[EM] Bucklin option wrap-up

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 5 13:04:54 PST 2012

(First, when I speak of ABucklin as an Approval option, that's only for brevity and simplicity, 
because, starting from Approval, I'd offer AOC as an option or an alternative method, before ABucklin.
AOCBucklin, for me, would be next, after AOC. Still, as Abd suggested, ABucklin is the natural
1-balloting implementation of a reasonable and obvious collective deliberating process, and, thereby,
might be the first alternative voting system that people would accept--Then AOCBucklin could be reserved
for a later enhancement.)

I've said that, as a vote-management option in an Approval election, ABucklin can act in a way that isn't
really in the option-chooser's interest. I was referring to the fact that, if a candidate whom you don't like
gets a 1st-round majority, then you can't give a vote to anyone new, though it might well be in your interest
to do so. Stepwise-to-Majority was my attempt to improve on that, but it fails FBC.

What makes the ABucklin option sometimes not in your best interest is the same thing that lets it meet FBC, where
Stepwise-to-Majority fails it.

I know I've said this, but the fact that ABucklin, as a vote-management option in Approval, doesn't look very appealing
suggests that, in an ABucklin election, it's probably often or usually best to just vote as in Approval, giving top-rank
to some candidates and not ranking anyone else. Even if it's not a u/a election.

...but certainly if it is a u/a election. Sure, it could be tempting to use ABucklin's rank positions to distinguish between
the merit of your various acceptable candidates. But, by not ranking them all at top, you could let an unacceptable win:

Maybe an unacceptable will have a 1st place majority, and maybe your faction could give a certain candidate (acceptable to you) a bigger
1st choice majority if it top-ranks hir. ...even though you'd sincerely rank hir below some of your other acceptables.

So, in a u/a election, just top-rank all the acceptables, and don't rank any unacceptables. Vote as if it were Approval. And when
ABucklin is offered as an option on a u/a Approval election, don't use it--just vote an Approval ballot.

Looking at it from the other direction, the fact that it might sometimes be worthwhile to vote several rank positions in ABucklin
suggests that the ABucklin option could sometimes be genuinely a good idea in an Approval election.

Abd pointed out something that hasn't been sufficiently emphasized: ABucklin is just the 1-balloting implementation of a
familiar, natural and obvious deliberative process (well almost, because people aren't accustomed to Approval voting). That
could be a good introduction to, and argument for, ABucklin. Maybe people would thereby actually accept ABucklin before they'd
accept Approval. For instance, it's known that ABucklin was used in the early 20th century in some U.S. cities.

Of course, Approval voting is a built-in option in ABucklin, without explicitly adding it legislatively. A person can just
use the 1st rank position if they so choose.

 AOC, AOCBucklin and SODA
could be options to be proposed later--Just as AOC, AOCBucklin, ABucklin and SODA could be added later as options for Approval.

Probably best to propose Approval first, but maybe people would really like ABucklin because it implements, in one balloting,
a familiar idea in collective deliberation.

But, if people are to like ABucklin as a first proposal, maybe they wouldn't like ER-Bucklin's delay that gives it MMC compliance. That
delay might seem a complication. I'm referring to how, in ER-Bucklin, if you vote for several candidates at the same rank position, 
your ballot doesn't give to the candidates at your next rank position any sooner than it would have if you'd ranked those several
equally-ranked candidates in separate rank positions. That preserves MMC compliance for ER-Bucklin.

So maybe that delay should be left out of ABucklin as a first proposal. It could be added later as a later proposal. Without that delay,
ABucklin would lose its MMC compliance, giving it about zero merit-improvement on Approval. But still, it could be used as Approval,
via top-ranking. If that's the easiest and best route to Approval, then it's worthwhile even if it doesn't meet MMC and offers nothing
that ordinary Approval doesn't offer. Then, the MMC-preserving delay could be added as a subsequent proposal.

In case I haven't emphasized this enough, I propose ABucklin and all of the conditional methods, including AOCBucklin, as options in an Approval election.
Using the MTAOC kind of conditionality implementation, all of them, and SODA too, could be allowed as options in the same Approval
election. But I suggest starting by just proposing ordinary Approval, unless your initiative committee, or the polled public, insist on something
fancier than ordinary Approval. If they do, then offer AOC, ABucklin &/or AOCBucklin, and SODA as possible options in Approval elections. Options
are difficult to argue against.

Anyway, I propose that entire complete system, probably with those options added as later proposals of enhancements for Approval.

For that matter, MMT or GMAT could be an option in an Approval election too, but not both in the same election. And those methods don't
allow for conditionality for some candidates but not others. I prefer AOC, with which you can give conditional votes to some candidates,
and unconditional votes to others. It's the most fully-optional kind of conditionality.

GMATBucklin and MMTBucklin would be the same as AOCBucklin, except that they'd implement conditionality the GMAT way, or the MMT way,
instead of the AOC way. Of course GMATBucklin would be compatible with GMAT as options in the same Approval election.

I agree that MMPO (I prefer its MMPO2 version) and MDDTR might run into criticism trouble, even though I like them best, and so I don't 
consider them to be major proposals, though one might mention them to an initiative committee or a public that insists on something fancier
than Approval. But I feel that it would be better, in that eventuality, to just offer the options of AOC, ABucklin, AOCBucklin and SODA, as I
described 3 paragraphs ago. All of those could be options in the same Approval election, in fact. Let the initiative committee decide what
it wants to include. SODA might sound a little too different, to the public, though I've gotten a favorable reaction to my brief definition of it.

MTA, MCA, MTAOC and MCAOC could be offered too, but people who want something fancier than Approval usually want an unlimited
ranking method, and there's a simplicity advantage in not speaking of too many options.

That all these methods/options are natural enhancements of ordinary Approval, and could be offered as options in an Approval election,
makes it all more proposable than other approaches to voting system reform.

So then, why don't you find out what single-winner elections are conducted in your municipal jurisdictions, and then contact local party 
organizations and other political elections, and tell them about Approval. Suggest an Approval initiative.

And/Or, if you have a progressive city council or county board of supervisors (or whatever they call it in your area), suggest to them that they
offer a referendum about it.

Mike Ossipoff

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