[EM] Why I think IRV isn't a serious alternative

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Wed Dec 3 15:35:35 PST 2008

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax  > Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 10:52 PM
> The tragedy is that IRV is 
> replacing Top Two Runoff, an older reform that actually works better 
> than IRV.

I have seen statements like this quite a few times, and they puzzle me.  I can see the benefit in TTRO in knowing before voting at
the second stage which two candidates will actually be involved in the run-off.  But what concerns me is the potential chaos in
getting to that stage.  The French Presidential election of 2002 is a good example of the very bad results that can come from the
first round of TTRO.  And we have seen similar problems in some of the mayoral elections in England where the so-called
Supplementary Vote is used in which the voters can mark their first and second preferences but only the second preferences for the
first stage Top-Two candidates are counted.  In such circumstances the outcome from TTRO is very bad and I should have thought that
an IRV election would have given a much more representative result.  Condorcet might be better still, but that's a different debate.

James Gilmour

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