voters to change to any of the other methods above most would say
"No way- all I want to do is Vote"


Don Hoffard

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