[EM] The responsiveness of Condorcet

Stephane Rouillon stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
Sat Jul 12 07:11:02 PDT 2003

First there is, at least, one way to combine pure PR and Condorcet,
as I explained in SPPA's description...

Second, you are right to say that Condorcet as a single-seat method
result into attracting parties toward the center.  However, you should
stop your analysis there and concude to a monopoly.  The center
is something that evolves depending on every voter prerogative.  Maybe
in the future all voters will not use the same issue as a dominant
filter to vote.  If priorities vary from persons to persons so does the
"center" definition (and I do not mean it about positions but about
debates ordering). So more parties would rise and the existing ones
would adapt, I believe the left-right specter we always use would
explode in a multi-dimensional comparison matrice, our political big
bang if you like...

SPPA tries to maximize representation along different axes by sampling
the electorate.


Dgamble997 at aol.com a écrit :

> James Green-Armytage make two postings in support of Condorcet. The
> subject of the second posting ( centre dominance ) is the principle
> reason I consider it a flawed method. I realise that I've probably
> made every criticism that can be made of it in the course of the last
> month but my principle objection to it is that it has great potential
> to produce some very bad results in practice in certain real life
> situations.
> When I first read about Condorcet one of the first things that I did
> was apply it to the party system of my own country ( Britain). I then
> fairly swiftly rejected it as a method because it seemed extremely
> probable that if applied in single member seats  it would give very
> bad results.
> My first criterion for good results for an electoral system is that it
> allocates seats to parties in proportion to their vote.
> In England there are three main political parties, two large ones -
> the Conservatives on the right and Labour on the left and a smaller
> third party - the Liberal Democrats   generally perceived by voters as
> being in the centre. The Liberal Democrats are by no means a turkey
> party just a smaller party perceived by voters as being in the centre.
> In Scotland and Wales their are additionally the Scottish National
> Party- a broadly left wing party that wants an independent Scotland
> and Plaid Cymru ( Welsh for the party of Wales) which wants more power
> devolved to Wales and strongly supports the Welsh language and
> culture.
> Additionally in proportional elections for the European parliament,
> Scottish, Welsh and London assemblies the Greens, Scottish Socialist
> party and UK Independence party have all obtained seats.
> Ulster has a party system of its own with 2 Unionist parties, 2
> Republican parties and the cross-community Alliance party.
> In brief we have a much more complex system than the
> Republican/Democrat duopoly.
> In many House of Commons seats in England the result looks something
> like this
> Conservative 41%
> Liberal Democrat 14 %
> Labour 43 %
> Others 2%
> Assuming that all Conservative and Labour voters vote Liberal Democrat
> as their second choice ( in practice this wouldn't occur 100 %  but it
> is likely that to a great degree that is what would happen) the
> Liberal Democrat would win the seat. This result would probably be
> repeated in  many seats giving a grossly disproportional  outcome.
> In an earlier posting I applied Condorcet to the 1997 General Election
> result for the 17 seats in the county of Kent. I made the assumption
> that 100% of Conservatives voters and 100% of Labour voters give a
> second preference to the Liberal Democrats and that the Liberal
> Democrats divide their support 50:50 Conservative: Labour.
> The voters were cast as follows:
> Conservative 40.5%
> Labour          37.2%
> Liberal Democrat 17.0%
> Others  5.4 %
> Under First Past The Post (plurality) the seats were distributed 9
> Conservative, 8 Labour, 0 Liberal Democrat.
> Under IRV the seats were distributed 7 Conservative, 8 Labour, 2
> Liberal Democrat.
> Under Condorcet the seats were distributed 1 Conservative, 3 Labour,
> 13 Liberal Democrat.
> I simply cannot support a system that gives a party with 17 % of the
> vote 77 % of the seats. Whatever theoretical and conceptual benefits
> it may have I simply cannot support it.
> I see the attractiveness of Condorcet ( and Approval Voting) as
> applied to America. They are the single seat methods which would make
> it easiest for a third party ( provided it could attract the second
> preferences of Democrats and Republicans) to win seats and break the
> duopoly ( in practice an extremely difficult task).
> Condorcet ( or Approval Voting) would appear to be the best methods
> for changing the current American party system. However if you change
> the current system, it will by definition, become something else. The
> something else that Condorcet seems to favour is a Centrist monopoly.
> David Gamble
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