[EM] possible improved IRV method

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Tue Jun 27 10:22:23 PDT 2006

Thanks for trying, but why bother?
      IRV is dedicated to looking at what the voters rank at tops, 
ignoring whatever else they say - and sometimes producing very bizarre 
      Condorcet looks at all that voters say, and summarizes the votes as 
a tournament that is simple to understand..  While hand counting gets 
difficult, computer counting is easy, and simple enough for correct 
programs for this task to be easily verifiable, even if we are not up to 
verifying more complex programs.
      This third method claims to "pass the Condorcet criteria".  To get 
there it about has to look at all that Condorcet looks at, rather than 
doing the partial look that IRV does.

When I look at such, one of my first thoughts is problems of understanding 
how multiple precinct results get combined for such as governor, and what 
is practical at the lowest level for people to understand:
      For IRV, and this method, individual voters' vote patterns have to 
be passed up, combinable only as to how many vote each pattern - not too 
easy for people to summarize - especially when many candidates result in 
many patterns.
      For Condorcet an array of counts can be reported at each precinct, 
summarized for counties, etc, and reported for total district.  A 
manageable array to understand - and even more understandable if an array 
of candidates with most votes is reported as a summary.

Strategic voting seems to me to get called worse names than it deserves:
      Some makes sense, to select among and vote for the best combination 
of acceptability and electability.
      Some is less deserving - to, somehow KNOW how others will vote, and 
have your clan defeat their will with exotic voting.  How do you KNOW 
this, and pass the word to your clan, without other clans learning and 
changing their votes to respond to yours?


On Tue, 27 Jun 2006 08:33:45 -0400 Allen Pulsifer wrote:

> Hello List Members,
> I have a thought on a possibly improved IRV method that I would like to run
> by the list.
> The goal of this method is to eliminate some of the bizarre behavior that
> IRV can exhibit, particularly the property that lowering a candidate's rank
> on some ballots can lead to that candidate winning the election.  It is also
> hoped this method would pass the Condorcet criteria, and possibly other
> criteria that traditional IRV does not pass.
> I call the method "Sequential Advancement".  It is based on IRV, but with a
> different method of determining which candidate to eliminate.  Under this
> method, the first step would be to determine if there is an IRV winner:
> Test for Winner:
> For each ballot, one point is awarded to the highest-ranked candidate.  If a
> ballot has two or more candidates tied for the highest rank, each of these
> candidates receives an equal fraction of a point.  If a ballot has no
> candidate ranked, no point is awarded.  After counting all ballots, if the
> point total for any candidate is greater than 50% of the total points, that
> candidate wins the election.
> Sequential Advancement:
> If there is no winner, one candidate is eliminated, as follows:  The
> candidate with the largest point total computed above automatically advances
> to the next round.  The point totals are then cleared, and the ballots are
> recounted, awarding one point to the highest-ranked remaining candidate on
> each ballot and fractional points in the case of equal highest rank.  Again,
> the candidate with the highest point total advances to the next round.  This
> process of clearing the point totals, counting the ballots and advancing one
> candidate continues until all candidates but one have advanced to the next
> round.  At that point the last unadvanced candidate is eliminated.
> Iteration:
> After eliminating one candidate, the ballots are tested again to see if
> there is as a winner, this time considering only the highest-ranked
> candidate who had not been eliminated.  If not, the process of eliminating
> one candidate continues until there is a winner.
> As an alternative, the IRV test for a winner could be ignored, and instead
> the elimination process used until only one candidate remains.  That
> candidate is declared the winner.  It is not clear if there are any
> situations in which this would result in a different outcome.
> This method of elimination would seem to pass the Condorcet criteria,
> because in order to be eliminated, a candidate would have to lose a
> pair-wise contest against all remaining candidates.  It might also meet the
> monotonic criteria and be less-susceptible to strategic voting.
> Has anyone ever seen a proposal or analysis of a method similar to this?
> Thank you,
> Allen Pulsifer
> pulsifer3 /at/ comcast /dot/ net
> ----
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  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
            Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                  If you want peace, work for justice.

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