[EM] Real IRV Election, Disputable Result

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Mon Mar 13 07:50:23 PST 2006

 Eric Gorr Sent: Monday, March 13, 2006 3:08 PM
> You are welcome to support your assertion that the CW would not be 
> politically acceptable to most electors in most (all?) cases where it 
> received only second place votes.
> Of course, you used the word 'suspect', which makes your statement an 
> assumption. If you wish to continue to deny this fact, you are welcome 
> to, but that won't turn you into a credible person.

I wrote that I "suspected" that to be the case only because I do not have specific hard evidence obtained from a real
major public election conducted by Condorcet voting. (So far as I am aware, Condorcet have never yet been used in a
major public election anywhere in the world.)   I do, however, have more than forty years of practical experience as a
campaigner and promoter of voting reform and my "suspicion" about the likely general reaction of electors to a "weak
Condorcet winner" was based on the reactions I have encountered from politicians, party activists and members of the
general public in the UK when discussing issues relating to the effects of voting systems.

No-one has promoted Condorcet in the UK, so the issue of a "weak Condorcet winner" has not arisen specifically.
However, there is a significant level of hostility to any idea of there being a winner who did not get most of the first
preferences  -  even with IRV a third-placed candidate can come through when lower candidates are excluded.  The
political reality is that our electorate (and the US electorate) has been immersed in FPTP "winner takes all" for so
long that it has conditioned the mindset with regard to many aspects of democratic representation.  This has to be taken
into account when seeking practical reform that can be implemented and accepted.  I am extremely sympathetic to the
advantages of Condorcet voting, but I do see the issue of the "weak Condorcet winner" as being a major political problem
in its promotion and practical acceptance in the real world.

It is sad to see that your fundamentalism should lead you to personal abuse.
James Gilmour

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