[EM] RE: Let's found an organization to oppose IRV

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 12 17:34:32 PST 2000

>Demorep wrote:
> >34 HWS
> >33 SWH
> >16 WSH
> >16 WHS
> >99
> >
> >With IRV, W loses. Hitler wins 50- 49.  Instant civil war ???
> >
> >The same thing may happen within single member legislative districts.
> >
> >That is, IRV will promote even more plurality extremism in U.S.A. 
> >(under the guise of majority rule).

Craig Layton answered:

>I continue to be perturbed by arguments that this voting system or that
>voting system elects centrist candidates, compromise candidates, etc.
>Voting systems should be judged on how well they reflect the will of the
>people.  It is quite often the case that centrist candidates represent no

If "represents" means "is the favorite of", then of course Plurality
is the best voting system. But the voter median candidate, even if
he/she is favorite of few, represents many people in a very important
sense: They prefer him/her to anyone else you can name.

In the U.S. "centrist" is being used in a peculiar way--someone who
is between the Dem & the Repub, or someone who is in their vicinity.
We don't know where the U.S. median is, and so "centrist" is misused
when it's used here.

> >If there is approval voting, there might be--
> >
> >H 50
> >S 49
> >W 99
>There also might be:
>H 34
>S 33
>W 32
>What voters would do with an approval vote is very difficult, if not
>impossible, to predict.  The support is close enough so that both the 
>and Stalin voters know that if they approve Washington, Washington will
>almost certainly win, but if they only vote for their own candidates, there
>is a very good chance that they will win.  I also think that it's fairly
>safe to assume that Hitler and Stalin voters will be fairly parochial.
>Voting for only your own candidate in such a close race might be the 

If Washington's voters know that he's in the middle, everyone else's
2nd choice, then they typically wouldn't want to vote a 2nd choice.
Hitler voters need Washington more than Washington voters need Hitler.
Also, if a certain extreme is the most popular, then ordinarily,
the middle would be more popular than the opposite extreme. Not always,
but it's the thing to expect. (Some of our IRV badexamples show
different, but some of our best ones don't). So Washington voters
might have good reason to expect him to be a likely frontrunner,
and so they wouldn't have reason to vote a 2nd choice.

To a H or S voter it must look as if Washington is equally likely to
be frontrunners with H or S. Unless W is _exactly_ halfway between
H & S, one side considers W closer to his side, making W's difference
from the other side the important utility difference. One side will
vote for Washington if they're trying to optimize their outcome.
Washington will win. Hopefully he'll free his slaves before he takes


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