An IRVing response

Fri Aug 3 11:54:26 PDT 2001

douggreene at, a possible newbie on this list, wrote --

IRV is not perfect.  But I will argue that at its worst, it is no worse than
our current plurality system, and at its best, it is a great improvement.
In particular, I agree that IRV can have a certain kind of plurality-like
affect in regards to eliminating the bottom candidate, when Condorcet might
actually keep such a candidate in.  However, in a country that currently
accepts plurailty and a President who got less than 50% of the votes cast, I
doubt that's really a big problem.
D- IRV is a little less than perfect.  It is ultra-dangerous.

The standard Hitler-Stalin-Washington example

34 HWS
33 SWH
16 WHS
16 WSH

With IRV, Washington loses.

Hitler wins a mighty 50-49 majority and claims a mandate for his agenda.  
Civil War  ???

Washington just happens to beat Hitler 65 - 34 and just happens to beat 
Stalin  66 - 33.

How often will 2 extremists be at the top with 3 candidates remaining if IRV 
is being used ???

At least plurality promotes somewhat mush headed middle folks (where 
gerrymanders are not involved).

As usual (and for the benefit of newbies)  I note there are at least 3 data 
tables involved in elections ----

YES/NO (absolute)
Head to Head (Condorcet's contribution to election theory) (relative)
Place votes (votes for 1st, 2nd, etc.) (relative)

IRV uses only part of a place votes table.

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