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

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Wed Dec 26 14:55:41 PST 2007

I have to charge:
       Kathy with complaining about IRV, with incorrect reasoning.
       Kevin with incomplete arguments as to limited ranking.
       James with defending IRV, again with incomplete reasoning.
On Wed, 26 Dec 2007 13:00:09 -0000 James Gilmour wrote:
 >>>-- 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.
But it does treat all ballots equally.  As Kevin notes, the algorithm as
based on vote counts makes undesirable decisions.
       BUT, it is combinations of vote counts rather than any specific
voter or candidate that makes trouble.
 >>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.
BUT, the IRV algorithm can refuse to look at a second preference due to
presence of the first preference that caused it to not look at this
voter's second preference - an incentive to provide a ranking limited by
omitting this voter's first preference.
 > 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.

Spoken by an IRV backer:

Let me first comment as to "majoritarian" with a valid vote count,
including permitted truncation:
       35 A, 33 B, 32 C
A wins, with 35 of 100 ballots.  Few of us would call that a majority,
once forced to look at it.

James' discussion of history leading up to IRV makes sense, and IRV often
doing counting second choices, etc., often resulting in better assignment
of winners.  Trouble is, often is not synonymous with always - leading to
some of us backing Condorcet for using the same ballot and basic thoughts
as IRV, but looking at all that the voter says.  Sample election 
(admittedly biased):
       27 Bush
       26 Nader/Gore
       24 Paul/Gore
       23 Gore

Voters agree, 73-27, to not liking Bush.

IRV will first see that many Gore backers like Nader or Paul even better, 
forget Gore, and let Bush win over Nader, a 27-26 "majority".  Note that 
Nader backers, if they had suspected this outcome, could have omitted 
voting for Nader or Paul.

Condorcet will see:
       73 Gore winning over 27 Bush
       47 Gore/26 Nader
       49 Gore/24 Paul
       27 Bush/26 Nader
       27 Bush/24 Paul
       26 Nader/24 Paul
 > James Gilmour
   davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
   Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
             Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                   If you want peace, work for justice.

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list