[EM] SodaHead online Approval Voting poll

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km_elmet at lavabit.com
Wed Mar 21 01:14:25 PDT 2012

On 03/20/2012 01:51 PM, Jameson Quinn wrote:
> I know that online polls are silly. But thousands of people see them,
> and if they see that the idea actually has support, some of them will be
> more open to consider if it has merit.

While the poll has comments of low quality, and the users seem to be 
against Approval at the moment, I do think even those low-quality 
comments can be useful.

Namely, they give us insight into the objections, fair or not, to 
Approval itself. There are partisan arguments ("this is a liberal plot 
to deny conservatives their voting power"), what can be done about them? 
Can we point out places where conservatives are being hurt by 
vote-splitting? Can we point at Ron Paul when responding to a libertarian?
Then there are method centric arguments. Some are just confused about 
what the thing means, as one can see by the "oh, and let the voters vote 
for a single candidate many times" type of posts. Others think it 
violates one-man one-vote. How can we clear that up? Perhaps by 
rephrasing it in terms of thumbs-up/thumbs-down? If each voter gets ten 
options to either do thumbs-up (approve) or not (don't approve), then 
the voting power is the same for each. Maybe that is a better phrasing 
than approve/not in any case, and maybe it's a better format, too, 
because it clears up the confusion between "haven't made a choice about 
X" (no approval) and "have voted, but didn't like X" (also no approval).

And so on...

The demographics, if representative, may also give some idea as to where 
it will be hard to sell. What kinds of people like Approval the least? Why?

I do note that there are very few arguments about chicken dilemma 
situations. If there are barriers to Approval being adopted, that isn't 
it - at least not yet. Though one could of course say that the reason 
nobody objects using the chicken dilemma is that they haven't studied 
the thing enough to know there actually *is* a chicken dilemma problem.

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