Santa Clara's choice

Mike Ositoff ntk at
Thu Oct 1 19:18:55 PDT 1998

This is about Santa Clara County's ballot measure to modify
the charter to allow the supervisors to enact IRO. Probably the
current method that IRO would replace is Runoff, a common
system for municipal single-winner elections. 

Runoff has a definite & concrete way in which it's better than
FPP: If a CW makes the runoff, he can't lose. That means that,
while a CW needs to get the most votes to win in FPP, he onlly
needs to come in 1st or 2nd in Runoff. That's a concrete

I don't know of anything like that which can be said for IRO,
in comparison to FPP. In what concrete way is it better than
FPP? I'm not saying that argumentatively, and I'd like to hear
a way in which it's better, if you know one. Especially since
it's proposed in England, and people are aggressively promoting
it here, in several jurisdictions--I'd like to hear something
good about it if it's going to be enacted. But what?

You never hurt your upper choices by voting for your lower
choices? No, not unless you try to protect those lower choices
from elimination :-)

So, without bias or prejudice, people in Santa Clara County
might be better off with Runoff than with IRO. Leave well
enough alone.

I'm not saying that it can be said that Runoff is definitely
better than IRO. When things are so different they're difficult
to compare. But one can ask what good can be said about the two
methods, as in the above comparisons with FPP.


More information about the Election-Methods mailing list