A conditional defense of plurality rule: generalizing May's theorem in a restricted informational environment

Abstract
May's theorem famously shows that, in social decisions between two options, simple majority rule uniquely satisfies four appealing conditions. Although this result is often cited in support of majority rule, it has never been extended beyond decisions based on pairwise comparisons of options. We generalize May's theorem to many-option decisions where voters each cast one vote. Surprisingly, plurality rule uniquely satisfies May's conditions. This suggests a conditional defense of plurality rule: If a society's balloting procedure collects only a single vote from each voter, then plurality rule is the uniquely compelling electoral procedure. To illustrate the conditional nature of this claim, we also identify a richer informational environment in which approval voting, not plurality rule, is supported by a May-style argument
Keywords May's theorem  Majority rule  Plurality rule  Approval voting  Procedural justifications of democracy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,836
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Human Rights Do Not Make Global Democracy.Eva Erman - 2011 - Contemporary Political Theory 10 (4):463.
Human Rights Do Not Make Global Democracy.Eva Erman - 2011 - Contemporary Political Theory 10 (4):463-481.
Majority Rule.Stéphanie Novak - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):681-688.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2010-07-25

Total downloads
59 ( #100,850 of 2,231,661 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #190,811 of 2,231,661 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature