part 2, cat dragged in reply

Mike Ositoff ntk at
Fri Oct 16 21:14:51 PDT 1998


Replying farther down:

> Greetings,
>      MikeO is again subjecting us to his tirads on Choice Run-Off(IRO) - he
> is against it.
>      There is no fear that people will embrace the cat's offerings, most
> people are sensible. But in an effort to give some balance to this current
> debate that has been dragged onto this list, I would like to offer my order
> of the different single seat election methods. My list is ranked according
> to the highest number of times each method will give us a majority winner.

We've already discussed Don's deluded notion of what a majority
is, a majority fabricated by the rules of his method.

>      1) Choice Run-Off(IRO)
>      2) Top Two Run-Off
>      3) Condorcet
>      4) Approval Voting
>      5) Plurality(FPTP)
>      It should be noted that if the count of the first choices would give
> us a majority winner every time we would not need any of these methods.
> But, because we do not always get a majority on the first count we are
> seeking some method which will give us a majority winner. We should keep in
> mind that the point of using some method is the quest of a majority winner.

You're of course free to invent your own goals, but you're
mistaken if confuse your goals with other people's standards.

>      In other words: The main requirement of a method is to produce
> majority winners.
>      Plurality does not claim to give us a majority winner. The lead
> candidate is the winner. The position of being the plurality winner has no
> special value in our quest for a majority winner.
>      Approval Voting is not much better than Plurality because most of the
> time it will not give us a majority winner. The supporters of Approval
> Voting attempt to get around the lack of a majority problem by changing the
> defination of majority, but this can lead to all the candidates getting a
> majority.

Wouldn't thkat be nice if every candidate were that popular. Don't
count on it, though.


>      Approval has another major flaw. Your second choice will be used to
> help defeat your first and most preferred choice.
>      Condorcet is better than Approval Voting because Condorcet should give
> us a majority two out of three times. That third time, Condorcet gives all
> candidates a majority. Our quest is looking for something better than this.
>      Top Two Run-Off will give us a majority winner every time, except the
> rare case of a tie between the top two candidates in the run-off election.
> But Top Two Run-Off does have a flaw. When there are four or more
> candidates in which two or more are eliminated at one time, it is possible
> to eliminate the wrong candidate. The rule is that when two or more
> candidates are to be eliminated at the same time, the sum of the votes of
> the dropped candidates must be less than the votes of any one of the
> remaining candidates.
>      Choice Run-Off only eliminates one candidate at a time, therefore it
> will not be eliminating the wrong candidate - this is a big improvement
> over Top Two Runoff. Besides, Choice Run-Off only needs one election vs two
> elections for Top Two Run-Off. Choice Run-Off also has means to solve any
> tie between two or more candidates.
>      It goes without saying, Choice Run-Off will give us a majority winner
> every time.
>      Remember, the main requirement of a method is to produce majority winners.
>      Choice Run-Off(IRO) is head and shoulders better than Top Two Run-Off,
> but Mike comes to the reverse conclusion - MikeO is wrong.
>      Choice Run-Off will give us a majority winner every time - Plurality
> will never give us a majority winner, but MikeO concludes that Plurality is
> better than Choice Run-Off - MikeO is wrong again.
>      MikeO is often wrong, but in this case we can be kind to him and blame
> the means he used to reach his conclusions. MikeO used two of the methods
> as standards to compare the other methods. I quote MikeO:
>      "... it looks as if Runoff is clearly better than IRO, if it means
> anything to elect a CW--or a CW that's a plurality winner."
>      MikeO is using the Condorcet Winner(CW) and the Plurality winner as
> measures. When MikeO did this he gave himself away - he is showing us that
> he does not know how to compare apples and oranges. When we compare apple
> to oranges we cannot use the apple nor the orange as a standard to campare
> either fruit. Likewise we cannot use Condorcet nor Plurality nor any of the
> election methods to compare the other methods.
>      The position of being the Condorcet winner or the Plurality winner has
> no special value in our quest for a majority winner. Some of the Condorcet
> and/or Plurality winners will become majority winners and some will not.
>      The best that can be said for MikeO is that "it was not his fault - he
> was let down by his standards". MikeO was in bad company.
>      Runoff is not clearly better than IRO and it means nothing to elect a
> CW -- nor a CW that's a plurality winner.
>      Choice Run-Off is the best of the single seat election methods and any
> community that is thinking about changing to Choice Run-Off is taking a
> positive step towards election reform.
>      The Center for Voting and Democracy is correct in their effort to
> promote what they call Instant Run-Off Voting(aka Choice Run-Off).
> Regards,
> Donald Davison
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