[EM] [CES #8955] Re: Score Voting and Approval Voting not practically substantially different from Plurality?

Benjamin Grant panjakrejn at gmail.com
Tue Jun 25 08:44:12 PDT 2013

On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 7:01 AM, George Sanders <geovoting at gmail.com> wrote:

> A general reply for Ben:
> Ben, If 'strategic voters' devolve Score into Approval into Plurality,
> that's their choice, but at least those who WANT greater choice can have it
> in Score. AND, every young person already knows about 'Score
> Voting'--because it's what we all use on the internet to rate our favorite
> products and services...and to SELECT the best one for our specific use if

What people want isn't always what the need.  I think I would support a
system that produced better results in terms of other factors (such as less
susceptible to strategic voting) than worry about someone wanting something
if it seems not to be in their own best interests.

For example, I wrote a role playing game (Dream Factory) that had a
mechanic that player could use - 90% of the time it was not their best
option, but occasionally it was. What I found was that players were using
the option a lot more than they should, much more in situations where the
mechanic harmed more than it helped. So in the 2nd edition, I removed that

I see no need to give people choices that they think will get them what
they want, but actually won't.  And make no mistake, I am not saying that
people shouldn't be allowed to pursue their preferential outcome, I am
saying that they shouldn't be given a system that results in them more
often not getting the outcomes that they actually want.  In other words, I
don't care if they don't get the system they want, so long as the system
they get is better at given them the *outcomes* they want, make sense?

> And Ben, what voting method would you use in this scenario (I've posted
> this before, but it deserves re-mentioning here):
> *Scenario*:
> Three candidates: two polarizing demagogues and a well-liked moderate
> centrist. The two polarizing demagogues garner all the [first-place] votes
> (think something like Stalin vs. Hitler here) and one of them wins the
> majority, while the 3rd candidate--who was thought of as *everyone’s
> close 2nd choice* (think a John-Huntsman-type here)--got NO VOTES
> (although he had 100% ‘approval’)!!!****
> *Question for you to answer*: “
> Who amongst the three candidates do you think is the best choice for the
> collective society, and what voting methods will select him?

Like I commented on similarly in another post, I think a compromise
candidate that everyone (truly) supports "ought" to win over a candidate
that 51% support strongly. (Although I am not sure that Huntsman is that
candidate, but that's besides the point.) As to what voting system would
select him, I made a very on point announcement earlier: when I point out
the flaws of a system in these emails, even when I say I hate certain
pieces of it, is no guarantee that I won't hate the aspects of other
systems even more. In other words, Just because I see some warts on
Score/Approval voting doesn't mean that I have ruled it out, as I find it
quite plausible that each other system has some pretty horrible pieces too.
 Right now, my goal is not to choose a system, it's to make sure I
understand the flaws in this one, Score/Approval Voting.


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