[EM] Real IRV Election, Disputable Result

Eric Gorr eric at ericgorr.net
Mon Mar 13 05:31:05 PST 2006

James Gilmour wrote:
> 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.

Your entire argument is based on one assumption after another, so I will 
respond in kind.

If everyone's first choice would lead to Civil War, but everyone's 
second choice is the compromise that would avoid it, then it is at least 
possible that everyone would accept the result rather then die.

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