[Election-Methods] Median or "ladder" voting with candidates

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Thu Dec 20 21:43:33 PST 2007


I think an approach towards implementing this kind of logic in an election
with unnumbered candidates would be to allow voters to torpedo the options
they perceive as furthest from them.

Try this method (an IRV variant) for example:

The voter ranks the candidates. Full ranking or truncation are allowed;
equal ranking is not allowed.

Say that X is the number of candidates still in the running.

While X>1:

If more than half of the original count of ballots rank candidate C in the
Xth position (i.e. strictly last among candidates remaining), then
eliminate C. Otherwise eliminate the candidate with the fewest top
preferences as in IRV.

End while.

Elect the remaining candidate.

Imagine that the candidates can more or less be plotted on a
one-dimensional spectrum. Considering that candidates are more likely to
try to stand as near to the median as possible, and not spread throughout
the space where voters lie, IRV is likely to eliminate all the median
options and end with a final showdown between two strong candidates who
were able to grab large quantities of "outer" voters.

In this variant method, assuming these two candidates aren't the preference
of the median voter, it is likely that IRV's two finishers could be the
first two candidates eliminated. Their supporters' second preferences would
very quickly be freed up to help support candidates closer to the median.
And this process is capable of repeating indefinitely until the final two
candidates are truly those that came nearest to the median.

This is an "instant" generalization of my two-round method suggestion where
the final round consists of the top two candidates from the first round,
who didn't receive a full majority of the "against" votes of that round.

Kevin Venzke

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