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Declared-Strategy Voting Systems: Motivations and Design

The method of choice...should be as scientifically framed and as efficiently adapted to its purpose as experience and political wisdom can make it.... It is not sufficient for every citizen to have the vote; he should also be assured of the greatest possible freedom and effectiveness in its use.

Enid Lakeman and James D. Lambert, 1955 [64]

Declared-strategy voting (DSV) is a new voting paradigm that does not fit neatly into the categories described in Chapter gif. Like the utilitarian systems, DSV -- when outfitted with the rational strategy formulator to be introduced in Chapter 4 -- requires voters to supply cardinal preference information; however, this information is not summed or multiplied to determine the election outcome. Like the positional systems, DSV uses ordinal preference information; however, DSV also considers a voter's relative strength of approval for each alternative. And there are many types of DSV systems, some of which are single stage and some of which are multi stage. Thus, DSV is quite a departure from the voting systems previously investigated.

What do we hope to gain by departing from the traditional approach to voting system design and where does this departure lead us? In this chapter we explain the motivations behind our approach and present some specific instances of declared-strategy voting systems.