[EM] Yes/?/No

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km_elmet at t-online.de
Mon Nov 2 02:00:03 PST 2020

On 01/11/2020 02.34, robert bristow-johnson wrote:
>> On 10/31/2020 9:03 PM Forest Simmons <fsimmons at pcc.edu> wrote:
>> Approval is one of the easiest election methods to explain and to
>> understand; the ballots are identical to traditional FPP ballots except
>> the instructions now say to mark the names of all of the candidates that
>> you like instead of only one of them. As before the winner is the
>> candidate with the greatest number of likes.
>> But what about the candidates that you just like a little bit? Do
>> you include them or not? Where do you draw the line between like and not like?
> i've been trying for a couple years to get the Election Science
> people to answer that simple question.  should a voter approve of their second
> choice or not?  there is no simple answer and the voter is burdened with
> the task of tactical voting.

The simple answer is that any ranked method has to decide the answer to
some pretty tough elections. (Burlington being one of them.) Approval
abdicates the responsibility to get them right, and places it on the
voters instead. That's how it can, on paper, satisfy so many desirable
properties (like IIA); but in a sense, it's a trick.

Approval is very simple to understand (procedurally) and count, and it
probably *is* the best incremental change to FPTP if you're only allowed
to make a slight change. But if you can aim higher, there are plenty of
ranked methods better than it. IMHO.


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