[EM] Does IRV elect "majority winners?"

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Fri Jan 2 12:31:49 PST 2009

At 01:09 PM 1/2/2009, Jonathan Lundell wrote:

>So sure, IRV elects "majority winners" in one particular operation
>sense of the term. Even if there's a first-round absolute majority,
>we're faced with the problem of agenda manipulation. To take another
>US presidential election, in 1992 I might have voted
>         Clinton > Perot > Bush
>but only because I didn't have a meaningful NOTA option.
>In the immortal words of Jim Hightower, "If the gods had meant us to
>vote, they would have given us candidates."

Any election where write-in-votes are allowed has a NOTA option. 
Under Robert's Rules, there is no restriction as to what you can 
write in, though identifying yourself on the ballot might be an 
exception. You could literally write in "None of the above," and it 
would count as part of the basis for "majority," it wouldn't be a 
stupid vote, because if enough people vote that way, or for 
candidates other than the leader, the election fails and there is 
another opportunity for the "gods to give us candidates."

(In preferential public elections, where only ballots with a vote for 
a legally allowed candidate count, you would simply use your ranks to 
vote for any candidate where you would not mind being part of the 
majority which elects the sucka.)

Preferential voting with a runoff trigger can be a much better method 
than without it.

With IRV, it seems, about one nonpartisan election in ten, very 
roughly, the method produces a winner who would lose in a direct 
face-off with either the runner-up or an eliminated candidate.

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