[EM] Dave: Improvement on Approval

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Mon Mar 26 17:54:20 PDT 2012

On Mar 26, 2012, at 2:44 PM, MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote:

> Dave:
> On Mar 24, 2012, at 3:49 PM, MIKE OSSIPOFF wrote:
> Approval can't be improved upon, other than questionably and  
> doubtfully.
> You wrote:
> This is a bit much, considering that there are many competing  
> methods that offer various worthy capabilities.
> Looking at the ABucklin that you mention:
> Assuming that I wish to elect A, but want to have B considered ONLY  
> if I cannot get A elected:
> .     I cannot say this with Approval, where I must give equal  
> approval to every candidate I approve.
> .     With ABucklin I can give B a lower rank than I give A, to be  
> considered only if A's rank does not decide on a winner.
> [endquote]
> Yes, and I don't deny that Abucklin's improvement can be desirable.  
> In fact, if our voting system now were Approval with the
> options that I've been describing, I probably would use the MTA  
> option, or, better, the MTAOC* option.  The only reason why
> I wouldn't use ABucklin or AOCBucklin is because there wouldn't, for  
> me, be many levels of candidate-merit. Under different
> circumstances, I might use ABucklin or AOCBucklin.
> *(We've been talking about how the conditional methods have a  
> ridiculous secondary defection strategy. I'd use the
> MTAOC option anyway, because I don't think that people would use  
> that ridiculous, counter-intuitive, and potentially
> disastrous defection strategy. So, while 1st-level defection is  
> discouraged,
> there might well not be any 2nd level defection. Let me just add  
> that, because I only suggest AOC and MTAOC, etc., as _options_, the
> appearance of complexity of the conditionality-implementation  
> software code isn't an acceptance problem, because
> everyone will know that s/he needn't use it. An _option_ for  
> managing one's Approval voting power isn't a problem. Anyone's
> voting power is his/her own, and if s/he chooses a complicated way  
> of managing it, that isn't anyone else's problem.)

What did you say?

On or before the 24th I wrote of ABucklin based on a partial  
definition of it since I could not find anything complete and solid.

Here I read of what must be collections of methods:
.     Deciding on implementing would require decisions on ballot  
format and counting rules.
,     To be a voter would require much of that - and if vague or  
incomplete would properly inspire complaints.
> It isn't that Approval can't be improved on at all. I'm just saying  
> that voting system reform advocates often have (in my perception)
> an exaggerated impression of _how much_ Approval can be improved on.
> For instance, though I like ABucklin, and it's one of my favorites,  
> it isn't perfect. Improvements and refinements of Approval
> don't bring perfection. Maybe you rank one of the acceptable  
> candidates in 3rd place, because you want to distinguish between
> the merit of the various acceptable candidates. But then, in the  
> count, someone gets a majority when ballots give to their 2nd
> choices. A candidate unacceptable to you wins because you ranked  
> that acceptable candidate in 3rd place.
> Or maybe the opposite could happen: You give 2nd place rankiing to  
> B, and 1st place ranking to A. No one gets a 1st place
> majority, and so all the ballots, including yours, give to their 2nd  
> choice. B then gets a majority and wins. But A would
> have gotten a majority in the next round. Or maybe A and B  both got  
> a 2nd rank majority, but B got a bigger majority
> than A did. A would have won if you hadn't ranked B. Of course that  
> can happen in Approval, and, in fact, of course
> ABucklin makes it less likely. My point is merely that it's still  
> possible.
> Yes, I know that ABucklin offers something that Approval doesn't  
> offer. I'm just saying that it doesn't _always_ prevent
> accidentally giving the election away to a 2nd choice. And you can  
> regret not voting Approval-style. Probably some
> improvement--I'd use the multi-level MTA or MTAOC--but not the  
> perfect improvement that some expect.
> And, whether in Approval with options, or in Abucklin, the person  
> voting an Approval ballot has simpler strategy
> (though he/she has to of course be willing to forgo the multi-level  
> nature of ABucklin or MTA).
> Of course ABucklin adds MMC compliance, and I value that.
> Bottom-line: Improvement, yes. Perfect or complete improvement, no.
> I suggest offering improvements, such as the options of AOC,  
> ABucklin, AOCBucklin, MTA, MTAOC, etc., & maybe  delegation,  
> sometime after
> the enactment of Approval. Especially if there's considerable talk  
> about wanting something fancier than ordinary Approval.

Which leaves me promoting Condorcet.  It allows ranking but, unlike  
ABucklin or IRV, all that a voter ranks gets counted.  Further, any  
voter able to match their desires to Plurality or Approval for a  
particular election, can vote by those rules and have them counted  
with the same power by Condorcet rules.
Dave Ketchum
> Mike Ossipoff
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