> First, I assert that "strategic voting" is
> a bad thing. Elections should not be
> contests in which voters with better
> minds for (and knowledge of) strategy
> have more say in the outcome than
> voters without.
True. But I would place that as a lower priority, behind accuracy and integrity of the counting system.
> Second, I assert that voters should be able
> to vote with no more knowledge than how
> much they like each of the candidates.
Yes. I agree.
> Elections should not be contests in which
> voters who happen to be privvy to private
> information ("party members", for example)
> have more say in the outcome than voters
> who are not.
This I disagree with. All elections are contests in which voters who have more information have more say in the outcome than voters who don't. Access to information has and will always determines the power of a voter. No system can change that.
> As I have pointed out, Approval voting
> fails badly on both fronts. The
> single most important a voter faces is
> where to draw his approval threshhold, '
> and this decision is aided greatly
> by accurate polls.
However, an honest expression of "Approval" has been shown to be one of the the top 3 best possible strategies, in every study of Approval voting that's been made.
> > I declare that a voting system should collect
> > all and only the information that it can count
> > with transparency, accuracy and integrity.
> Apart from suggesting that ballots should
> not ask people their favorite colors,
> I'm not sure this rules out any voting
This would rule out collecting "ranked ballots" and counting them using IRV. IRV fails to accurately count user's preferences according to nearly every modern mathematical analysis of voting systems. That is what I would call "inaccurate".
> If you like this system, and are willing
> to extend the 0 to 5 range to any range,
> then let's suppose you extend it to
> the range of the number of candidates.
> You now have a ranked ballot, but
> voters are allowed to encode ties.
> Count this with Condorcet.
> If you agree with this, what's the
Fine, let's set it from 1 to 100. I agree with this as long as you do not ask the voters to rank the candidates. Please understand, as any marketer or polling professional knows: the question you ask is *just as important* as the information you gather.
> Fifth, handwaving and derision do not
> negate the simple system for using a
> ranked ballot (with ties) as an
> approval ballot.
I'm clad your proposed ranked ballot allows ties, and allows you to leave off candidates...equivalent to ranking them "lowest possible".
How can you possibly deterime which candidates a voter would have "approved of" on an Approval ballot when handing them a ranked ballot?
All you can assume is that they would definitely have *not* approved of any canidates they ranked with the lowest score and definitely would have approved of any candidates they ranked with the highest score.
Surely you can see that you simply don't have any more information about the voter's preferences.
Perhaps their "third choice" is someone who they don't approve of at all, but figured was better then their fourth choice, and they were scared by the "ranking system" into voting for them?
> Sixth, I find your notion of choosing a
> candidate "independent of each other candidate"
> absolutely absurd. I don't like Gore.
> Or Nader. Or Brown. Or any president we've
> ever had. They're all assholes. I'd prefer
> most people I work with more.
> With an approval system, this attitude
> would make my ballot meaningless!
We could make it mean something. Here's how:
Yes, it would score your ballot as zero approval for all candidates.
With an Approval ballot (even a scored ballot would be fine), we would have an accurate reflection of exactly how much Americans likes/dislikes the current representatives.
Humans are meaning-making machines. Under an approval system, we would take one look at an election where some guy with 15% approval wins, and start up a huge national ruckus about minimum approval ratings, etc. The result of this would be, finally, candidates that most people really do approve of.
We would then pass laws requiring, say, a minimum Approval rating of 20% ... in addidion to having the "largest" Approval rating.
Trust me, we would do it.
IRV and ranked ballots hide this fundamental truth: most people don't approve of any of the candidates. Approval voting cracks it wide open.
A scoring system (0 to 100 is fine) is roughly equivalent to Approval Voting. Go ahead and count it using Condorcet....
But it is NOT the same as ranked ballots.
Because you can't rank all candidates as "zero" with a ranked ballot.
You just can't.
> Finally, I'm still not sure about much
> more complex voting systems for
> nationwide elections.
Another reason I back straight Approval. Everyone I talk to understands it. Just check off all the ones you approve of.
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