Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Gaming the Vote (2)

I finished Gaming the Vote this evening; it's a pretty quick read. The book is heavily anecdotal--- most ideas are introduced with biographies and interviews rather than straight exposition. It's engaging enough as a political history, but lacks both historical and mathematical depth.

The conclusion is mainly pro-range-voting without really presenting a fair view of what its opponents dislike. (Maybe the objections really are entirely theoretic/academic.) FWIW, I'm still an approval-voting fan: the cases where it produces the "wrong" result aren't worrisome to me. But I have nothing against range-voting either. More information on the "Bayesian regret" metric would have been helpful, I think.

Right now I'm wondering about pushing utility-based reasoning further in the direction of vote-buying. Suppose there are 100 people in Smallville. 55 of them prefer mayor A, while 45 of them prefer challenger B. But suppose that most of the voters have an only marginal preference (say, a few dollars of utility), while millionaire C has a strong preference for B (say, $100,000 worth.) Why shouldn't C get his way? He could pay a few thousand dollars to the A supporters in exchange for their votes and everybody would come out ahead. And yet this doesn't seem like a good long-run recipe...
Tags: books, politics
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