Manipulation can be a good thing

I have studied strategic manipulation of voting rules in some detail, and it never occurred to me to question the basic assumption that manipulation (misrepresentation of a group of voters of their sincere preferences, thereby achieving a better outcome than if they had voted sincerely) is bad. It is unavoidable by Gibbard-Satterthwaite. A large number of papers have been devoted to trying to minimize its occurrence.

However, some people are now arguing that it might be a good thing, for example papers by Aki Lehtinen and by Keith Dowding and Martin van Hees. The reasons include maximization of total social welfare (utilitarian argument) and improvements to the democratic process through upskilling of voters.  It is not that often that I find such a basic assumption questioned, and it is very refreshing. Most of the mathematical techniques that I know can be used to analyse this new framework, and I will definitely be looking at doing so.

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