# [EM] 02/06/02 - Adam's 02/02 example of three equal candidates:

Donald Davison donald at mich.com
Wed Feb 6 01:41:05 PST 2002

```02/06/02 - Adam's example of three equal candidates:

Thank you for your letter of 02/02.

I will agree with anyone that Alex is a gentleman and a judge of fine
wines, and I will try to keep it more professional in the future.

Now I would like to respond to your example of three candidates who are
running neck and neck and tell how I think you should vote in four
different election methods.

In the cases of the ABC methods, Approval, Borda, and Condorcet, you should
only vote for your most favorite.  Let the other voters support your
favorite with their lower choices while you will not be supporting their

The success of your candidate will depend, in part, on the foolishness of
the voters of the other candidates.  It will be foolish of them to give
your candidate a vote besides voting for their candidate.  You are not to
be that foolish, you are not to give any of their candidates a vote.   This
is deception of course, but that is the design of the ABC methods.

You must understand that in the ABC methods, the lower preferences are not
back-up choices, they are votes that are counted at the same time as your
first preference.  Again, this is deception of course, but that is still
the design of the ABC methods.

This tactic will work on the ABC methods because these methods allow lower
choices to help elect some other candidate while the first choice is still
a contender, but you won't be making any lower choices.  It will help
greatly if you can get others in your voting bloc to do the same - more
deception.

* * * *

In most every IRV election you should rank all the candidates and you
should be sincere in your rankings.  In the case of your example, it would
be rare to have three candidates running neck and neck, but it does happen.

I have read your text on IRV in the 02/02 letter a number of times and it
appears that the demon you fear is that the people will vote in a circular
pattern with their lower choices while voting equally for all three
candidates with their first choices, a rarity in a rarity.  If true, this
merely points up how unreliable lower choices are and it follows that lower
choices should be used as little as possible.  IRVing is the best in this
regard because it uses the lower choices the least.

This same circular pattern would cause a Circular Tie in the Condorcet method.

Getting back to your demons, I see your dilemma as being that you wish to
vote for the one candidate of your two favorites that will receive the most
second choice votes from your other favorite, but you don't know which way
the circular pattern goes, clockwise or counter clockwise.

The pre-election polls would need to be asking people if they plan to vote
AB or AC or BA or BC or CA or CB.  From this information you should be able
to decide which of your two favorites to rank first and second.  If your
two favorites are B and C, and most B voters will be voting BA while most C
voters will be voting CB, then you want to vote for B in hopes C will be
eliminated first and send a large bloc of votes to B.

You must realize that most other people will be looking at the polls in
order to decide which of the top two candidates to vote for.  This will
drop one candidate to a distant third, which means that your example is no
longer a rarity in a rarity.  If this third candidate happens to be your
first choice, your plan is foiled.

Because the reality of the actual votes of an election may be different
from the polls, it is best not to try to play these little games.  It is
best to vote your first favorite as your first choice in any type of
election method, but with IRV you are also free to make other rankings
without fear that the lower choices will work to defeat your first choice.

IRVing will be true to the rules of preferences, which are:

One, The changing vote rule:  "Lower preferences shall only be used to
allow a voter to change his vote in whole or in part."

Two, The Golden Rule:  "A lower preference is not to harm nor help an
earlier preference."

Three:  The wine rule:  "We will use no preference before its time."

The ABC methods are not true to these rules.

I have told you how I would vote your example in IRVing and ABC elections,
but there have been many more methods discussed on this list over the years
which I am unable to advise you as to how you should vote them.  I list
some of those methods below:

Regards, Donald Davison

T H E   T R A S H   H E A P  of failed election methods:

Bucklin
Copeland
Demorep--1
Demorep--2
Quota-Runoff
Smith - Random
Mike  Ossipoff
Approval  Voting
Regular-Champion
Schulze's   Method
Double -- Complement
Smith-Condorcet--Tobin
Runoff without Elimination
Borda Count aka Approval Count
Runoff plus Candidate Withdrawal
Plain Condorcet aka PC aka Condorcet
Condorcet using rated, not ranked, ballots
Smith//Plain Condorcet  aka  Smith-Condorcet
Smith-Condorcet using rated, not ranked, ballots
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M O N U M E N T   T O   I R V I N G
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(Constructed out of failed alternative methods)

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