[EM] IRV and Condorcet operating identically

Venzke Kevin stepjak at yahoo.fr
Thu Feb 27 10:49:13 PST 2003

 --- Dave Ketchum <davek at clarityconnect.com> a écrit :
> On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 09:23:41 +0100 (CET) Venzke
> Kevin wrote:
> > I wonder if the only reason IRV has more apparent
> > backing than approval or Condorcet is because it
> would
> > permit our present politicians to be elected even
> more
> The above makes no sense, for IRV and Condorcet use
> identical ballots and, 
> most of the time, award identical winners. 

They are only likely to award identical winners when
the voters and candidates think the rules are IRV when
they're voting and entering the race, respectively. 
This is because more than two candidates may be viable
under Condorcet rules.  Under IRV, usually only two
candidates can really win, and the voters know it and
vote that way; the "compromise candidates" know it,
too, and don't enter the race.

> That is:
>       Both get rid of Plurality's spoiler problem,

IRV only reliably does this when the voters
acknowledge that they have to give favor to one of the
two lesser evils.  But how different is that from

> which should be 
> attractive to politicians.

Condorcet eliminates the spoiler problem by permitting
voters to vote (more) sincerely, and (thus) by making
more candidates viable.  Why on earth would that be
attractive to our present politicians?

>       Both thus encourage voting for third party
> compromise candidates, 
> which could make successful politicians nervous.

At the risk of being repetitive:
They don't have to be too nervous with IRV.  If a
third party candidate becomes a spoiler, the winner
will still be a "lesser evil."
But they *would* have to be very nervous under
Condorcet rules, because they could lose.

If you put voting systems in order of to what degree
they preserve the problem of the election of the
lesser of two evils, I would draw it like this:
IRV - Plurality - Approval - Condorcet.
My conclusion is that people who support IRV, while
understanding the objections to it, must have a
different motivation.  I suspect consequently that
support for IRV can't be easily converted to support
for a different system.


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