[EM] SodaHead online Approval Voting poll

Michael Rouse mrouse1 at mrouse.com
Wed Mar 21 06:18:14 PDT 2012

I pointed out on SodaHead that the "thumbs-up" on the upper right of 
each post was an example of Approval voting, and those who think 
Approval is too complicated or undemocratic were free to restrict their 
votes to a single post. :)


On 3/21/2012 6:09 AM, Jameson Quinn wrote:
> What strikes me most about the comments is how many of them are 
> positively proud of their loudmouth know-nothingism. The same people 
> who think it's a liberal plot seem to enjoy showing off their 
> closed-mindedness. That is, they see it not as a rational argument, 
> but as a tribal counting-coup on those egghead liberals.
> Finding better rational arguments is not going to change such people's 
> minds. I'm not really sure what would. It seems that they make up 
> their minds pretty quickly and reflexively. Now I know that such 
> blowhards are overrepresented on the internet, but the truth is they 
> tend to make more than their share of noise in any context, so it's 
> important to have some strategy to deal with them.
> ... Separately, I think your point about the demographics is a good 
> one. Obviously, the sample sizes are small and so basically none of it 
> is reliable (statistically significant), but still, it can give some 
> clues. As far as I can see states on that map which have the 
> most-significant (not largest) advantages for "Yes, approval" are New 
> Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, South Carolina, Oregon, and Florida. 
> Smaller states would be unlikely to show significance even if there 
> were an advantage, but the small New England states might be promising 
> too.
> Jameson
> 2012/3/21 Kristofer Munsterhjelm <km_elmet at lavabit.com 
> <mailto:km_elmet at lavabit.com>>
>     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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