[Election-Methods] RE : Re: IRV ballot is at least as fair as FPTP ballot

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Wed Dec 26 10:33:27 PST 2007


--- Kathy Dopp <kathy.dopp at gmail.com> a écrit :
> On Dec 25, 2007 9:58 PM, Stéphane Rouillon
> <stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca> wrote:
> >
> >  Yes some voters have second-choice considered but they are all still
> > treated equally.
> Hardly.  Some voters have both their first AND second choices
> considered and some voters do not.  

But it does this according to what it believes each voter wants. If your
first preference wins the election, then you don't want your second
preference to be counted. If your first preference is a very weak
candidate, then you want him to be eliminated so that your second
preference can be counted.

For this reason it's not obvious which voters are put at a disadvantage.

> IRV not only treats voters'
> ballots very differently, it ensures that there are numerous ways that
> a candidate is declared a winner who is supported by fewer voters
> overall than a candidate who loses in the first round.
> This fact is irrefutable, obvious and simple.  Just try some scenarios
> out in any spreadsheet.

It is a valid criticism that IRV can elect a candidate with less "support"
than some other candidate.

This makes me wonder what election methods you do like, since
first-preference plurality voting already has the same issue. Just because
the plurality ballot doesn't ask for "support" doesn't mean the concept
doesn't exist.

In any case, people on this list who dislike IRV still would not want to
argue that it should be illegal, since this could set a precedent that
prevents other, arguably better methods from being adopted.

> IRV would only be fair and treat all voters equally if all first AND
> second choices of all voters were tabulated, with the second choices
> being given some weight less than the first - ONLY then would IRV not
> routinely allow numerous ways to declare a candidate a winner who is
> supported by fewer voters than the candidate who loses in the first
> round.

That sounds like Borda, not IRV. Borda would be terrible in public
elections. Maybe you would like Bucklin, in which all voters' subsequent
choices are added in until somebody has a majority.

It's worth noting, about these, that an IRV advocate can argue that it is
unfair for a vote for a second preference to cause one's first preference
to fail to win.

What do you think of top-two runoff, as in Louisiana? In the
three-candidate case IRV is the same method as this, except that the second
round is performed automatically according to the rankings.

If my candidate is eliminated in the first round of a top-two runoff, so
that I am forced to vote for a different candidate in the second round, do
you feel I have been treated unequally?

Alternatively, if my first choice makes it to the second round but loses,
have I been treated unequally because I never had a chance to vote for my
second preference?

I guess one could hold such opinions, but top-two runoff is not such a rare
method in the world.

Kevin Venzke

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