[EM] Real IRV Election, Disputable Result
jlundell at pobox.com
Mon Mar 13 22:11:56 PST 2006
At 11:28 AM -0500 3/12/06, radio deli wrote:
>I saw your post on the Elections Methods List. As a Vermont
>legislator, we may have to decide the issue of IRV on a statewide
>basis. To be honest, I'm not very enthusiastic about IRV. I would
>prefer to support the candidate (not plural) of my choice, and if a
>runoff must occur between candidates I didn't support, then make a
>new decision based on the contest at hand.
When San Francisco switched from top-two-runoff to IRV, quite a lot
was made of the cost savings, which did turn out to be significant.
But a more significant benefit to using a single ranked-choice
election (whether IRV or Condorcet) is participation. SF historically
has seen a much lower turnout in the runoff election than in the main
And of course the top-two runoff is even worse than IRV with respect
to premature exclusion; I'd guess offhand that it'd be much more
likely than IRV to eliminate the Condorcet winner.
In practice, it's hard to justify a separate runoff election. It's
expensive, tends to disenfranchise many more voters, and does a
relatively poor job of finding the "best" choice by nearly any
measure, especially in a factionalized election.
It comes down to STV (IRV) or one of the Condorcet methods (of which
the Schulze method is worth a close look).
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