[EM] possible improved IRV method

Jonathan Lundell jlundell at pobox.com
Wed Jun 28 15:31:33 PDT 2006

At 5:12 PM -0500 6/28/06, eric at ericgorr.net wrote:
>Quoting Jonathan Lundell <jlundell at pobox.com>:
>>  IRV's problem with ignoring later preferences and not always finding
>>  a Condorcet winner is a direct consequence of the way it avoids
>>  Condorcet's problem with encouraging insincere voting.
>On what basis do you claim that a good Condorcet Method would 
>encourage insincere voting?
>I have yet to see any convincing arguments that it does. Most of the 
>attempts tend to center around a single group of voters attempting to 
>manipulate the election to their advantage. The fundamental flaws with 
>these particular arguments is that they assume that (a) no other 
>groups will attempt counter-strategies,

Of course they will, which makes matters worse.

>(b) that a single group of 
>voters will even be capable of obtaining an accurate enough picture to 
>figure out how to change their votes - accuracy they would need 
>appears to be far greater then one is able to obtain with a scientific 
>survey of voter opinion and

On the contrary. All you really need is a fairly reliable sense of 
who the front-runners are. The recent Democratic primary for governor 
in California is a case in point. In a relatively large field, there 
were only two candidates, Angelides and Westly, with any chance at 
all at the nomination, and polls had them fairly close, with six 
other candidates in the low single digits. It required no more 
knowledge about the election than that for Angelides supporters to be 
motivated to bury Westly, and vice versa, had it been a Condorcet 

>(c) the fact that if multiple groups of 
>voters are involved in insincere voting when a Condorcet Method is 
>used that the ultimate resolution becomes quite chaotic and the worst 
>possible winner may be selected.

Which makes matters worse, not better, for Condorcet methods.

>It is the potential for selected the 
>least favorite choice that causes me to believe that a good Condorcet 
>Method actually encourages sincere voting.

Wheels within wheels. If I believe that other voters are that 
rational, and will forego burying my candidate in fear of electing a 
less-favored candidate, then I have more motivation to use burying 

Regardless, your argument illustrates one of my points. You strongly 
prefer Condorcet voting because (at least in part) you minimize its 
flaws. But it's a faith-based minimization that assumes a model of 
voter behavior that, near as I can tell, has little evidence to back 
it up.
/Jonathan Lundell.

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