[EM] the "meaning" of a vote (or lack thereof)

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Sat Aug 27 18:23:02 PDT 2011

```Dave Ketchum wrote:
> Conditions surrounding elections vary but, picking on a simple
> example, suppose that, without your vote, there are exactly nR and
> nD votes.  If that is the total vote you get to decide the election
> by creating a majority with your vote.

What do nR and nD stand for?

> Or, suppose a count of nPoor, 1Fair, and nGood and thus Fair being the
> median before you and a twin vote.
>
> If such twins vote Poor, that and total count go up by 2, median goes
> up by 1 and is now Poor.
>
> If such twins vote Good, that and total count go up by 2, median goes
> up by 1 and is now Good.

This example speaks of two votes, but the rules grant me only one.  I
am interested in the effects of that vote, and any meaning we can
derive from them.  I say there is none.

> Note that single voters get no useful power in an election for
> governor, but a majority voting together do have the power (by
> combining their votes) to decide the election.

I believe that is true for all elections that are conducted by
conventional methods, regardless of the ballot used - Plurality,
Range, Condorcet or Approval.  An individual's vote can have no useful
effect on the outcome of the election, or on anything else in the
objective world.  Again it follows:

(a) What the individual voter thinks is of no importance; or

(b) The election method is flawed.

Which of these statements is true?  I think it must be (b).

--
Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528
http://zelea.com/

> On Aug 27, 2011, at 4:22 PM, Michael Allan wrote:
>
> >>> But not for voting.  The voting system guarantees that my vote
> >>> will have no effect and I would look rather foolish to suppose
> >>> otherwise.  This presents a serious problem.  Do you agree?
> >
> > Dave Ketchum wrote:
> >> TRULY, this demonstrates lack of understanding of cause and effect.
> >>
> >> IF the flask capacity is 32 oz then pouring in 1 oz  will:
> >> . Do nothing above filling if the flask starts with less than 31 oz.
> >>
> >> In voting there is often a limit at which time one more would have
> >> an effect.  If the act were pouring sodas into the Atlantic the
> >> limit would be far away.
> >
> > Please relate this to an election.  Take an election for a US state
> > governor, for example.  Suppose I am eligible to vote.  I say my vote
> > cannot possibly affect the outcome of the election.  You say it can,
> > under certain conditions.  Under what conditions exactly?

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