[EM] IRV vs Plurality

Bill Lewis Clark wclark at xoom.org
Mon Jan 26 13:22:29 PST 2004

David Gamble wrote:

>>However IRV does have advantages over Plurality in a 3 party system.

Eric Gorr responded:

> So, rather then just being limited to two parties we would be limited to
> three? Can that really be called an advantage?

It would be, if it were feasible.  Three is better than two, of course.

The problem is that it wouldn't work in the long-term, because (assuming
there were minor fourth-party candidates) no two candidates would be
guaranteed 2/3 or more of the vote, and you'd raise the possibility of
some of those nasty examples where IRV does worse than Plurality (at
picking CWs.)

IRV would only consistently have advantages over Plurality if there were
*exactly* three parties (so that any two would necessarily have 2/3 or
more of the vote) or if one of the parties were significantly smaller than
the other two (so as never to threaten their 2/3 combined majority.)

(Although... all David said was that IRV had advantages over Plurality...
not that these advantages outweighed any advantages Plurality might have
over IRV... but nevermind. :)

-Bill Clark

Dennis Kucinich for President in 2004

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