[EM] Richard reply, 4/16/12

Michael Ossipoff email9648742 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 17 13:23:48 PDT 2012


> That's funny. I thought that I emphasized that there was no hurry.  ...
> You said you were in no hurry for me to remove your email address from
> your signature.

...and also in no hurry for your justification of your
Approval infeasibility claim.

And I say that now too. By all means get back to your other replies. You've
now made some effort, at least token, to justify your statement. In any
case, I never was in a hurry, and I'm still not. Feel free not to reply to
this message, now or ever.

You said:

> I certainly agree that Congress will try to stall as long as possible.
> That's partially why I said that voters will have learned a lot about
> voting methods by the time anything is done.
> [endquote]

Yes. But, in your scenario, while Congress is has gotten ready to support
reform, the public will have become much more sophisticated on the subject,
from municipal and mabye state use of rank methods.

We agree that Congress won't do anything good unless forced to by public
demand. The public will have to demand a better voting system. Ok, and
which one will that be? When people propose Condorcet, Kemmeny, or whatever
unspecified one(s) you're thinking of, lots of newspaper writers,
reporters,columnists, pundits, tv anchormen, and various university
authorities too, will be doing their very best to convince the public
that the reform would be a bad thing.

Do you see that that will have some effect on the matter of whether or not
the public will demand that method, enough to make Congress act? So, the
method that has a chance of actually being understood, accepted, liked, and
_demanded_ by the public is Approval..If the proposal is Condorcet,
Kemmeny, or whateve one you were thinking of, no demand will be brought to
bear on Congress, because the public will be confused by the obfuscation,
scare tactics, etc., from the above-listed sources.

As I said, Approval is the only method whose change from Plurality is so
elegantly minimal that it's possible to easily show that the proposal is an
improvement, and nothing other than an improvement, over Plurality. The
elaborate contraptions known as Condorcet and Kemmeny will be
obfuscated and never publicly demanded.

Approval makes one small change in Plurality: It removes Plurality's
requirement that one give a bottom rating to all of the candidates but one.
Each voter has _equal_ power to rate each candidate "Approved" or

Electing the candidate to whom the most voters have granted an approval is
a difficult thing to criticize.

You continued:

I do say that I'm amazed at how lots and lots of people have no clue about
anything mathematical, even numbers (and especially division and percentage
As soon as someone mentions _anything_ numerical (even the number "one"),
those people mentally check out.  And logical arguments are not relevant to
I once heard a woman say "The sign says the cookies are two for a dollar.
Just roughly, about how much is that?"  And she otherwise was an
intelligent person.


Regarding Approval's count, the description of the advantage of Approval's
one single change from Plurality, and the answers to opposition's
objections to Approval--These things don't require mathematics. You're
underestimating people.

What you're missing is that it's _the more complicated methods_, including
Condorcet and Kemmeny, that are hopelessly vulnerable to obfiscation by
opponents, and by the varous pundits and "authorities" that I listed above.
You continued:

You somehow seem to think that I think that Approval violates
one-person-one-vote.  I am not one of the people I am referring to here.


Did I say that? You said that people will think that Approval violates
1-person-1-vote. I merely showed how easily that fallacious objection is

You continued:

Perhaps it is relevant to again mention that I have a degree in Physics.
That means that I took lots of mathematics courses.


At no time did I imply that you thought that Approval violates 1p1v. At no
time did I question your qualifications or credentials.

Mike Ossipoff

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