[EM] correction

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Fri Mar 9 15:19:49 PST 2012

At 07:46 PM 3/8/2012, Kevin Venzke wrote:

>De : Kevin Venzke <stepjak at yahoo.fr>
>I don't think Approval-Runoff can get off the ground since it's too
>apparent that a party could nominate two candidates (signaling that one
>is just a pawn to aid the other) and try to win by grabbing both of the
>finalist positions. If this happened regularly it would be just an
>expensive version of FPP.
>Actually, it would be an expensive version of Approval.
>Still, I am not sure why it would be any easier to propose an approval
>runoff vs. plain approval.

I think you have missed the point. The jurisdiction already has top 
two runoff. Count All the Votes just makes it a little fairer, makes 
it a little bit more likely to find a majority in the primary, and if 
it is also used in the runoff, and if write-ins are allowed, there is 
a possibility of improving the result if a poor choice is made in the top two.

That becomes much less likely if Bucklin is used in both phases.

But we are talking about very simple changes to existing systems.

Plurality -> Count All the Votes, i.e., Approval.
Top Two Runoff -> Count All the Votes, i..e, Approval/Runoff.

I would say that we need some studies that address this claim of 
attempting to dominate the election through multiple nominations. I 
doubt that this would work with nonpartisan elections, but it seems a 
little more possible with partisan ones, where the party name is on the ballot.

But I would not allow a party to have two slots on the ballot!

I think a party would be shooting itself in the foot to field two 
candidates in a partisan election, with only one being able to carry 
the flag of the party on the ballot itself. They would be diluting 
their campaign funds into creating name recognition for two, instead 
of just one.

Let's back up. The idea here is just to count all the votes. It's a 
very simple idea, and it creates a voting system that almost 
certainly is either an improvement, or at worst harmless.

If a party could nominate two candidates and pull off getting them 
both into the runoff, my guess is that it could just plain win this 
election without the device and all the complications introduced. Who 
gets that party slot? How is that determined?

It's mostly moot. Most of these top two runoff elections are 
nonpartisan. Burlington was an exception, not the rule.

We are talking about a transitional phase: top two runoff --> top two 
approval runoff -> possibly top two Bucklin runoff -> more advanced methods.

Or plurality -> approval -> Bucklin? Range?

Range is just approval with fractional votes allowed, at least that 
is the simple conception. Think of it this way: *allow fractional 
votes* instead of only full votes. Many or even most voters will not 
use that option. So?

I showed, in a study, that the overall expected election benefit 
appeared to increase *for me*, voting, even if I voted approval 
style, because of the existence of fractional votes, if used by 
*anyone*. I think this is because it dithers the results, makes them 
more senstitive. But I'm not sure. That result has not been confirmed.

(Consider this: if I cast a vote for a candidate, and everyone has 
voted approval style, my vote can flip a loss to a tie, or a tie to a 
win, or it has no effect. If a half-vote exists, my vote can flip a 
loss to a win or it has no effect.... Since I don't know which is the 
case initially, the effect of allowing intermediate votes is that I 
have one more improvement scenario. But I haven't worked this out in 
detail, recently.) 

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