# [EM] First Condorcet cycle ever spotted in a national presidential election (!?! apparently)

Jameson Quinn jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 15:31:03 PST 2009

```2009/12/9 seppley <seppley at alumni.caltech.edu>

> Without studying details of the three Romanian candidates and the voters'
> preferences, the explanation of this majority cycle cannot be known for
> sure.
>
> However, consider a case of three very similar candidates. The voters'
> preferences in each of the three possible pairings would be nearly tied
> (approximately 50% preferring each candidate over each other candidate).
> In such a case, a cycle involving three small majorities would not be
> rare. Almost an even bet?
>

Not rare, you're right. However, what you are describing is essentially
something like a "random elections model" or perhaps a "Dirchlet model",
which, according to WDS's table of
calculations<http://rangevoting.org/Romania2009.html>,
for 3 or 4 serious candidates, have probabilities of Condorcet cycles
somewhere in the range of 6-18% - which is certainly nothing to be shocked
about when it happens by chance, but also a good deal less than an even bet.

> --Steve
> --------------------------
> Jameson Quinn wrote:
> > This is good math, and very interesting, but it doesn't speak at all
> > the politics of the matter. Have you figured out any tentative
> explanation
> > for the Condorcet cycles you postulate? Why would, for instance, O>B>G
> > voters be more common than O>G>B voters, yet in the mirror-image votes,
> > B>G>O voters more common than G>B>O ones? (I realize that the Condorcet
> > cycle does not require exactly that circumstance, but it suggests
> > something
> > of the kind).
> >
> > I understand that any such explanation would be post-hoc and speculative,
> > yet it is still worthwhile to make the attempt.
> >
> > Jameson
> >
> > 2009/12/8 Warren Smith <warren.wds at gmail.com>
> >
> >> preliminary page on Romania 2009 election now available here
> >>
> >> http://rangevoting.org/Romania2009.html
> >>
> >> The results are not as impressive as I originally thought they were
> >> going to be.
> >> --
> >> Warren D. Smith
> ----
> Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list info
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20091209/1c7d0513/attachment-0004.htm>
```