[EM] Score Voting and Approval Voting not practically substantially different from Plurality?

Benjamin Grant panjakrejn at gmail.com
Tue Jun 25 08:00:54 PDT 2013

On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 2:53 AM, Juho Laatu <juho.laatu at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 24.6.2013, at 16.06, Benjamin Grant wrote:
> So, as far as *I* can see, this converts Score Voting into Approval
> voting.  The only people who would bother to vote sincerely are:****
> 1)      Those who truly prefer Gore highest and Bush lowest (or vice
> versa), because there’s no strategic downside.
> You seem to assume that voters with opinion 'Gore:75, Nader: 90, Bush: 10’
> are not strategic when they vote 'Gore:75, Nader: 100, Bush: 0’. There are
> thus two possible levels of sincereness, either people who think that all
> candidates are about equally good should vote that way, or if they should
> exaggerate and tell that the worst one of them is worth 0 points and the
> best one is worth 100 points.

But in the instance where someone's highest priority is to stop Bush, and a
distant second level priority is to see Nader elected over Gore, it seems
unavoidable to admit that if they vote 'Gore:75, Nader: 100, Bush: 0’ they
will be harming their first priority by withholding support from Gore.
Isn't this correct? So then that is a non-strategic vote in comparison to
100/whatever/0, yes?

That's what makes strategic voting different from sincere voting, isn't it:
that strategic voting has a greater chance of creating a more preferred
outcome? So long as the strategic vote and the sincere vote are not the
same, a sincere vote is a vote against your preferences. That is why it
seems so important to me to favor system where those two kinds of voting
coincide as often as possible, right?

> It’s days like these that I feel that there *is* no way to elect people
> that is fair and right. L
> All methods have some problems. But the problems are not always so bad
> that they would invalidate the method. I'd propose to study also the
> Condorcet compliant methods. I note that they already popped up in the
> later discussions and you more or less already promised to study them.
> When compared to Range style utility measuring style Condorcet methods
> take another approach by allowing majorities to decide. With sincere
> (Range) preferences 55: A=100 B=90, 45: B=100 A=0 majority based methods
> allow A to win. Althoug B has clearly higher sum of utiliy, it is also a
> fact that if one would elect B, B would be opposed by 55% majority. A would
> be supported by 55% majority. Not a pretty sight to watch, but that's how
> majority oriented systems are suposed to work. Maybe the majority
> philosophy is that you will get a ruler that can rule (and there is no
> mutiny), instead of getting a ruler whose proposals would be voted against
> every time by 55% majority in the parliament or in public elections.
> Juho

Interesting observation. Personally, in the above example, my gut tells me
that B "ought" to win. However, start tweaking B's numbers downwards, and
at some point we will find a level in which A actually looks better that B,
for example:

55: A=100 B=40
45: B=50 A=0

Now B isn't looking so good compared to A. So there is obviously some
threshold - which may be different for each of us - at which A is the
better choice. Perhaps score voting (when everyone *does* vote sincerely)
captures that threshold - maybe B "ought" to win when his numbers are
highest. Problem is, a lot of people - perhaps even most - will soon get
wise how to push their preferences, and suddenly the Ballots start to look
a lot like this:

55: A=100 B=0
45: B=100 A=0

And then we are back where we started.

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