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Emocracy is a weighted election method.
The voter can rate each single candidate. On an emocracy ballot, there are as many negative ratings are there are positive ratings. In addition, there is an "I don't know option", which is counted the same as the lowest negative rating, but which helps in interpreting the results of the poll.
Emocracy vs. Score Voting
Emocracy is a variant of Score Voting. The differences are thus:
1) It has as many negative ratings as positive ones (hence the name "Emocracy", which is Emotions + Democracy: one can like as well as dislike; one may want to bury one candidate as much as one may want to promote his favourite). It means that the range in Score Voting is moved halfway down, towards the negative. 0~10 becomes -5~+5. Thus, to describe Emocracy as 0~2 is inaccurate, first because it should be -1~+1. Although it makes no difference mathematically, it does make a difference in what the voter perceives. Secondly, unlike what the current implementation of Emocracy on this site might suggest, Emocracy is not restricted to 3 levels. It can also be -5~+5, -10~+10, etc.
2) Emocracy has the added option "I don't know", discussed below.
According to http://scorevote.com/, Emocracy is the same as Score Voting:
The Pirate Party of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous of Germany’s 16 states (population: 18 million), uses Score Voting (on a -3 to +3 scale) to elect their Board of Directors. On May 13, 2012, the NRW Pirates won 7.8% of the vote in the state elections, winning 20 of the 237 seats in state parliament. (Their party list had itself been selected via multi-winner Approval Voting.) They subsequently held their first Score Voting Board of Directors election on May 29, 2012.
The "I don't know" option
Emocracy has the option "I don't know". How this option should be rated will largely depend on the context and the type of poll. A scoring method may be appropriate for a type of poll but not for another one. The way this option can be interpreted will also vary accordingly. See also implementation details below.
The "I don't know" option amounts to giving the candidate the lowest available score (i.e. -5 in a -5~+5 emocracy poll).
In this case, the option simply means: "I do not have enough information about this candidate, I don't know him/her enough to make a judgement anyway.". A voter cannot like or dislike a candidate he/she doesn't know. At the same time, it is not conceivable to elect a candidate who is largely unknown but supported by a small core of fans. The difference that this extra option makes is in the way the results are interpreted. The media can then make a difference between a candidate who is well known but thoroughly disliked and a candidate who is simply unknown but has some faithful supporters.
The option "I don't know” explains the reason for some down vote (as in: "it's not that I don't like the candidate, but I don't know enough to decide either way").
Not counted (non-vote)
In contexts other than the election of a representative (e.g. president, legislator), it often makes more sense to count a "I don't know" vote as a non-vote. For example, we could use an emocracy poll on movies and vote "I don't know" on a movie that we have not seen without it pulling down the overall rating of the movie. If the the "I don't know" vote is not counted at all, the voter could use it to let other voters decide (e.g.: "I have not seen this movie, so I abstain from rating it.")
A third option is to count "I don't know" as zero, whatever the range (i.e. "I don't know" = 0 in a -5~+5 emocracy poll).
- Discussion: In an Emocracy,"I don't know" should count as zero.
It is currently unknown who invented the term and the method 'emocracy'. Augustin learned of it in the early 2000's on a now defunct site from an apparent Portuguese language source.
In early 2017, the implementation of emocracy voting in this site was improved: the hard-coded range of +1 ~ -1 was replaced with a setting allowing to select a range from 1 to 5. Also, hard-coded "I like" and "I don't like" labels were replaced by numeric labels.
The implementation could be further improved so that emocracy polls can be used in an even wider range of topics. Currently, an "I don't know vote" is counted as the lowest rating (-5 in a -5~+5 emocracy poll). It is planned to add another setting so that the poll creator can decide how to count it (lowest rating, zero, or non-vote). This way, we could use an emocracy poll on movies and vote "I don't know" on a movie that we have not seen without it pulling down the overall rating of the movie. Meanwhile, the break-down of votes is given in every emocracy polls, so it is easy to calculate by hand the score using a method different from the default implementation.