I quite like the idea of having voters select one candidate as first
choice, then mark "approvals" for as many others as they wish. I
especially like it for primaries. How would the winner be determined,
though? And how would it work in delegate allocation in presidential
At 8:22 PM 2/22/96, Rob Lanphier wrote:
>On Thu, 22 Feb 1996 [hidden email] wrote:
>> Based on relative comparisons and not absolute approval or disapproval
>> (especially for second and later choices).
>>From a pragmatic point of view, how useful is information about the
>absolute preferences of the voters? If we need to pick one and only one
>President, we only need to know which one (and only one) they like best.
>Since voters seldom agree, we *then* need mechanisms for determining
>Hence the ranked ballot. Voters pick *one* top choice, and then can list
>other candidates the can "live with", in order of preference.
>Absolute approval/disapproval is irrelevent when we want people to
>*choose* a candidate. If giving each candidate a grade is what we care
>about, then we should consider approval.
>> Circular result ties possible in
>> pair comparisons.
>A system that measures voter ambiguity is far superior to one that
>arbitrarily chooses a winner in spite of ambiguity. Ties are highly
>unlikely in any election method with a sufficient number of voters,
>> Approval Voting (AV)
>> Based on absolute approval or disapproval. No relative comparisons among
>> multiple majority winners.
>It also gives disproportionate representation to voters who can't
>distiguish the difference between several candidates. It is riddled with
>very real strategy problems.
>Consider the 1992 election, had it been an approval election. Voters who
>preferred Clinton, but would take Bush in a last ditch effort to keep
>Perot out of office stood the danger of helping Bush get elected if they
>voted for Bush and Clinton. Yet they also stood the danger of losing to
>Perot if they voted for only Clinton, since there was probably a large
>number of people who would have voted for Clinton and Perot to run Bush
>out of office. Perot voters who really didn't like Clinton or Bush would
>be forced to vote for neither if Perot is who they truly wanted. Bush
>voters would have had the same problem.
>Ultimately, voters should be expected to choose a candidate, and give
>fallback info if their first choice is not acceptable. They shouldn't be
>able to choose a wad of candidates and leave it up to everyone else to
>decide. Nor should voters be forced to use this as a method of
>expressing their preference.
>[hidden email] >http://www.eskimo.com/~robla
Associate Professor of Political Science
Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
On Tue, 27 Feb 1996, Matthew Shugart wrote:
> I quite like the idea of having voters select one candidate as first
> choice, then mark "approvals" for as many others as they wish. I
> especially like it for primaries.
Hmm, it does have a ballot simplicity. But Condorcet's is far superior
in eliminating strategy.
> How would the winner be determined,
> though? And how would it work in delegate allocation in presidential
Got me. A Condorcet-like calculation could be used (favorite is ranked
#1, approved are tied for #2, the rest unranked), but my feeling is that
as long as we are going to use something Condorcet-like, we might as well
use genuine articles.