[EM] Obvious Approval advantages. SODA. Approval-Runoff.

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Fri Mar 9 20:25:56 PST 2012


De : Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd at lomaxdesign.com>
>À : Kevin Venzke <stepjak at yahoo.fr>; election-methods <election-methods at electorama.com> 
>Envoyé le : Vendredi 9 mars 2012 17h04
>Objet : Re: [EM] Obvious Approval advantages. SODA. Approval-Runoff.
>At 07:36 PM 3/8/2012, Kevin Venzke wrote:
>> Hi Mike,
>> 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.
>Number one. This objection does not apply to nonpartisan elections.
Not sure why it couldn't. You just wouldn't have a party, as such, executing the strategy.

Number two. The strongest factor in elections is positive name recognition. That's become obvious. By running two candidates, you are diluting name recognition. If you have one, you might win. With two, quite possibly not. Risky strategy.
Possibly true.

Number three. The strategy assumes that there will be no rivalry between the two candidates. Even if they are in cahoots, their supporters may not be.
You'd pick a second candidate who doesn't have supporters.

>Number four. Who gets the campaign funds?
It's a single campaign, so it doesn't matter. Presumably the serious nominee gets them.

>Number five. Others can play the same game, if it's a real strategy. I don't think it is.
I was actually assuming everybody (at least major candidates) would play the same game. The problem 
is that the second round doesn't play the role it was supposed to if this happens.

>Number six. If this is a partisan election, who gets the party slot? The strategy could badly backfire, as supporters of the non-party candidate decide not to support the official party candidate, after all, the party made a bad choice. No, the tradition is strong, and there are strong reasons for it, that a party unites on a candidate. It's more powerful.
This seems to be the same as number three.

>Number seven. If both candidates make it into the runoff, very good chance one of them would win anyway. This means that they are top two, really. If this is nonpartisan, very difficult to reverse that.
The intention of the first round is to pick two finalists who are likely to be the best winner. So if one finalist
gets both positions by running a weak clone, his odds of being the one who would have won "anyway" are 
probably better than half, yes. The criticism is that the second round serves little purpose if that's what is

Number eight. You might be able to figure out a scenario where this makes some sense.
>Now, compare that scenario with the real and known hazard of center squeeze.
And where should that lead me? You know that nobody is backed into a corner where they have to
advocate either an approval runoff or nothing.

>Besides, once we are Counting All the Votes, a ranked version of approval becomes far better.
My simulations do often find that specific rank/approval hybrids are the best wrt minimizing insincerity and
electing sincere CWs and utility maximizers. It depends on the scenario, but JGA's Approval-Weighted
Pairwise is often the best Condorcet method and my various "Single Contest" methods are usually the
best non-Condorcet ones (especially wrt sincerity).

"Single Contest" methods are actually like an instant approval runoff, except the finalists are the two 
candidates who together minimize the number of voters who approved neither of them.

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