Condorcet, Thin Ice, and Battle Cries

Hugh Tobin htobin at
Sun Apr 27 00:40:04 PDT 1997

John De Lasaux wrote:

> =======================
> The *only* way that voters would rationally mark his second or lower
> preferences is if they are *guaranteed* that their lower prefences don't
> influence the outcome of the count until their first preference is eliminated.

Please demonstrate why this is so, taking into account that in Condorcet
truncating one's ballot tends to reduce the chances that one's first
choice will prevail, as well as to increase the chances that one's least
favorite will prevail. 

> There is no way that the voters will spend the time and energy to try to
> understand the complex explanations that I have seen for Condorcet. It will
> just boggle their minds!

It is not necessary that they do so!  It is true that some
"explanations" of Condorcet are overly complex, but the voter need only
rank his or her true preferences.  Rational candidates and their
managers will not encourage truncated ballots from their supporters. 
Neutral experts will tell voters, truthfully, that truncating is not
smart strategy to elect their favorites.  So why assume the voter will
fixate on the absence of this type of a "guarantee" to the point of
acting against his own interest?  

In instant run-off, there is no guarantee that casting a first-place
vote for one's first choice, instead of one's last choice, will not
cause the first choice candidate to lose.  So nobody would vote at all?

-- Hugh Tobin

> John De Lasaux
>  "If you're happy and you know it,
> clank your chains"........Ed Wolfe

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