[EM] On Naming and Advocacy

RLSuter at aol.com RLSuter at aol.com
Wed Jun 21 12:28:44 PDT 2006

How about instant pairwise voting (IPV) as a good
descriptive name for Condorcet? I'm just throwing
this out, not advocating it. It apparently hasn't been
used much, because a Google search resulted in
no hits. So that would be one drawback, though I
think a minor one. Its big advantage is that IPV is
a three letter description that highlights both key
similarities with IRV (they are both INSTANT forms
of VOTING that require voters to rank their candidate
preferences) and the key difference (IRV simulates
runoff voting while IPV simulates pairwise voting).

To clarify my objections to Brian Olson's suggestion
of virtual instant round robin tournament and Dave
Ketchum's suggestion of just round robin tournament

1. Calling one instant and the other virtual will cause
more confusion than will be caused by similarities
in abbreviations, because it suggests that the two
methods are different in some important way, one
being an "instant" method and the other being a
"virtual" method. But in fact, the two words mean
exactly the same thing when used to describe the
two methods. To avoid confusion, the same word
should be used for both.

2. Calling one a form of voting and the other a kind of
tournament will cause additional confusion. No other
voting method I know of is called a tournament. Also,
elections are not really tournaments. It is voters, not
candidates, who engage in the primary activity involved
in elections, namely voting. Candidates are normally
required to remain inactive while voting is carried
out. So the word tournament won't seem, to most
people, an appropriate word for describing elections.

One other alternative, and one I have preferred in the
past, is IRRV as an abbreviation for instant round robin
voting. Steve Eppley argued in favor of IRR because it
is shorter and perfectly adequate. But because it omits
the V for voting (unlike IRV as well as AV, RV and other
methods), IRR is less fully and clearly descriptive than

Maybe we should vote on this.

-Ralph Suter

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