[EM] IRV vs Plurality
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
abd at lomaxdesign.com
Wed Jan 13 12:37:46 PST 2010
At 01:19 PM 1/11/2010, Dave Ketchum wrote:
>Plurality does that only when you vote for one who has a possibility
>of winning. Sometimes doing that prevents voting for the one you
>prefer but expect to lose.
There is an aspect of this which is often overlooked, amidst
assumptions about what voters prefer, and the 2000 presidential
elector election in Florida showed this, in fact.
Everybody assumes that the Nader voters preferred Gore. But our study
of Range voting, if it's shown us anything, it should show us that
preference strength matters.
There is something that is quite obvious: the Nader voters didn't
have enough preference strength between Gore and Bush to
counterbalance their desire to express their preference for Nader.
Gore did not "own" those votes. I know of another interest group that
also, I'm sure, shifted that election (it was so close that this
could be said about many groups.) Muslims. There was a political
action group that became active in 2000, for that election, and it
approached the Gore campaign and asked to meet. They were blown off.
The Bush campaign agreed to meet with them, and did. Now, which
candidate did they support?
And it is a near certainty that this shifted enough votes to cause
Gore to lose.
Preference strength. Very important to consider, much about voting
systems makes no sense if all we think about is raw preference. Sure,
in a head-on election, no other candidates, Gore would probably have
won. Or not. Because the Nader message was that the choice between
Gore and Bush did not matter. The Nader votes presumably agreed with
that, and so we can't assume that they were "prevented from voting
for the one they preferred." They did so vote, and the result was
presumably not unsatisfactory to them, not immediately anyway. Later,
they found out whether Nader was right or not.
What would make us think that, with Range Voting, these voters
wouldn't have bottom ranked both Gore and Bush?
Well, here's what: voters don't believe everything that their
candidates tell them! But, still, each one of them made that choice
on election day, as to which benefit was more important: showing
support for Nader or the Green Party, or electing the preferred frontrunner.
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