[EM] Why I prefer ranked-choice voting to approval voting

Ralph Suter RLSuter at aol.com
Tue Oct 11 11:35:05 PDT 2016

I agree with everything Jameson says except for one point in his ps. I 
don't think it's important that voters know exactly how votes are 
tallied to decide the winner as long as they understand the basic idea 
that in Condorcet voting, the winning candidate is the one who outranks 
every other candidate in one to one comparisons. Furthermore, figuring 
out how votes are tallied in IRV voting is not especially easy either 
for most voters, despite the arguments about it's simplicity that IRV 
supporters often make, which I have never found terribly persuasive.

One other point I'd like to make is that in some voting situations, such 
as voting in informal meetings for options that most participants aren't 
terribly passionate about (e.g., "where and when shall we meet again"), 
approval voting is often vastly preferable to any ranked choice method 
and has a much lower cognitive burden. That's why I believe we need to 
discuss the relative merits of different voting methods not just for the 
purpose of elections for public office but for all kinds of voting 

It may also be (and probably is) that some methods are better for some 
kinds of public elections than for other kinds. For example, approval 
may be preferable to any ranked choice method in many if not most 
elections for city council, while ranked choice may be preferable to 
approval for the U.S. presidential election.

-Ralph Suter

On 10/11/2016 1:02 PM, election-methods-request at lists.electorama.com wrote:
 > ps. You mention Condorcet, and argue that the strategic cognitive 
burden is
 > higher than IRV. I disagree; but since Condorcet comes with a higher
 > cognitive burden in just figuring out why a given candidate won, I agree
 > that Condorcet methods are probably not best for large-scale elections.

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