[Election-Methods] RE : Re: Fwd: FYI - FairVote MN Responds toLawsuit Against IRV

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Wed Dec 26 05:00:09 PST 2007

> > -- Kathy Dopp a écrit :
> >  I do find that ballots (2nd choices) of some, but not all voters is 
> > considered with IRV, and hence my opinion is that it does not treat 
> > all voters' ballots equally and should be considered illegal under any 
> > law that requires the ballots of all voters to be treated equally.

> Kevin Venzke Sent: 26 December 2007 06:41
> I do not like IRV either, and I do think there are better 
> methods, but I could not agree that it does not treat all 
> ballots equally.
> The fact that IRV sometimes regards second preferences and 
> sometimes doesn't is due to the logic of the algorithm and is 
> not random or prejudicial. One of the advantages of IRV is 
> that IRV only looks at the lower preferences when it can only 
> be of use to that voter, so that there is no incentive to 
> provide a limited ranking.

It would perhaps become even clearer that Kevin is correct and that Kathy is wrong is we go back to the origins of the preferential
vote in IRV.  The second choice (and the third choice, etc) is a CONTINGENCY choice, to be brought into effect by the Returning
Officer only in the contingency that the voter's vote can no longer help towards securing the election of that voter's first choice
candidate.  Each voter has one vote and only one vote.  What a system like IRV does, is allow ALL the voters to vote for the two
candidates who would have contested the election had there been only two candidates left standing.  IRV is a majoritarian system, so
the successive exclusion of candidates when no candidate has a majority, is majoritarian.  That is open to lots of criticism, but
from the voter's perspective, each voter has only one vote throughout the count and all votes count equally at all stages of the
count.  If any voter opts out at any stage of a multi-stage count (truncates), that is their choice, but it does not invalidate my
statement in the immediately preceding sentence.

James Gilmour

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