Voting systems for environmental decisions.
Voting systems aggregate preferences efficiently and are often used for deciding conservation priorities. Desirable characteristics of voting systems include transitivity, completeness, and Pareto optimality, among others. Voting systems that are common and potentially useful for environmental decision making include simple majority, approval, and preferential voting. Unfortunately, no voting system can guarantee an outcome, while also satisfying a range of very reasonable performance criteria. Furthermore, voting methods may be manipulated by decision makers and strategic voters if they have knowledge of the voting patterns and alliances of others in the voting populations. The difficult properties of voting systems arise in routine decision making when there are multiple criteria and management alternatives. Because each method has flaws, we do not endorse one method. Instead, we urge organizers to be transparent about the properties of proposed voting systems and to offer participants the opportunity to approve the voting system as part of the ground rules for operation of a group.
Burgman, MA; Regan, HM; Maguire, LA; Colyvan, M; Justus, J; Martin, TG; Rothley, K
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