[EM] Reply to Tom's IRV w/ties of 03/19/01

I like Irving donald at mich.com
Thu Mar 22 07:05:44 PST 2001

```- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 03/22/01
Greetings List,

Tom Ruen wrote:

Tom:  "Approval is N one-vote elections for N candidates. Every voter gets

Don: Yes Tom, that is correct, Approval is the same as Plurality-at-Large,
but that is nothing to brag about.
The only groups that should ever use Approval Voting are `Mutual

Tom:  "IRV penalizes people for voting for a favorite first who can reach
second place but can't win."

Don:  In order for your favorite to win he needs to get the votes.  Irving
is not some scheme for bypassing that requirement.

Tom:  "I would be happier with IRV w/ties than without, so long as my vote
becomes a full vote for one after my other choice is eliminated. Divided
tie votes work in IRV because only one choice is eliminated at a time so my
vote is guaranteed to transfer. A divided vote in a single round plurality
election is not useful since both choices can lose without my full
support."

Don:  Why must we be concerned if you are happy?
If we must, we must. Let's see if we can design an IRV w/ties ballot
and the math that will make Tom happy:

Candidates           Choices
- - - - - - - - - + - + - + - + - + - + - +
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
- - - - - - - - - + - + - + - + - + - + - +
A          | X |   |   |   |   |   |
- - - - - - - - - + - + - + - + - + - + - +
B          | X |   |   |   |   |   |
- - - - - - - - - + - + - + - + - + - + - +
C          |   | X |   |   |   |   |
- - - - - - - - - + - + - + - + - + - + - +
D          |   |   | X |   |   |   |
- - - - - - - - - + - + - + - + - + - + - +
E          |   |   |   | X |   |   |
- - - - - - - - - + - + - + - + - + - + - +
F          |   |   |   |   |   |   |
- - - - - - - - - + - + - + - + - + - + - +
G          |   |   |   |   |   |   |
- - - - - - - - - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

This proposed ballot for Tom will be recorded in the computer as:

0.50 ABCDE  and  0.50 BACDE

Please notice that Tom's two `tied' candidates are both in the top two
ranks of each half of a vote.  This will allow his two half votes to become
a full vote for one of his top candidates in the event, God forbid, one of
his top two candidates gets eliminated.  This should rest Tom's fears.

Let's suppose one of his top two candidates is eliminated.
That will give us the following two possible results:

1.0 ACDE    or   1.0 BCDE

His full vote does end up on one or the other of his top two
candidates, all's well that ends well.  This should make Tom happy.

Just for the record, we should check and see what end results we will
get when we use plain Irving.
Tom will be forced to vote either ABCDE  or  BACDE, poor Tom.
Again, let us suppose one of his top two candidates is eliminated.
That will give us the following two possible results:

1.0 ACDE    or   1.0 BCDE

My my, we seem to have the exact same results, there is no difference.
Tom's insistence of IRV with ties is nothing more than unnecessary
rigmarole, which is par for the course on the Election Methods list, but in
a real election in the real world, we don't need rigmarole.

It's like I keep saying, there are going to be people who will insist
that they can improve on Irving, but they always seem to come up short,
Irving is still the best method.
Anytime you have two top candidates that you like equally, that will
not be a problem with Irving.  You merely chose anyone of the two as your
first choice and the other as your second choice, it will make no
difference. Also, it will make no difference which of the two will be
eliminated first, your full vote will automatically go to your other top
candidate.
But you must accept the fact that at least one of your top two
candidates will be eliminated, sorry but that's the way it is.  I know it's
hard, but you must let go.

Donald Davison

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