[EM] Unranked IRV versus Approval

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 2 00:20:59 PDT 2001

>Bart said:
> > Why would you ever support unranked IRV over approval voting?  It might
> > be useful in multi-seat elections, but is there anything that would
> > warrant iterative counting in single-seat districts?
>Perhaps you're right. I'm not sure yet.
>I note that recursive "instant runoffs" and Condorcet agree with the
>Approval result on unranked ballots, and unranked Condorcet will obviously
>never show an uncomfortable cycle.

But unranked Condorcet wouldn't be Condorcet.
And which is more comfortable, no cycles because no rankings, or
Condorcet's guarantees about strategy need?

>My main defense for and attraction to Unranked-IRV is that it satisfies the
>one vote/seat rule of our current elections. It is a good compromise in my
>opinion since it is just another way to count approval ballots.

More complicated than Approval. As was pointed out, in an N-candidate
single-winner election, giving every voter N votes, with the right
to use as many as they want to, one to a candidate, is just as
democratic & egalitarian as giving every voter 1 vote.

>Also, if IRV is passed, I really like the option of tied ranks, especially
>if it is agreed that an approval count of top ranks is a more accurate
>representation of support for each candidate than a single vote.

The IRVies completely reject the equal ranking IRV version that gives
a whole vote to each candidate at a rank position. They won't even
include the split-vote version in any of their "enabling proposals".

Why are we talking about which IRV mitigation compromise is best,
when we know that the IRVies won't accept them?

Approval makes it a little too easy for my compromise to

...but not as easy as unmitigated IRV makes it when you help your
compromise, as you'll often have to do, by ranking him 1st, insincerely.

Approval vs equal-rankings IRV? Why bother, when the IRVies won't
include equal rankings in their proposals? I've given up on
compromises with the IRVies, IRV mitigation compromises. I've tried
a long list of them, and the IRVies accepted none of them.

If you're going to propose a rank method, why not propose a genuine
good one, not just an IRV mitigation compromise.

>About the instability of elimination among 3 strong candidates, in ranked 
>unranked IRV, I'm still not overly afraid. Small spoilers are the more
>common enemy.

Yes, maybe with IRV that will always be true, when IRV keeps the
artificial 2-party system in place.

When a candidate has enough core support to become a big
>spoiler, as measured in the polls, that candidate will get much attention
>from the media and the other two parties and they will start talking about
>the issues that helped this third party to rise.

Oh that's encouraging :-) You mean the way the Democrats now talk
about all sorts of progressive issues in the campaign, and then
do the opposite when they've been elected?

Whether or not a third
>party wins doesn't matter as much as having more discussion of the 
>issues that helped the third party become popular.

Let's qualifly that by clarifying that it's _your_ opinion, and not
necessarily that of people who want officeholders more honest than
the Democrats.

Maybe we can actually
>have some more serious debates between candidates rather than who is going
>to give the biggest tax cuts or entitlements to voters.

The better the voting system the better the debates. So why bother
with something that's only a mitigation compromise?

Mike Ossipoff

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