# Reply to Hugh Tobin's letter of 12-28-96

New Democracy donald at mich.com
Sun Dec 29 06:37:14 PST 1996

```Dear List,

Hugh Tobin wrote:
>  Consider the following example:
>24 ABC   24 ACB   5 BAC   9 CAB   18 CBA   20 BCA
>
>First place votes: A 48,   B 25,   C 27
>Last place votes:  A 38,   B 33,   C 29

>Pairwise: A 57 > B 43;   A 53 > C 47;   C 51 > B 49
>
>Condorcet: A wins outright.
>
>IRO: Drop B and A wins, 53 - 47 over C.
>
>Coombs: Drop A (!) and C wins.
>
>Do electoral reformers want to try to explain to the public why
>A is not in the runoff in a case such as shown above?
>
>-- Hugh Tobin

Donald writes: No, I do not want to try and explain why A is not in the
run-off. But before I reject Coombs I would like to change it so that it
would be acceptable to me. If I make the following change where would that

Change: If there is a candidate with a majority in the last set of
selectons that candidate is dropped. My thinking here is: The majority has
the power to elect a candidate and the majority also has the power to
reject a candidate. If there is no candidate with a majority in the last
set of selections then the candidate with the lowest vote count in the
first selection is dropped. My thinking here is that the biggest majority
has the power to decide which candidate is dropped.

Using this change the result of Hugh Tobin's example would be candidate A
as winner - the same as IRO.

Allow me to present another example:   498 ACB    499 BCA    3CBA

In this example candidate A has a majority in the last set of selections
and will be dropped according to my change of Coombs. Again Hugh Tobin's
question can be asked: "Do electoral reformers want to try to explain to
the public why A is not in the runoff in a case such as shown above?" My
change is no help.

Note that the Condorcet winner of this last example is candidate C.

Now - a similar question can be asked: Do electoral reformers want to try
to explain to the public why C is the winner?

The public is willing to accept the votes of C voters as deciding votes in
a run-off between A and B but is the public willing to accept C as the
winner?

I would be inclined to say No. The final answer to all these questions is
that the public will learn and adjust to whichever method is in use in
their area. One possible adjustment is for them not to make any more
selections than one.

Donald,

```