Tue May 6 19:13:21 PDT 2014
* Approval voting does not solve the spoiler problem. Voting for
your second choice candidate can in some cases lead to the defeat of
your favorite candidate. (This problem is less severe than in
plurality voting, but instant runoff voting does a better job of
addressing the spoiler problem.) Campaigns would urge quietly at
least their supports to "bullet" vote for their candidate only,
and approval voting would thus tend to revert back to plurality
voting. Approval voting is unlikely to work in practice as it is
supposed to work in theory.
Suppose voter preferences are as follows:
A>B>C, approve AB -- 30%
A>B>C, approve A -- 21%
C>B>A, approve BC -- 25%
C>B>A, approve C -- 24%
Under AV, B wins the election with 55% approval (compared to 51% for
A and 49% for C.) However, look how things change if a Cardinal
Ratings system is used (with a 0-2 scale.)
A>B>C, A:2, B:1, C:0 -- 30%
A>B>C, A:2, B:0, C:0 -- 21%
C>B>A, A:0, B:1, C:2 -- 25%
C>B>A, A:0, B:0, C:2 -- 24%
Here, A wins with an average rating of 1.02 (compared to 0.55 for B,
and 0.98 for C.)
* Approval voting forces voters to cast equally weighted votes for
candidates they approve of. Voters cannot indicate a strong
preference for one candidate and a weak preference for another.
Voters in fact almost always will have different degrees of support
for different candidates.
CR obviously does not suffer from this problem (although this is not
technically a strategy issue.)
Approval voting would challenge our notions of majority rule:
Adoption of approval voting could cause the defeat of a candidate
who was the favorite candidate of 51% of voters. If this result were
to happen the system would likely be repealed.
The example already provided addresses this claim, as well.
Basically, I don't understand why CR and AV were ever considered
strategically equivalent in the first place. They're obviously not,
at least from my perspective.
Of course, I haven't (yet) read Samuel Merrill's _Making
Multicandidate Elections More Democratic_ (which I understand to be
the canonical text on this matter) so perhaps I'm just talking out
the wrong orifice.
Comments? (Oh, and I'm new to the list, so please be gentle. I did
attempt to search for similar discussions on this topic in the
archives, but found nothing, so apologies if I'm raising an old
p.s. If this works, please note that the subscription confirmation email
tells you to post to the wrong email address (it says
"election-methods-electorama.com at electorama.com" but the FAQ says to post
to "election-methods at electorama.com") Somebody should probably fix that.
Dennis Kucinich for President in 2004
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