[EM] Single Winner Basics, Part 3

DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Wed Mar 6 15:56:58 PST 1996

Single Winner Basics, Part 3

A. The current SW election system is obviously based on a yes (approval) or
no (disapproval) basis. That is, when the voter puts his/her X or check mark
by a candidate's name he/she approves such candidate relative to (repeat
relative to) all other candidates.

A voter wants or does not want a specific candidate to be elected to an
office. This is a making of "absolute" choices.

B. A single office winner is either a minority (plurality) winner or a
majority winner.

Points A and B should have started the SW list.

C. Single Winner election reform methods

Plain Condorcet adds more relative choices.
Plain Approval Voting adds more absolute yes choices.
Plain Disapproval Voting adds absolute no choices (in addition to blank
Multiple Same Choices combines the three preceding.

There is no guaranteed majority winner with any of the 4 preceding methods
(especially due to truncated voting)

D. The main competitions to single winner reform are 
(1) Simple plurality in one election.
Obvious defect- winner, if by a minority, is opposed by a majority of the
(2)  Majority Preference Voting (MPV) in one election
The voter ranks his/her choices 1, 2, etc. The candidate with the lowest
number of first choice votes loses. Each vote for a loser gets transferred to
the voter's next choice who remains. Repeat until 2 candidates remain. The
majority candidate is elected.
Obvious defect- one of the losing candidates could be the unique Condorcet
winner and a majority winner.
(3) Top 2 in primary election (by simple plurality or possibly MPV) go to the
general election. 
The person in the general election is elected (generally with a majority of
all voters). This is the system used in most/all current nonpartisan
elections for single offices.
Obvious defect- one of the losing candidates in the primary could be the
unique Condorcet winner and a majority winner.
Arbitrary limit of 2 candidates on ballot in general election.

E. Partisan versus Nonpartisan Elections

Partisan elections promote extremism especially with primaries.
Nonpartisan elections promote personality cults.

Once again I suggest that all executive and judicial elections should be
nonpartisan. Executive officers should have no legislative powers whatever.
Partisan yelling and screaming belongs in legislative bodies. Having a
nonpartisan chief executive will probably cause most/all members of the
legislative body to more closely check out how well the executive branch is
enforcing or not enforcing the laws. 

F. Minority or Majority Winners

The elementary question is whether or not nonpartisan elections using
Multiple Same Choices will routinely produce a majority of all voters (MOAV)
winner (compared especially with its D. (3) top 2 in primary/top 1 in general
election chief competitor) ?
Having nonpartisan elections possibly/probably will increase the number of
2nd, 3rd, etc. vote choices to get a majority winner.

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