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

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sat Mar 6 18:15:42 PST 2010

At 02:34 PM 3/6/2010, Raph Frank wrote:
>In any case, you really should cast all 6 votes.

Not necessarily. What if you only recognize the names of three? Or 
what if you only support three and have no opinion on the rest, 
sufficient to prefer one from another? The optimal vote is actually, 
then, to vote just for three. Yes, you are wasting half your voting 
power, but if you don't know what to do with it, using it just 
introduces noise into the system, and might quite possibly be a vote 
cast based on the worst kinds of media manipulation, creating vague 
impressions about candidates not firmly based in fact.

That people consider it some kind of obligation to *vote*, per se, 
regardless of how well the voter understands the situation, is part 
of the problem with the system. There's lots of propaganda out that 
that proposes voting as a civic duty, when the real duty would be to 
investigate situations, become knowledgeable about them, and *then* vote.

Or, alternatively, decide whom to trust, based on the best 
information available, and preferably, even, some level of personal 
contact either with the potential advisor, or someone who knows the 
advisor, and then follow that person's recommendations, assuming that 
it's reasonable that this person knows more than you do.

This is equivalent to putting all your eggs in one basket and then 
watching that basket closely. It's a reasonable strategy, because the 
capacity to watch all the eggs separately might not be there. Most 
people have other things to do with their lives. Politics is far from 
everything, important as it is.

A variation on this, with partisan elections, is to adhere to a 
political party. Probably more dangerous, in fact.

Almost thirty years ago, I was working on the FA/DP concepts. A 
friend and I decided to, with the California ballot questions 
("Propositions"), divide up the work of researching them. We came up 
with our recommendatins about the ones we studied, and then we voted 
as advised by our friend. FA/DP, in the political realm, would work 
like that, setting up relationships of trust and amalgamating 
research and analysis through that. In the end, in real politics, it 
would be up to each voter to decide whom to trust, or to make one's 
own decisions.

Structurally, though, I know what's both more efficient and more 
reliable, provided one watches that basket reasonably closely. (And 
there can be, of course, different baskets for different kinds of eggs.) 

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