[EM] Kristofer: The Approval poll

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Thu Mar 22 20:20:15 PDT 2012

Many thoughts catch my eye here - I will not attempt to respond to all.

On Mar 22, 2012, at 4:09 PM, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:

> On 03/22/2012 07:57 PM, MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote:
>> There are plenty of voters who report having to "hold their nose" and
>> vote only for someone they don't like. They'd all like to be able to
>> vote for better candidates to, including their favorites. Even if one
>> only counts the Democrat voters who say that they're strategically  
>> forced
>> to vote only for someone they don't really like, amounts to a lot of
>> people who'd see the improvement brought by Approval.

If there is no one acceptable to vote for, the voters have not done  
their job:
.     Could happen occasionally such as failures in doing  
nominations.  Write-ins can help recover for this.
..     If it happens often, time to improve how nominations are done -  
perhaps by voters getting more involved in nominating; perhaps by  
improving related laws.

"strategically forced" should not be doable for how a particular voter  
voted (but no one voted for the supposedly forced choice -  why force  
such a hated choice?  the forcers should not be so demanding).
>> Especially since it would no longer be necessary to try to guess who
>> one's necessary compromise is (because you can vote for all the  
>> candidates
>> you might need as compromise). No more split vote, since it isn't  
>> necessary
>> for candidate Worst's opponents to all vote for the same  
>> candidates--They'd
>> easily be able to vote for the same _set_ of candidates, without  
>> all agreeing
>> on one candidate to unite on. These things answer the complaint of  
>> someone who
>> says that they had to hold their nose to vote for the Democrat.  
>> With Approval
>> they can approve the Democrat if they think they need to, and also  
>> everyone
>> better, including their favorite. Such voters will no longer be  
>> resigned to pure
>> giveaway.
> Yes, that could work for Democrats and those who don't want to vote  
> for the lesser evil. The poll does seem to have a rather large  
> number of people who go "this is a liberal plot to swindle the  
> election from us", though. Could a primary argument work as a  
> response? Something like... "okay, you feel free to watch your party  
> use oodles of money to find out who's most electable in the primary,  
> when they could have used Approval and saved that money to use  
> against the Democrats in the general election"? I'm not very  
> familiar with what Jameson calls "tribal counting coup" as politics  
> here is a lot more issue-based than American politics, so I don't  
> know if it'd work.

Plurality is the method that needs primaries to recover when a party  
has nominated clones (because, in plurality the clones would divvy up  
the available votes - in most other methods voters could see clones as  
equally attractive and vote for both).  Of course there is no escape  
in plurality for multiple parties could nominate clones and primaries  
are done within parties.
>> 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.
>> [endquote]

OMOV may inspire some - many of us have to argue against it having  
value because we back, as better, methods this thought argues about -  
such as Condorcet, Score, and even IRV.
>> Yes, if you give thumbs-down to nearly all of the candidates,  
>> you're giving just
>> as many ratings as the person who gives thumbs-up to nearly all of  
>> the candidates.
>> S/he doesn't have more voting power than you do. As I said, you can  
>> cancel out
>> any other voter, by an opposite ballot, no matter how many  
>> candidates s/he gives
>> thumbs-up to.
>> With N candidates, each voter has the power to rate N candidates,  
>> up or down.
> True. I know that, you know that. How do we easily show the people  
> that? I think it's a matter of framing. If cast in terms of being  
> "you can give as many votes as there are candidates", then Approval  
> feels like it violates OMOV. If cast in terms of "for each  
> candidate, you determine if you approve/not" or "if your thumbs will  
> be up or down", then it's more clear that it doesn't, because every  
> voter has that choice for every candidate.

But, if you approve every candidate, you might as well have stayed  
home - because the same count is received by every candidate you vote  
> My preference for what to call approval is entirely pragmatic. The  
> term "approval" has precedence (it's called Approval voting after  
> all). The term "thumbs-up vs thumbs-down" might be easier to  
> understand for someone who's never heard of Approval before. I don't  
> know which phrasing would be stronger.
> ("In better set" vs "in worse set", is probably not it :-) )
>> You continued:
>>  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.
>> [endquote]
>> The chicken dilemma isn't, and can't be, an objection to switching  
>> from Plurality
>> to Approval, because Plurality has it, at least as bad. "We won't  
>> vote for your candidate,
>> so you'd better vote for ours if you want one of {yours,ours} to  
>> win." That chicken
>> dilemma is worse than Approval's, because, to co-operate requires  
>> actually abandoning
>> your favorite, and not even acknowledging that s/he is acceptable.  
>> It requires voting the
>> other candidate over yours, and saying, in your ballot that s/he is  
>> better than yours.
> Again, that's true. I suppose I just expected the "tribalist  
> counting coup" guys who are going "okay, I know Approval is a  
> Democrat plot, now what can I say to discredit Approval" to at least  
> refer to it. But perhaps "my tribe doesn't like it" is good enough  
> to a tribalist, so they don't see the reason in investigating further.
Part of the chicken dilemma difficulty is that it depends on what some  
voters will do without any compulsion, and what others will do after  
making promises to cooperate

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