Working Papers

Approval Voting: A Simple Solution
to the Third Party Spoiler Effect

R. Jeffrey Blair
contact information
Aichi Gakuin University, Nagoya, Japan

http://www.aichi-gakuin.ac.jp/~jeffreyb/research/vote2.html
rough machine translation ... [ Eng=>Jpn ]

An earlier paper (Blair, 2005) explains how the two major political parties in the United States perpetuate the two-party myth, use the spoiler effect to keep power for themselves, but shift blame for distorted elections to third party candidates. This paper follows up to suggest a simple and easy solution to (1) eliminate this distortion, (2) make every person's vote count, (3) provide a more equitable distribution of political power, and (4) thereby help alleviate political apathy among potential new voters.

        Blair (2005) reviewed the concept of the "third party" spoiler effect and how it has affected some recent Presidential elections in the United States. That paper also described how the two major political parties in conjunction with large political contributors and the mass media perpetuate the two-party myth and use the spoiler effect to discourage voter support for minor parties. This paper follows up with a discussion of voting methods and suggests a simple and easy adjustment to the voting system that could eliminate the problem of the spoiler effect, better reflect the voters' true wishes, provide a more equitable distribution of power among political parties--particularly between the major and minor parties, and by offering voters greater choice help alleviate apathy among potential new voters.


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Voting Methods

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Majority Voting

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One Man (Person), One Vote

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Conclusions


Acknowledgments

        I wish to express my sincere thanks to Rik Smoody for valuable critical comments on earlier drafts. Not all of the advice received was necessarily heeded, however, and I retain full responsibility for the final product.

        This paper is gratefully dedicated to Charles Smith (Berkeley, Calif.), the late Dexter Cate (1942-1990), Mary Neilson (Aiea, Hawaii), Ken Ellingwood (Oak Harbor, Washington) and all others who participated in that dedicated and caring group of people that kept the optimistic vision of the People's Party of Hawaii alive during the elections of 1974 and 1976.

Points of Contact

        Any comments on this article will be welcomed and should be mailed to the author at Aichi Gakuin University, Junior College Division, 1-100 Kusumoto-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Japan 456-0037 or e-mailed to him. Other papers and works in progress may be accessed at http:// www.aichi-gakuin.ac.jp/ ~jeffreyb/ research / index.html.

References

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Working Papers
http://www.aichi-gakuin.ac.jp/~jeffreyb/research