Theory and Practice, Problems and Paradoxes
1 8.1 Why Bother? As we observed in Com. 2.2.4, the mainstream literature on voting power has conﬁned itself almost exclusively to the SVG model, which does not admit abstention as a tertium quid that can aﬀect the outcome of a division diﬀerently from both a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ vote.2 Moreover, real-life decision rules that do treat abstention as a distinct option — whose eﬀect is not always the same as ‘yes’ or always the same as ‘no’ — are often mis-reported as though they conform to the binary, SVG model. Thus, decisions in each of the two Houses of the US Congress require the ‘yes’ vote of a simple majority or, in some cases, two-thirds of the members present (provided the members present constitute the needed quorum of a simple majority of the entire membership);3 but some of the best writers on voting power erroneously substitute the total membership for those present.4 Also, in the UNSC a permanent member’s abstention, as distinct from a ‘no’ vote, does not count as a veto;5 but the voting1 2 This chapter is largely based on our  and . In the mainstream literature, Fishburn [39, pp. 53–55] is an isolated and brief exception. 3 See  for details, including quotation from US Supreme Court opinion in the case of Missouri Paciﬁc Railway Co. v State of Kansas, 248 U.S. 276. For example, [11, p. 192], [16, p. 62], [59, p. 235], [66, p. 212], [95, p....
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