One thing I like about approval voting is that I feel that it is possible to easily form strong voting blocs around issues in a way IRV or any other voting system can’t. Advocacy groups can bet on every candidate that supports their pet issues and in a competitive race candidates would have to earn endorsements form the most popular ones to squeak out a victory.
I feel that AV could eliminate the way political parties operate – especially if you eliminate party primaries and just use a top two system with approval voting. Political parties would basically be glorified advocacy groups. Once you allow other candidates to compete, it doesn’t make sense to just run a single candidate.
It would also be easier for voters who care about a few issues, but generally don’t pay too much attention. If you are a college slacker and only care about legalizing pot, you could just vote for all the candidates endorsed by the “Legalize Pot Party” without having to worry about which one is more viable. You don’t have to do much research and can still make a meaningful vote based on your preferences. If you also care about net neutrality, you can vote for all the candidates mutually endorsed by both the “Legalize Pot Party” and the “Internet Freedom Party.”
I don’t see anyone pushing for this argument in support of approval voting though. I haven’t seen CES use it and I just listened to Aaron Hamlin on the 80,000 hours podcast and he didn’t talk about this. I am curious as to why. Am I just wrong about this? Am I imagining this property of AV that just isn’t there?