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

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Wed Dec 24 03:59:21 PST 2008

Juho Laatu  > Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 7:43 AM
> Using single-winner methods to implement
> multi-winner elections is a weird
> starting point in the first place.

All my comments were exclusively in the context of single-office single-winner elections.	

As I have said many times before, it is my firmly held view that single-winner voting systems should NEVER be used for the general
election of the members of any assembly (city council, state legislature, state or federal parliament, House of Representatives or
Senate).  All such assemblies should be elected by an appropriate PR voting system.

> This
> approach works for two-party systems,
> although PR of those two parties will not
> be provided.

Statements like this are commonly made, but are completely wrong, at least so far as FPTP (simple plurality) in single-member
districts is concerned.  Even when there are only two parties, not only is there no guarantee of PR of the two parties, but such
voting systems create "electoral deserts" for both of the parties where they win no seats despite having lots of local support, give
the election to the wrong party (occasionally), and leave about half of those who voted without representation.  The importance of a
small number of swing voters in a few marginal districts also has very serious and very bad political effects for the assembly and
the government (if government is based in the assembly).  Given such results (repeatedly in the UK), it is completely unjustified to
assert that such voting systems "work" in any real sense of the meaning of that word.

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