[EM] Why I think IRV isn't a serious alternative 2

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Sun Dec 21 20:24:00 PST 2008

On Sun, 21 Dec 2008 23:39:31 -0000 James Gilmour wrote:
> Dave Ketchum > Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2008 3:51 AM
>>Responding to one thought for IRV vs C (Condorcet):
> My comments were not specific to "IRV versus Condorcet".
>>>JG had written
>>>When there is no majority winner they may well be prepared to take a 
>>>compromising view, but there are some very real difficulties in 
>>>putting that into effect for public elections.
>>Given that a majority of first preferences name Joe, IRV and 
>>C will agree that Joe wins.
>>Given four others each getting 1/4 of first preferences, and 
>>Joe getting a majority of second preferences:
>>      IRV will award one of the 4, for it only looks at first preferences 
>>in deciding which is a possible winner.
>>      C will award one of the 5.  Any of them could win, but Joe is 
>>stronger any outside the 5.
> The "problem" cases I had in mind were much less extreme.
> When there is a strong Condorcet winner, I think the idea would be sellable to ordinary electors (but there are remaining problems
> about covering the rare event of cycles).  What I think would be completely unsellable would be the weak Condorcet winner.  That
> winner would, of course, truly be the Condorcet winner  -  no question, but that does not mean the result would be politically
> acceptable to the electorate.  Such a weak winner would also be considered politically weak once in office.
> It MAY be possible to imaging (one day) a President of the USA elected by Condorcet who had 32% of the first preferences against 35%
> and 33% for the other two candidates.  But I find it completely unimaginable, ever, that a candidate with 5% of the first
> preferences could be elected to that office as the Condorcet winner when the other two candidates had 48% and 47% of the first
> preferences.  Condorcet winner  - no doubt.  But effective President  -  never!

Such a weak Condorcet winner would also be unlikely.

Second preferences?
      That 5% would have to avoid the two strong candidates.
      The other two have to avoid voting for each other - likely, for they 
are likely enemies of each other.
      The other two could elect the 5%er - getting the 5% makes this seem 
      Could elect a candidate who got no first preference votes?  Seems 

I see the three each as possibles via first and second preferences - and 
acceptable even with only 5% first - likely a compromise candidate.

Any other unlikely to be a winner.

What were you thinking of as weak winner?
> James
  davek at clarityconnect.com    people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
  Dave Ketchum   108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708   607-687-5026
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