[EM] Instant Runoff Voting and the Exhaustive Ballot

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 26 17:56:31 PST 2000

Obviously it won't be feasible to always answer Don about this,
but hopefully this CVD tract won't be posted often, and so I'll
reply to parts of it now:

Don said:

>      If we were to have an election and the leading candidate does not
>receive a majority, no one has the right to declare him the winner. No,
>because most of the voters wanted someone else. So, we need a solution.
>      Do you believe that one solution would be to have a runoff between 
>top two candidates?

I doubt that many here believe that.

>If so, you are in the majority. The concept of having a
>runoff is well known and accepted by most

...because Plurality & Runoff are all they know. Oh yes, and now
some of them have heard of Instant Runoff, and believe it to be
the lesser-of-3-evils.

>, but it would only be a proper
>solution for a three candidate race. Four or more needs Exhaustive Ballot,
>which is a method that drops the new lowest candidates one by one, with
>each drop being followed by a later runoff election. The mathematics of
>Exhaustive Ballot will elect the correct candidate

Don, people aren't just going to take your word for it which
candidate is the "correct candidate". And are you sure that
Exhaustive Balloting has a rule that eliminates a candidate after
each balloting? Is that in the Robert's Rules definition of
Exhaustive Balloting?

[Don then defines IRV]

Don, we've all heard IRV's definition.

>      The voters are allowed to make a series of choices when they vote.
>They chose one candidate as their first choice, chose another as their
>second choice, and they make as many choices as they care to make. No lower
>choice will be used until it is necessary for it to be used.

Necessary according to your particular count rule. Some would say
it's necessary to not ignore their preference for Compromise over
Worst. When Compromise gets eliminated, before your traveling vote arrives, 
that preference never gets

>("We will use
>no choice before its time")
>      One necessary time to use one of the lower choices is when the lowest
>candidate is dropped and a runoff is needed. In the event this eliminated
>candidate is your first choice selection, your vote will not be eliminated.
>Instead we merely transfer your vote to your next choice on your ballot,

...if it's still there and hasn't been eliminated before your vote

>this is the runoff. Beats calling for an actual runoff election to be held
>at a later date. This same routine will be followed with each new lowest
>candidate as they are dropped, until we have a winner.
>    It's that simple. There is no hidden agenda, no evil monster, no need
>for the voter to go into gyrations with his choices trying to out-smart the
>`system'. The voter can safely select his most preferred candidate as his
>first choice, which he should do.

Wrong. Often when the voter votes his favorite in 1st place,
his needed compromise will be eliminated while his vote is still
on his 1st choice, and his vote for 2nd choice over last choice
will never be counted, and his last choice will win. This won't
be unusual.

Maybe that's why Australian small party members typically vote
one of the big-2, a lesser-evil, in 1st place, saying that they
do so because they don't want to waste their vote. Could it be
the Australians know something that Don & Rob Richie don't know?

>      There are many good people and organizations that are working hard to
>promote IRV, they are doing good work.

Good work on a silly counterproductive project. How good is that?

>One organization is the Center for
>Voting and Democracy which coined the term Instant Runoff Voting.

This sounds like a CVD ad. Do you know what spam is? Let CVD pay for
their ads somewhere.

>Next, we need to make Instant Runoff Voting the method of choice for single
>seat elections.

IRV is the method of choice for a few clueless promoters, and for
the members of the public for whom those promoters have been the
only source of information.

Mike Ossipoff

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