[EM] How did local IRV affect CA state elections?
Rbj at Audioimagination.Com
Tue Dec 14 20:07:53 PST 2010
On Dec 14, 2010, at 9:52 PM, ⸘Ŭalabio‽ wrote:
>> Tue, 14 Dec 2010 13:30:04 -0500, “Robert Bristow-Johnson” <Rbj at Audioimagination
>> do you mean that the turnout in the IRV election is no greater than
>> turnout in a regular election? i might agree.
> ¡You got it!:
> The question is whether the turnout for the IRV-Election as part of
> the general election increased, thus effecting state-races. Your
> hypothesis about people not bothering to show for runoffs is
> interesting and probably true, but not the issue at stake here.
well, that's *is* the issue (or at least one of them) regarding the
use of the ranked-order ballot (of which IRV is one method to tabulate
it). i consider it very important, because with a delayed runoff
(assuming that the first election sends the "correct" two candidates
to the runoff an assumption that i don't accept, but will stipulate to
at this time), if the margin of victory is very small, much smaller
than the quantity of voters that vote in the first election but do not
make it to the runoff, then there is a legitimate question as to who
would have really won if the two runoff candidates were the only two
in the original election. the legitimacy of the election of the
winner is in question.
this legitimacy of the winner is always a problem with close
elections, but if we get everyone to the polls to vote that we can
(without compelling them like the Australians do), then i think we
must accept the legitimacy of the winner. it's the best we can do and
there is no compelling reason to give the elected office to the
candidate with the fewer votes. but it is *not* the best we can do
when the elected office is awarded to a candidate with a "majority"
vote when it's a majority of a greatly reduced number.
most people here know that i am a partisan for a Condorcet compliant
voting system (and i'm more agnostic about which Condorcet system to
use) which uses nearly the same ballot form as IRV (the only
difference is that equal rankings make sense for Condorcet, but would
be difficult to transfer for the STV method). the main reason to have
*either* of these systems (over plurality or two-round runoff) is this:
If a majority (not just a mere plurality) of voters agree that
A is better than candidate B, then candidate B should not be
i think that principle is defended by considering the alternative; why
should we (if we have "majority rule") give the office to Candidate B
when more of us think that Candidate A is better? from that, i think
you can derive principles regarding "no spoiler" and "no burden of
but a separate principle is that of voter convenience (and delayed
runoffs are inconvenient). it's the same reason to make voter
registration easier (like Motor-Voter laws). the newly-elected
Secretary of State in Vermont put this as making voting easy and
IRV and Condorcet both try to uphold these principles, i just think
that Condorcet does it better than IRV and have seen IRV fail that
majority rule principle above in the very town i live in (and now IRV
has been repealed and, to my dismay, replaced with 40% plurality rule).
r b-j rbj at audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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