Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Day This Book Will Be A Classic, June 18, 2002
This review is from: Approval Voting (Paperback)
I really hope that some day we implement Approval Voting in our country. This book will be a classic, remembered as the first seed of a beautiful political reform.
In a nutshell, Approval Voting allows you to rate each candidate as acceptable or unacceptable. The candidate acceptable to the most voters wins.
Our current system, one man one vote, works fine with only 2 candidates. However, with 3 or more candidates our current system is faulty. There are plenty of problems with it that you can learn of from the literature on voting, but the most obvious is the "spoiler problem", where a minor candidate (e.g. Buchanan or Nader) can steal support from a major candidate (e.g. Bush or Gore). Approval Voting solves this problem, because you can simply indicate acceptance of Gore as well as Nader, or Buchanan as well as Bush.
This book is very balanced in its coverage of topics. They cover plenty of important theory in a very rigorous fashion, but also go through empirical examples from real elections. They develop tools for analyzing election data, in hopes of understanding what WOULD have happened if we had used Approval Voting.
Also, the math in the book is kept relatively simple. And, even if you aren't a big math fan, the first chapter is geared toward the non-expert, and in most chapters the first and last sections outline the basic ideas. So, if you want to learn about how Approval Voting stacks up in strategic matters, but you don't want to wade through the math, just read the first and last sections of the chapter on strategy.
Overall, this books is fantastic. I strongly recommend it! It's hard to find, but copies are out there for the determined reader, and you won't even have to steal them from the library!
Finally, I recommend the paperback version over the hardcover. The paperback has some reviewer comments on the back, which gives a little insight as to how the book was received when it first came out.
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