Instant-Runoff-1 (was Re: EM vote on SW methods: summary of vote

Steve Eppley seppley at
Tue Jul 30 16:06:02 PDT 1996

Mike O wrote:
>No way would I ever claim that whole votes for equally-ranked
>1st choices gets rid of MPV's problem. But I claim that it
>alleviates the problem, by eliminating the need for defensive
>MPV advocates have never accepted that modification. Just as
>well, since there are much better methods than any form of MPV.

I think we have a little problem.  I didn't realize until now that
there are two distinct Instant Runoff methods we should have included
in our voting.  I think it would be a service to the ER list, and
maybe to CV&D, if we use this same vote to send a message about which
IR is better.

So I suggest that we treat the votes cast so far for IR as being for 
the conventional IR which splits the vote weight among the equally 
ranked candidates, and I encourage each of us to modify our ballots to 
explicitly rank an additional method which I'll call Instant-Runoff-1, 
or IR1 for short.  The -1 means equally ranked candidates will be 
tallied with whole vote weights, the same way Approval would.

I hereby amend my own ballot to:
   SC, SCw, C, Cw, NOTB, IR1, IR, A, the_unranked, R, DC, P
and I strongly encourage others who believe IR1 is better than IR 
to amend your ballot to explicitly rank IR1 better than IR so your
real preference can be reported.

>So I suggest that the person doing the MPV count (and that would
>be Steve, since he did all the counts for the report) should 
>do the MPV count whichever way he prefers, with the assurance
>that no one's going to object, and it won't change the election
>result anyway.

I intend to report both IR and IR1 tallies.  (In our votes so far,
both versions are causing identical eliminations at every iteration.)
If someone has arguments why only one IR-ish tally should be
reported, we can include those arguments in the report.

>> Well, at least it keeps the Instant Runoff definition as simple as
>> possible.  Its only alleged advantage, according to its proponents
>> in CV&D.  :-) 
>Yes, and a simpler definition doesn't outweigh MPV's lack of
>merit. What if you could get a useless product real cheap,
>or get a usable one for a slightly higher price?

I'm a bit annoyed that in order to pretend IR's definition is 
simpler than it really is, its advocates have hidden the step about 
splitting the voter's weight on equally ranked candidates.

>I agree about not buying the "foot in the door" justification
>for MPV: Proposing MPV to introduce people to rank-balloting
>would be going to a lot of campaign work & expense, for
>no real reform.
>Let's do it right the 1st time, instead of saying "Guess what: The
>method that we just sold you, & asked for your campaign work &
>contributions for, isn't really very good, and now we'd like you to
>do it all over again. This one's actually good; trust us." 

Or instead of us saying, "we would have offered the best method the
first time except we decided most of you might be too stupid to
understand it."  Yeah, that'll win us a lot of affection...

The reason I've ranked IR1 > IR > Approval in my ballot is because I
would at least like to introduce people to ranked ballots, for the
sake of both single-winner and PR reform, and Approval won't
accomplish that.  

I'm considering changing my vote to IR1 > Approval > IR which may be
more sensible.  Mike, you ranked Approval > IR.  Do you also prefer
Approval to IR1?

Are the IR advocates concerned about legal challenges to IR1 based on
alleged violation of "one-person one-vote"?  Approval would have the 
same "problem" and Approval is in widespread use in referenda and 

---Steve     (Steve Eppley    seppley at

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