[EM] Comment re proposed legal descriptions

RLSuter at aol.com RLSuter at aol.com
Tue Jun 13 09:16:08 PDT 2006

I have at least one disagreement with Brian Olson's proposed
legal descriptions of different voting methods. The name he
uses to describe Condorcet's method should be Instant
Round Robin and abbreviated IRR. It should NOT be
described as Virtual Round Robin Tournament.

One reason is that this method is no more "virtual" and no
less "instant" than IRV. Technically, virtual would be a better
term for both of them, because one of the best ways to explain
and compare them is to say that one is equivalent to a
virtual series of runoff elections and the other is equivalent
to a virtual round robin tournament. The word "instant" was
chosen for rhetorical purposes because "virtual" seems a
lot like "artificial" while instant sees more like "streamlined"
or "faster and better." Obviously, the name of a method
is much less important than the method itself. But to be fair
and avoid any suggestion of arbitrary favoritism and to help
people understand the fundamental similarity of the two
methods (i.e., their virtual/instant nature), the same word
should be used to describe both of them.

In addition, Instant Round Robin has been in use for at
least 10 years. Maybe Virtual Round Robin has also, but
I don't recall the latter term being used as often.

-Ralph Suter

In a June 11 message with the subject line "Re: [EM] voting reform
effort in DENVER - PLEASE HELP", Brian Olson wrote:

<< The approach I'm taking is to write all the good methods into law and  
 allow the election official in charge (secretary of state, county  
 clerk, etc) to pick from an approved method.
 I've been writing something up sorta in the format of California Law  
 which I think is almost ready and I plan to send to my state  
 legislators this week.
 Comments on that are welcome, and if we have boilerplate legalese-ish  
 specifications of election methods that might help them be good to go  
 wherever the law needs to be changed.
 I'm promoting these methods in what I've written up so far:
 Approval Voting
 Yes/No Vote (for initiatives, judge retention, etc. Anything single- 
 issue yes or no.)
 Instant Runoff Normalized Ratings (because it's my baby)
 Instant Runoff Voting (because IRVists will demand it)
 Virtual Round Robin Tournament (aka Condorcet. with CSSD)
 Single Transferrable Vote (with droop quota and meek reweighting. for  
 multi-seat elections)
 Brian Olson
 http://bolson.org/ >>

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