IR elects Hitler?

Mike Ossipoff dfb at
Wed Nov 6 00:09:32 PST 1996

DEMOREP1 at writes:
> DEMOREP1 wrote:
> >As Mr. Ossipoff well knows the simple Condorcet method only
> >indicates relative support.
> >
> >He apparently would see no problem if the only candidates were
> >Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan as long as Condorcet produced a
> >winner detested the least. 
> -snip-
> Mr. Eppley wrote---
> Okay, Demorep, let's see an example where the simple Instant Runoff
> method elects none of Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan when these
> are the only candidates.  Else, you ought to amend your inconsistent
> response to the EM sw poll. 
> Demorep1--
> I am not in favor of the "simple Instant Runoff method".  See my Subj:  [ER]
> Defects in various single winner methods, Date:  Sun, Oct 27, 1996 11:50 PM
> EDT.
> The mere possibility of Condorcet circular ties with a bunch of majority
> intolerable candidates is a formula for disaster. 

No, the mere fact of 3 majority-intorlerable canddiates is the formula
for disaster. And, as has been pointed out to you many times, and
not just by me, a natural circular tie creates legitimacy problems
for the winner, regardless of the method, and yet you continue to
insist that that is a Condorcet's method problem rather than a
general problem. In a natural circular tie, whoever wins 
is vulnerable to defeat by a challenge from 1 of the other
candidates, and presumably his policies will likewise be
vulnerable & criticized by a sizeable group. It's like talking
to a wall, or to a parrot, or to a tape player that doesn't
record anything.

> Example
> 35 HG
> 33 GS
> 32 SH
> H beats G, 67 to 33
> G beats S, 68 to 32
> S beats H, 65 to 35
> Circular Tie---  H>G>S>H
> With the lesser of 2 evils [3 evils in this case] tie breaker, H is elected
> with a mere 65 percent of the voters against him in his worst (and only)
> defeat. 
> Opponents of any single winner reform will have a field  day in bringing up
> even the remote possibility of such a result (i.e. scaring the sxxx out of
> the average U.S. voter).

Nonsense. If anyone were irrational enough to publicly blame
that result on the counting method, they'd be laughed off the
stage. (They should be here too). You have 3 awful candidates,
1 of them wins. What did you expect?

Yes, I know, you'd rather have y/n voting, and (you aren't
clear about this part) either disqualify anyone receiving
"no" from a masjority (something that is neither original
with Demorep, nor inconsistent with Condorcet's method, nor
opposed by Condorcet advocateas), or else you'd disqualify
anyone who doesn't get "yes" from a majority, thereby
often ensuring an unnecessary disqualification of everyone.
Being what a majority wants just isn't a feasible thing to
demand of a winner.

> To those who say such example cannot happen, I note what happened in Germany
> in 1932-1933. The Communists/Socialists joined with the Nazis to politically
> destroy the moderates (based on the fatal miscalculation by the Communists
> that the Communists would prevail in a showdown with the Nazis).  The Nazis
> used the Reichstag Fire incident (as if some extremist gang burned the U.S.
> Capitol) to totally crush the Communists and empower Hitler with dictatorial
> powers in the infamous "Enabling Act" --- result-- 50 million plus dead in WW
> II.  (The German [Weimar] Constitution also had a fatal provision allowing
> the government to suspend various bill of rights provisions in such
> Constitution in a time of so-called emergency. After the fire, such
> suspension was in effect until May 7, 1945 when the regime was destroyed.)
>  The point being that any election reform must be viewed in connection with
> other structural parts of a constitution and possibilities based on
> historical results.

It isn't clear what Germany has to do with it (except for the
presence of Hitler). Can't happen? Pretty unlikely, since, as
has been pointed out to you many times, the use of Condorcet's
method would result in there being a very good & complete selection
of the candidates, and we wouldn't be choosing between Hitler,
Stalin, & Ghengis Khan (about whose politics I admit to knowing
nothing; he may have been very popular with his subjects while
his empire was doing well). Very unrealistic implausibly
pessimistidc example.

> For executive and judicial elections, I again suggest that there be a yes/no
> vote on each candidate. 

Steve pointed out a probglem with that: We could have a problem
if everyone gets disqualifed. It's unlikely, sure. A solution
would be that if everyone is disqualified, then we choose the
winner by Condorcet's count, but greatly shorten his/her term.
Or hold another election almost immediately. I've heard that some
countries hold a 2nd balloting 2 weeks after their 1st one. We
could hold a new election with new candidates as soon as it's
possible to get applications from new candidates, and that could
be done almost immediately.

Look, Demorep, no one's arguing with your y/n vote, and 
disqualifying anyone who gets "no" from a majority. So, as
I asked you before, why, then, do you keep offering it as
a substitute for Condorcet's method, when actually, 
your y/n vote isn't a method itself, but an added feature
that could be added to a method such as Condorcet's method.

The fact that there could be merit to a y/n vote & majority
disqualification just doesn't mean that Condorcet's method
isn't the best count rule. What it means is that we could
add a y/n vote too.

As I said, though, a y/n vote isn't really needed for 2

1. There will be a better selection, as discussed above.
2. Condorcet's method does a fine job of excluding majority-
   defeated alternatives.

That complete's my reply to this letter.

Mike Ossipoff

> In the above example assume that the yes/no results are the same as the head
> to head results.
> H yes 35, no 65
> S yes 32, no 68
> G yes 33, no 67
> Each is rejected by a majority of the voters.  In other words, no "known"
> evils get to be relatively ranked.  With some advance polling, such types of
> candidates would not possibly even attempt to get their names on the ballot.
>  The risk of having "unknown" evil executive/judicial candidates on the
> ballot is one of many unpredictable risks.
> It is the indirect minority rule in the various legislative bodies in the
> U.S. existing as result of mostly plurality nominations, mostly plurality
> elections and gerrymanders in electing the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of
> Representatives and every State legislature that has created any "power
> vacuum" (which is being filled by demagogic executive office candidates).   
> With such demagogues being elected and having any sort of legislative powers
> (such as veto powers), there is a direct threat of executive control of the
> legislative process and thus a direct threat of getting a  monarchy- tyranny
> (notwithstanding any claim to being a democracy, a republic, a people's
> government, etc.). 
> Thus, any single winner reform must be viewed in connection with its effect
> on legislative bodies and the other parts of the constitution involved.
> .-


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