[EM] Condorcet criticism

LAYTON Craig Craig.LAYTON at add.nsw.gov.au
Sun Nov 12 17:05:50 PST 2000

There is basically one cogent criticism of all Condorcet systems, of which
you're all aware; that it puts too much importance on middle preferences,
especially when not all candidates or parties are known to voters.  Example:

In a two candidate race:
A 51
C 49

C wins

A and C are diametrically opposed, there has been a long and dirty smear
campaign, so that C voters hate A and A voters hate C.  My dog, fluffy (B),
joins the race at the last minute;

ABC 49
CBA 49
BAC 01
BCA 01

Fluffy is the Condorcet winner!  This could mean concealing who you are is
an effective electoral strategy.

It would make sense to have a primary vote quota.  Two options for a quota:
the first is 50/n% (where n is the number of candidates) or even a droop
quota if you want to be more savage in eliminating candidates; the second
(my preferred alternative) is to base the quota on the candidate who gets
the most primary votes - the quota being 25% of that candidate's total
primary vote.  Note that this option would only knock out candidates with
very low primary scores (like fluffy).  Eliminated candidates do not count
in pairwise contests.


More information about the Election-Methods mailing list