[Election-Methods] Simple two candidate election

rob brown rob at karmatics.com
Sat Dec 22 17:39:25 PST 2007

Just a quick followup to Abd, since I think my message may have gotten lost
in a long post of interspersed replies.

I still want to ask a very, very simple question, and I don't think you
answered it.  But this time I will go to some extra effort to make sure it
is interpreted for the simple question it was intended to be.  Everyone
seems to want to turn it into something more complex than it is. Maybe I'm
wrong, but all appearances are that some people are trying to avoid the
question or obscure the issue.

Say you've got an election for two candidates.  They may be people running
for office, or it may be an issue that is being voted for (for instance,
maybe citizens of a territory are voting on whether they would like to be
annexed as a state).  But the point is, there are only two options, and
there is no possibility of there being more options.  There were never
primaries to narrow down candidates, or anything of the type.  If you are
tempted to come up with some scenario where there might be more options or
have been more options, or to otherwise bring other complexities into the
picture, please resist it.  It is a two candidate election.

Let's further assume that there are a large enough number of voters that we
can assume that most don't know one another.  This isn't a pizza party or a
local club, but a large scale vote.  Also assume that while some people are
somewhat on the fence, a lot of others have very strong feelings about it on
one side or the other.  And assume anyone is welcome to abstain from voting.

So once again, the question is this:

In this case, do you consider a majority vote optimum?
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