[EM] Burlington Vermont repeals IRV 52% to 48%

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Sat Mar 6 12:31:31 PST 2010

On Mar 6, 2010, at 2:34 PM, Raph Frank wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 6, 2010 at 1:34 AM, robert bristow-johnson
> <rbj at audioimagination.com> wrote:

>> i almost never vote for all 6.  usually just 2.  but it's a  
>> strategic vote.  and since i didn't hit the limit, it's  
>> practically no different than Approval voting.  i cannot see how  
>> Warren and company claim that it's less strategic than Condorcet.
> Assuming 6 seats, optimal strategy is probably to approve either the
> 6th or 7th most popular candidate and all candidates you prefer to
> that candidate.  If you run out of votes, the you should approve
> candidates who are most likely to tie for the 6th seat first before
> other candidates.
> In any case, you really should cast all 6 votes.

i don't get it.  just because the party i most identify with proffers  
6 candidates (as does two or three other parties) doesn't mean that  
i, as a independently-minded voter, care if all of those candidates  
are elected.  if i "approve" of *all* of those candidates, it's only  
because of blind party affiliation.

but what if there is *one* (or maybe two) of those candidates that i  
take an affirmative interest in seeing elected?  that is, i would  
really like to see that one candidate elected more than i would want  
to see any other candidate, including those others in my party that i  
*might* have tepid approval for.  i know that, even being in the same  
party, those other candidates *are* effectively running against the  
candidate i like.  it's not just the candidate from the other parties  
that are running against my preferred candidate.  voting for *any*  
other candidate (by me or by any other voter) independently of the  
party that other candidate is from, reduces the likelihood of my  
preferred candidate getting elected.

i know that if my candidate *is* elected, 5 other candidates will  
also be elected but i have much less interest in who those 5 will  
be.  or, i might recognize some of those candidates to be shoe-ins  
and that they'll likely be elected from the support they are  
receiving elsewhere.  so, if that were the political interests i am  
bringing to the polls, why would i choose to harm the chances of this  
candidate i really like, by approving any other candidate?

i actually think that, even in a multi-winner election, that  
Condorcet ordering of the candidates could make sense (with the top 6  
preferred candidates elected).  of course there is a problem if there  
is a cycle that is transected by the cutoff boundary of the top 6 who  
get elected and those lower who do not.  i am not seriously proposing  
actually implementing this without some serious study, and a good  
method (perhaps Ranked Pairs or Schulze) would be needed to deal with  
a cycle that crosses the win/lose boundary.

that said, Approval voting requires more strategy from me than just  
ranking candidates in my preferred order.  whether it's a single or  
multi-winner election, i really think that the ranked ballot is the  
simplest way to extract necessary information from voters, without  
expecting too much from voters (which is what Range or Score voting  


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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