Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Who Can Compete in Our Elections?

By       Message Paul Cohen       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments, In Series: Balanced Voting

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Author 1890
- Advertisement -

In the last two articles of this series (Who will win this Election and Who will win this Election, Part II) we described the makeup of voters and considered the likely outcomes under a variety of different voting systems. Here we will repeat that thought-experiment but consider a different makeup of the voter attitudes.

In the chart below, the results for the various voting systems are shown for both systems, serving both as a review and as a preview. But more importantly, the chart illustrates the difference between traditional voting systems and balanced ones. It is worth noting that in the traditional column, only Celeb (celebrity) candidates are competitive whereas in the balanced column the non-celebrity (Ghost) candidate is consistently at least competitive.


(Image by Paul Cohen)   Details   DMCA

- Advertisement -

Clearly, by these results, the balanced systems tend to be open to more candidates, and sometimes different candidates, than traditional systems. The difference stems from the fact that balanced voting systems explicitly take into account both support and opposition of candidates -- whereas traditional systems only consider support.

This election is between three candidates, two of whom are celebrities, well known by nearly all voters. Al Celeb has strong support from 35% of voters but is strongly disliked by 60%. Beth Celeb is strongly supported by 33% of the voters but very much disliked by 52%. The other candidate, Ghost, draws his support from the 12% of voters, who disapprove both of the Celeb candidates. Ghost is well regarded by the relatively small number of voters who know much about him.

You might now take some time to think about which of the four candidates deserve to win the election.

- Advertisement -

If the election were held using plurality voting, it is pretty clear that Al Celeb would be the winner with 35% of the vote. The fact that both Celeb candidates have more opposition than support does not matter because opposition is not a factor in traditional voting systems like plurality voting.

On the other hand, if the election were held using balanced plurality voting, then presumably 35% of the voters would vote for Al Celeb and 33% would vote for Beth Celeb. But each of the Celeb candidates will face opposition votes as well. Al Celeb might have as much as 60% of voters casting votes against him, or as few as 48% against him if all 12% of voters who favor Al Ghost choose to vote for Ghost. So Al Celeb will have a net vote of somewhere between -13% and -35% of the voters. By the same reasoning, Beth Celeb will receive a net vote between -7% and -19% of the vote. Ghost, with between 0% and 12% of the vote will win the election. When opposition to them is taken into account, celebrity candidates lose their great advantage.

With approval voting, Al Celeb and Beth Celeb will respectively get 35% and 33% of the vote while Ghost will get only 12%. As with plurality voting, Al Celeb will be declared the winner.

With balanced approval voting, (where the voter is asked to indicate approval or disapproval -- or neither - for each of the candidates), Al Celeb and Beth Celeb will respectively get -25% and -19% of the vote while Ghost will get 12% so Ghost will be declared the winner.

In this election there are few enough candidates that one might question the motivation for using ration voting, but for the sake of providing an example we can consider it nonetheless. Each voter would be handed three plurality ballots (it could be more or less than that, but three seems reasonable with just three candidates). It seems likely that a Ghost voter would cast all three ballots for Ghost, giving Ghost 12% of the vote. But Al Celeb and Beth Celeb would respectively receive 35% and 33% of the vote. Al Celeb would be declared the winner. However, if sentiment among Ghost voters favored Beth Celeb over Al Celeb then some might cast some of their ballots for Beth Celeb and this could turn Beth Celeb into the winner.

If this election were held using balanced ration voting, each voter would be handed three balanced plurality ballots. Any outcome is possible for this election, the voters have free reign to decide. This may not immediately obvious to you -- it was not to me. I had to set up a spread-sheet to try out scenarios to see this to be the case.

- Advertisement -

It is the Ghost voters who will make the selection between the two Celeb candidates and that will be by deciding how many of their 12% of ballots will go to Celeb candidates. If 2% more of those 12% are cast against Al Celeb than are cast against Beth then the race between the Celeb candidates is a tie. Of course if more than 2% go against Al Celeb then he will lose and the contest will be between Ghost and Beth Celeb. If that margin is less than 2% then the contest will be between Ghost and Al Celeb.

Also as might be expected, whether Ghost can win will depend on how many of the Celeb voters decide to vote against the candidate they dislike (rather than for the Celeb candidate they like). If 23% of voters (Celeb voters) decide to cast votes against the Celeb candidate they dislike then the race becomes a toss-up.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

A concerned citizen and former mathematician/engineer now retired and living in rural Maine.

Paul Cohen Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 
Series: "Balanced Voting"

A Voter's Quandry (Article) (# of views) 12/10/2018
Opposites (Article) (# of views) 10/20/2018
A First Experience with Ranked Voting (Article) (# of views) 06/13/2018
View All 35 Articles in "Balanced Voting"
Total Views for the Series: 30757   

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Who Pays Taxes?

Liberate Yourself from the Mainstream Media

Who Pays Taxes II

Rethinking Which Voting System is Best

Conservatives Without Conscience

Can Less be Better?