Mixed Condorcet-Plurality

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Wed Apr 11 15:21:52 PDT 2001

On Wed, 11 Apr 2001, Martin Harper wrote:


> I would call your suggestion "Smith//Plurality" - the Smith Set is the smallest
> possible set of candidates such that all members of the Smith Set pairwise beat
> all non-members.
> I *think* it's monotonic, but I'm not sure: Plurality itself is monotonic, as is
> Smith, so it ought to be. On the other hand, it definately isn't immune to
> clones, so there may be issues of vote-splitting. Whether these problems
> manifest themselves often enough to be a concern is less certain. If simplicity
> and transparency is important, then I might prefer this method over the more
> complex Condorcet variants.

It seems to me that plurality completion encourages insincere voting of
one's compromise above one's favorite in a close race because the first
place counts so much in the cycle breaking method, i.e. if the cycle
breaking method suffers from "spoilage" then so does the

That's why I advocate "Smith/Approval" which simply requires an extra mark
to indicate the Approval cutoff on each ballot. When the mark is omitted,
then the truncation point can be taken as the cutoff.

Remember that Nader's supposed spoilage of Gore's chances is the biggest
impetus to IRV support among North American progressives. How ironic!

Because I put a high premium on the Favorite Betrayal Criterion my main
interests are in studying and promoting Approval and its possible
generalizations or applications. One neglected application is as a
completion method for Condorcet.


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