Jameson Quinn jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Sun Jan 22 19:21:44 PST 2012

2012/1/22 MIKE OSSIPOFF <nkklrp at hotmail.com>

>  Jameson:
> SODA can be described to someone in a brief way that people accept. In a
> recent convefrsation, I described SODA, and the person considered it
> acceptable. You're speciflying the rules in too much detail. The
> street-description, and the petition-language, needn't be the legal
> language (though that should be available upon request). Likewise, for
> MTAOC or MCAOC, or AOC, people won't demand
> to see the computer program, but it will be available to the person who
> wants to look at it. The person who wouldn't accept a
> computer program also wouldn't ask to read it.
> So here's how I described SODA to that person:
> It's like Approval, but, if you vote only for one person, you can
> optionally check a box indicating that you want that person
> to be able to add approval votes to your ballot, on your behalf, if s/he
> doesn't win. S/he will have previously published a ranking
> of candidates to show the order in which s/he would give such delegated
> approvals.

Good description.

> That's it. That brief descriptionl tells how the method works.
> As I said yesterday, it seems to me that it would be much more
> publicly-accepable if the default assumption is non-delegation.
> If someone wants to delegate, they can check the box to indicate that.

One main advantage of SODA is that the laziest possible voter, the one who
just checks one candidate and goes home, has a vote which is essentially as
strategically powerful as any. Thus, I prefer delegation by default. But I
certainly wouldn't fight about it, and I'd happily embrace your version.

> I'd like SODA to be a bit fancier: Why should delegation only b e
> available to the person who has only voted for one candidate? Say you vote
> for several candidates. Each candidate has a delegation box by hir name. If
> you want to, you can designate as delegate any
> candidate for whom you've voted. (but you can only deleglate just one
> candidate)
> As in your version, s/he can add to your ballot approvals for candidates
> for whom you haven't voted, as long as your resulting approval set doesn't
> skip any candidates in hir publicized ranking.
> Disadvantage: It loses some of SODA's simplicity. I understand that the
> "S" in SODA is for "simple".

Exactly. In particular, it loses the ballot simplicity, and thus becomes
arguably worse than plurality in that way (ie, more rather than less
possible to unintentionally spoil a ballot in some way). Also, the
summability, and the complexity of strategic possibilities in the
delegation phase (although not, I think, the outcome; but I'm not sure)
both suffer significantly.

> As you said, the optional-ness of the delegation should avoid any
> complaint of undemocratic-ness. But of couise opponents
> will still try to use that complaint.
> I'll mention SODA (simple or more elaborate) along with the other FBC/ABE
> methods, any time I suggest new methods more complicated than Approval.  Of
> course sometimes you only have time to mention Approval.

Thank you.

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