[Election-Methods] Borda-elimination, a Condorcet method for public elections?

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Sat Dec 22 11:09:49 PST 2007

Dave Ketchum  > Sent: 22 December 2007 18:01
> Conceded that some could like IRV, even after understanding what it does.

It wasn't my intent to make any point for or against IRV, but it interesting another thread is discussing the reasons for the use of
IRV and the non-use of Condorcet in public elections around the world.

> HOWEVER, what it does is hidden behind its advertising, and its popularity 
> should plummet like a rock if a true description was seen by more.

Maybe.  The "failure" of IRV by excluding the candidate who is "everyone's second choice" is well known, though obviously those
promoting IRV don't shout this from the rooftops.   I am very sympathetic to the arguments in favour of Condorcet, that it does not
automatically exclude such "second choice" candidates.  However, there is a major issue about the political acceptability of the
Condorcet winner by the electors when that "everyone's second choice" candidate was a very weak first choice.  The situation vis a
vis political acceptability to the electorate would be very different when first choice support is split reasonably equally among
three front runners.  I have raised this issue of political acceptability before, but I have not yet seen the question answered.  As
a practical electoral reformer, this is a real issue for me because any reform we promote must be politically acceptable to the
electorate, never mind the hostile politicians.

>  The description does not have to say "failure", as I see appropriate 
> - just to note that while IRV usually awards the same winner as Condorcet, 
> when it differs it can shock those who appreciate what Condorcet does by 
> analyzing all that the voter says.

But this wording again ignores that fact that an IRV ballot and a Condorcet ballot are two very different things.  The Condorcet
count is not simply making "full" use of the information recorded by the voters on the ballot papers.  A Condorcet ballot is
completely different from an IRV ballot, because when the voters fill in their Condorcet ballot papers they know that the
preferences will be used according to the Condorcet counting rules, and so they take that into account.  It is not a question of
using the SAME information in two different ways (one of which is incomplete and therefore defective), which your original comment
and the wording above suggest.

James Gilmour

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