A What-If: Condorcet in 1996
dfb at bbs.cruzio.com
Wed Nov 27 13:36:31 PST 1996
Please forward this message to the person who wrote that
letter--and also to the newsgroup, if you would:
1. Condorcet's method doesn't involve vote transfers. Vote
transfers are for methods that only give you 1 vote. Condorcet
counts all of your preferences.
2. No one can say who'd have won in '96 if Condorcet's method
were used, for two reasons. Before I list them, let me say
what _can_ be said: There'd have been no lesser-of-2-evils
problem if Condorcet were used, and majority rule would
be carried out reliably. A Perot supporter, for instance,
or a Browne or Nader supporter would be free to vote his/her
favorite in 1st place, knowing that Condorcet would fully
& reliably count their vote for their 2nd choice over their
Why no one can say who'd have won:
a) The field of candidates would be much largere, and the selection
would be much better in a Condorcet election. Surely we'd
have better candidates to choose from, and it would be
a whle different elecdtion.
b) But even if Clinton, Nader, Dole, Browne, and the others
you named, were the only candidates in existance, no one
can say who'd have won, since we all we have are people's
1st choices, in the election results. Worse than that, we
don't even have an accurate account of those, because of
all the "lesser-of-2-evils" voting. For instance, Nader
would surely have been ranked 1st by a lot more than
1% of the voters in a Condorcet election.
But let me guess anyway, what would happen. Unless there's
a genuine progressive majority, Clinton would still win.
If there's a progressive majority then Nader would probably
The number of Democrat & Republican voters would drop drastically
in a Condorcet elecdtion, when people are free to vote their
genuine 1st choice.
Of course if all the Republicans voted Perot over Clinton,
and all the Democrats & progressives voted Perot over Clinton,
then Perot could win, as that person suggested. But I don't
think that would happen, because I don't think Perot is
as close to the Republicans, as Clinton is, or that he'd
be the dependable conservative that Clinton seems to be.
And I doubt that progressives would like Perot enough to
rank him over Clinton.
Anyway, does it really matter which of those 3 wins (Clinton,
Dole & Perot)?
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