[EM] Answers regarding claim about Approval's enact-ability

Jameson Quinn jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 11:49:42 PDT 2012

2012/4/16 Richard Fobes <ElectionMethods at votefair.org>

> Mike seems to be in a hurry for an explanation for my earlier statement.
> As I recall the issue is that I stated in a previous message that Approval
> voting was very unlikely to be adopted for use in U.S. Presidential
> _general_ elections.  Here are some reasons:
> 1: Making that change requires adopting a Constitutional Amendment.

No, it requires an interstate compact between states with a majority of EV
votes. Still highly improbable, but not inconceivable.

> 2: By the time Congress is ready to consider writing such an amendment,
> various kinds of advanced voting methods will have been tried, which means
> that voters will be familiar with various kinds of better ballots, which
> means they will not be intimidated by marking ranked ballots or score
> ballots.  This situation undermines the biggest advantage of Approval
> voting, which is that it is simple, and the easiest to understand (in terms
> of both ballot marking and ballot counting) for someone who is only
> familiar with plurality voting.
> 3: The majority of voters do not understand mathematics (and even most
> judges would not be comfortable with mathematics) so they would think that
> being able to mark more than one candidate would violate the "one person,
> one vote" rule.
> Richard Fobes
> On 4/15/2012 3:54 PM, Michael Ossipoff wrote:
>> ...
>> Thanks for your explanation about the delay in supporting your claim
>> about Approval's enactability (in comparison to those of Condorcet,
>> Kemmeny, SODA, MJ, etc.). I certainly agree with replying to messages in
>> the order n which they were posted.
>> Let me just add a few comments, though:
>> 1. Though it's too late now, of course, I'll just repeat something that
>> I said before. If you don't have time to support that statement (for
>> now, at least), then you shouldn't have had time to make the statement
>> in the first place.
>> A good rule: Don't make statements that you don't have time to support.
>> 2. I certainly do not want to hurry you. In fact, I'm not criticizing
>> you if you don't even try to support your claim at all. (Who could blame
>> you--it isn't supportable).
>> 3. But, if you don't, then I just want to clarify to everyone that your
>> claim remains an unsupported claim. I would have no objection to that. I
>> am not saying that you should support the claim if you don't want to.
>> Leave it unsupported if you want to.
>> 4. I want to emphasize that, every time that I've said that Approval is
>> the enactable method, I've told why that is.
>> 5. The subject of which method(s) are the most promising to support,
>> advocate, work for, is highly relevant to success. Claims regarding that
>> matter should only be valued according the the justifications offered
>> for those claims.
> ----
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