Talk:Disapproval voting

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Text from January 2003[edit]

Pardon my mention of the French wikipedia mess, but it's appropriate as they seem to be disapproving of a rather lot of people, although perhaps without much voting.

I have deleted this non-article. It was, in fact, a disjoint list of ways in which disapproval could be registered in voting systems.

Some of which are formalized, e.g. representative recall, executive veto, and of course the various ways to do it in tactical voting.

This is not an article.

Then fix it, or add a note that these various ways of indicating some disapproval aren't studied enough and are more part of pop culture. But don't deny that the topic exists, nor that they aren't popular (e.g. reality game show implementations).

The only references to "disapproval voting" I could find were to a system of voting functionally equivalent to approval voting whereby instead of voting for candidates, you cross unacceptable candidates off the list.

Then you didn't look very hard. And no the two systems are only somewhat "functionally equivalent" because there are very significant and well-known psychological differences between approval and disapproval actions. They are not symmetrical, and thus the two must be discussed in different ways.

This should be added to the approval voting page. DanKeshet 04:12 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

You didn't do that either. Are you trying to censor discussion of this topic? (this and other inline responses from 142)

Responses below, because I don't like inline mode for comments.

What I was saying is that the non-article that was here was not about a particular thing called "disapproval voting", it was about registering disapproval in voting systems and other decision-making processes.

Much of it is about that, yes, and that section is now clearly marked. But there are also 'arguments for formal disapproval' and the many examples of 'popular use' of systems that are in fact formal disapproval systems, as on the game shows. All the article now lacks is an example like the others.

Whether the methods of registering disapproval are formal or informal makes no difference to their germanity in an article about disapproval voting.

?!?? Voting systems are necessarily and only about formalizing things that were previously informal, e.g. replacing street warfare with elections. If there is lots of informal disapproval going on, and if it's interfering with other signals, those are arguments that disapproval itself is becoming formalized. If you like, make this two articles, one that is a straightforward presentation of the 'exclusion voting' systems as used on the game shows, and another that discusses 'choice versus disapproval' in voting itself. But one article on all these things seems quite adequate.

You say that I must not have looked very hard to not find no other uses of the term "disapproval voting", so I ask you: please help me by pointing me to one or more reproducible references to somebody referring to something else as "disapproval voting". I will not re-write the page to say that the topic needs to be discussed more; that's an editorial comment that does not belong in wikipedia.

The page now says that the topic is there in pop culture and is part of the dialogue about, and rationale for use of, other voting systems. It lists three examples of disapproval which don't have approval equivalents.

Regarding the system of crossing out names: yes, there are psychological differences between this and voting for candidates in approval voting. That's why I said they're functionally equivalent rather than "the same".

That observation is preserved.

Mathematically equivalent perhaps would've been a better choice of words.

No, the mathematics one would have to apply to the choices of a negative versus positive choice are different. See Dembo/Freeman "Seeing Tomorrow", 1998. Simply using the same equations inverted is just not correct... it is more correct to say that disapproval voting is mathematically equivalent not to approval voting, but to runoff voting, with only the least popular candidate knocked off, or mandatory preference voting (Australian), where ranking someone last constitutes disapproving of them relative to others, and only one candidate is knocked off per round.

As to why I haven't included this bit about this system and it's uses, it's because I haven't found anything more than passing references.

What other name would you assign to the reality game show systems of voting?

I'm embarrassed to add that random factoid in an article without at least knowing which countries use(d) it when and for which offices.

Why must a 'country' use it for an 'office'? A voting system can exist without being applied at the federal level for selecting people for office. Most voting systems are about measures to be taken, not people to trust... there is already a great bias towards representative democracy in the voting system entries - giving short shift to more direct means of making decisions.

If you know this information, please add it. DanKeshet 21:01 Jan 31, 2003 (UTC)

most uses of disapproval are for representative recall (of incumbents) and ratification veto (of appointed officials presented for office by executives). For measures, there are the executive veto or line-item veto, which are not about choosing candidates at all.

There is now a separate article on formal disapproval which is mostly a disambiguator - for formal protest (like diplomatic letters), abstention frmo voting (sometimes called an election boycott), and recall measures.

The section on 'expressions of disapproval in other voting systems' might reasonably be moved to that article.

The intro, on psychological differences, and the 'popular use', would have to be retained and an example provided, plus some of hte comments noted as above.

This artificial idea that a 'voting system' must be about selecting officers in a representative democratic structure, has to be vetted from existing articles - a voting system is a means of expressing some tolerances or preferences or both, and it can be used by electors, representatives within a legislature, executives, citizens after an election, etc. - it is not simply a construct of use in 'elect a dictator' type pseudo-democracies.

Text from August 2003[edit]

It appears that this article doesn't fit someone's PhD thesis or idea of politics. The legitimate issue is that representative recall may be formal disapproval, but it may not be disapproval voting as such.

If it isn't, then, this is not an aspect of an electoral system but it is still a voting system. A serious problem with the current voting systems articles that it confuses an electoral and a voting system. That needs fixing.

A voting system is just a way to make a collective choice. Clearly there is such a thing as disapproval voting in this sense, since there are reality game shows out there doing it literally every day on TV. So this exists.

It's dodgier whether the kind of protest vote or abstention or refusal to ratify constitutes disapproval voting without a disapproval style of ballot. That issue can be discussed and disputed without censoring the voting system itself.

Moved from W:vfud[edit]

  • disapproval voting clearly exists, as anyone who's seen "Survivor" knows - the article had five links to it that all seemed valid, so it has been temporarily restored so it can be reviewed by more neutral parties. It seems to have become a target of User:DanKeshet because it doesn't fit his thesis that choosing a voting system is like choosing a social welfare function, and because it is not used for elections, but in reality game shows. A new short article on formal disapproval was also added. The deletion of both of these seems to have been wholly politically motivated, or because they don't fit an idiosyncratic thesis. Also list of voting systems is a mess, and should not be used as a watchlist. All told, this is quite bad management of pages.
    • Careful ascribing motivations. The meta:deletion management redesign is to deal with the serious notification problems that exist in the present system. Avoid restoring articles that have not been approved here, although, in this case I agree there's a valid article there, although some of it's content may go somewhere else. User:DanKeshet has done an otherwise good job of the voting systems pages, and very often such people do so due to some motivation such as you ascribe, but, if the process is followed, it's hardly only his fault. EofT

"more than two" vs. "two or more"[edit]

In the sentence "[t]rue disapproval voting would require more than two choices or representatives, and would ask voters to disavow one or more," wouldn't it make more sense to say "two or more"?

Of course, in a recall vote there are typically two choices: recall and don't recall. But surely a vote to recall one of two people still counts as proper disapproval voting? That is to say, surely it is not necessary to have three choices for it to be a true disapproval vote?

--cpcallen 16:35, 2004 Oct 22 (UTC)

Adding non-confidence voting here?[edit]

George Hara 23:54, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)


I would like to add a section here for non-confidence voting. Here is the text (any objections?):


A particular case of the disproval voting is the non-confidence voting.

The non-confidence voting is normally used after an "in favor" qualified majority vote, not instead nor mixed. Basically, the non-confidence voting first allows representative democracy to function as usual, then, if a second body of decision (this could be the people which act as in a direct democracy) decides to revoke the representatives' decisions, it can do so with a vote of non-confidence (which can be toward the representatives or toward the decisions of the representatives).

In the case of the state, this means that the representative democracy can function normally (without delays or interference), but can still be controlled by direct democracy. Today, this happens only on a small scale: parliament - president - government.

The premise on which the non-confidence voting is based is that it is better to have no rules than have any bad rules, at least until a new attempt to impose the rule.

Non-confidence voting is a call for non-action, that is, it can be applied only when there is no necessity for an outcome of the voting process (meaning, things can be just as they were before the vote – without the rule). Therefore, it can't be applied when it is necessary to take action, like choosing a candidate in elections.


One more thing... I don't understand this paragraph from "Arguments for and against": "Support in this ratification vote of less than 67-80% is taken as a strong disapproval - and most likely ends the rise of that individual at his current level. In any such structure, formal disapproval voting may lead to less honest outcomes, if the peer pressure not to be seen to formally disapprove of anyone is extreme." The second sentence, I think, refers to being seen by other to vote against (though the vote is secret!), but the first sentence beats me.

Not Sure[edit]

I'm not 100% on what disapproval voting is after reading the article. Here is the type of system I am thinking of in my head:

There are 5 candidates on the ballot: Bob, Tim, Joe, Steve, and Ellen. Voter is told to vote against as many candidates as desired. The votes are then counted, with the following results: Bob has 10 votes against him, Tim has 12 votes against him, Joe has 23 votes against him, Steve has 19 votes against him, and Ellen has 7 votes against her. The result is Ellen, who has the least votes against her, wins the election.

Is that disapproval voting? Or is that something else? Doregasm 08:58, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

This specific case is isomorphic to Approval Voting.Jack Rudd (talk) 02:29, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Approval Voting ("Give yes to ones you want, the one with most yes, wins the election") is different from disapproval voting ("Give no to ones you dont want, the one with least no, wins the election").
On disaproval voting, not giving a vote to someone because you are lazy to check the entire ballot or because you didnt saw someone there and etc... means you want them. You must make sure you vote on every single person you dont want or you will be actually "wanting them". (talk) 11:46, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

"Against all" voting in Russia[edit]

Apparently this was eliminated from the Russian election system in 2006. (Russian legislative election, 2007). Or not? Kope (talk) 07:33, 21 December 2008 (UTC)


"This negative view of politics itself is very commonly associated with libertarianism."

This seems like a POV assertion. If this statement is meant to convey something NPOV, I think it needs careful revision. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:27, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I wouldn't say that's a serious problem, since libertarians are generally negative about government/politics but this sentence implying seeing things the way the writer thinks is some sort of "failure" is both POV and not very clear "some fail to see voting as a positive and voluntary choice of a desirable outcome. To these, the electoral and legal systems are in general about reducing the losses, not pursuing the possible gains, in political cooperation with each other." (talk) 21:35, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

It's a weird thing to say in context, because it's consistently the Major Parties' members and fans who complain when fringe voters, by voting for their most favored outcome, fail to prevent election of the worst of the two Major Party candidates! —Tamfang (talk) 04:04, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


Negative Vote Association has collected information on this subject. Other terms such as "negative voting", "bi-polar voting", CAV or combined approval voting have been used to describe this concept. Proponents believe this will increase voter participation and improve all democracies and reduce the influence of extremism. The association has commissioned three Gallup surveys to measure the impact of negative vote in elections, these are the only known data-based research on this subject to-date. Here are some references:

  • Grece, Claire James (1869): Upon Negative Voting; a paper read at a meeting of the Jurisprudence Department of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, on Monday, 12th July, 1869.
  • Boehm, G.A.W. (1976): One fervent vote against Wintergreen. Mimeograph.
  • Brams, S.J. (1977): When is it advantageous to cast a negative vote? In: Mathematical Economics and Game Theory: Essays in Honor of Oscar Morgenstern (R. Henn, O. Moeschlin, eds.). Springer, Berlin, pp. 564–572.
  • Felsenthal, D.S. (1989): On combining approval with disapproval voting. Behavioral Science 34, 56–70.
  • Daniel Ferguson & Theodore Lowi (2001): Reforming American Electoral Politics: Let’s Take“No” for an Answer, 34 PS: Pol. Sci. & Pol. 277, 277
  • George C. Leef (October 29, 2004) A Modest Proposal – Let’s Allow Negative Voting.
  • Michael Kang(2010): Voting as veto, Michigan Law Review, Vol. 108, No. 7
  • José Carlos R. Alcantud and Annick Laruelle: To approve or not to approve: this is not the only question. Universidad de Salamanca, Spain, University of the Basque Country (October 2012)

Internet discussion forums:

Facebook pages:

Tienshuang (talk) 03:47, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

I reformatted your lists for greater legibility; hope you don't mind. —Tamfang (talk) 03:57, 19 April 2016 (UTC)