[EM] Real IRV Election, Disputable Result

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Mon Mar 13 03:00:35 PST 2006

Jan Kok Sent: Monday, March 13, 2006 4:07 AM
> Yes, I agree that the election rules affect how people vote.  
> But, unsophisticated IRV supporters are not aware that there 
> can be incentives to vote insincerely in IRV elections, or 
> may believe that IRV and Condorcet will always, or almost 
> always, choose the same winner.  If we can find a 
> counterexample (even if somewhat flawed because the ballots 
> were intended to be counted by IRV and not Condorcet), it may 
> wake up some IRV supporters and get them to at least 
> question, "If these two methods can get different results, 
> which method gives the better result?"

The answer to this question, for most electors, will almost certainly be context dependent.  Suppose we have a Condorcet
winner who is not the IRV winner, because that candidate is placed third in first preference votes but is "everyone's
second choice".  If that CW is only a little way behind the two front-runners (35%, 34%, 31%), the CW would probably be
politically acceptable to most electors.  But if that CW has very little first preference support compared to the two
front-runners (48%, 47%, 5%), I suspect the CW would not be politically acceptable to most electors.  I can see merits
in both IRV and Condorcet, but this is a practical aspect of voting reform that very few advocates of Condorcet methods
have attempted to address.

James Gilmour

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