# [EM] I need an example of Condorcet method being subjected

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Fri Jan 22 10:13:12 PST 2010

```At 07:48 PM 1/21/2010, Kathy Dopp wrote:
>On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 7:34 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
><abd at lomaxdesign.com> wrote:
> > At 04:41 PM 1/21/2010, Jonathan Lundell wrote:
> >>
> >> On Jan 21, 2010, at 1:32 PM, Kathy Dopp wrote:
> >>
> >> > Terry, You cleverly conveniently change all the definitions whenver it
> >> > is necessary to make yourself and Fairytale Vote right on the "facts".
> >>
> >> Define "spoiler", please, unambiguously.
> >
> > The term has usage, and must be understood from that. A formal definition,
> > nailing it down, would be arbitrary. But Kathy's definition is one
> > reasonable one that matches common usage.
> >
> > But there is another which is broader and, to distinguish this from the
>
>because it narrows the number of cases that fit the definition.

That's correct. I wrote it backwards. Kathy is using the broader
definition and my comment was confused, not in reality (that is, I
wasn't confused myself) but in expression (I accidentally wrote it backwards).

To summarize, the IIA definition is broad (and fairly clear with pure
preferential voting, though it gets muddy as hell when we try to
apply it to methods allowing equal ranking), and the common political
usage, which FairVote relies upon, doesn't think of the N-major
candidates problem when N is greater than 2, because that is, in the
U.S., a rare situation (in partisan elections). It's predictable,
though, in Burlington.

In reality, both problems are serious. What I always called the
first-order spoiler effect, to distinguish it from, say, center
squeeze, however, only flips the result when the two leading
candidates are close.

The second-order effect, where there are more than two major
candidates, can flip a 2:1 result (pairwise) so that the 1/3
candidate wins. I'd call that very serious.

And it is *roughly* what happened in Burlington. Single-winner IRV is
insupportable in contexts where there are three major parties, all
reasonbly viable. Plurality is better, because, then, at least,
voters know what they are dealing with, and if the Progressive
candidate there really wants to insist, he or she might indeed cause
the Republican to win. It's called "responsibility," a concept lost
on Ralph Nader in 2000. Or, in fact, he believed his propaganda:
there was no difference between Gore and Bush.

Really? Did you support Nader in 2000? Did you buy that argument? If
you lived in Florida, where it was known to be a close election, and
you voted for Nader, *you are responsible for what happened,* almost
as much as those who voted for Bush. Call it half-responsible.

I understand and sympathize with the problem. But there are much
better fixes than IRV. The simple, low-cost but not *fully
satisfactory* option is just to count all the damn votes. Approval, it becomes.

But there is an obvious objection: if you supported Nader over Gore,
you'd want to be able to express that. Hence a ranked approval method
is actually quite on-point. And this was obvious a century ago, when
it was tried extensively. Why was it stopped?

Well, why was IRV stopped in Ann Arbor, MI, immediately after an
election where it's clear the IRV result (a Democratic mayor, the
first black mayor in Ann Arbor history) was better than electing the
Republican. Let's see ... who would benefit from dumping IRV there?
Lucky guess. And they had the means to do it: arrange a special
election to dump IRV at a point where the students were out of town.
Ann Arbor is a college town, and the Human Rights Party, very popular
with students, was splitting the vote. So IRV was dumped, and this
had nothing to do with fairness, it was pure political maneuvering.
And the Democrats and the Greens (which the HRP became) didn't have
the balls to go back and pull the same trick, they didn't even try.
My guess is that the Democrats didn't want to cooperate with the

So the Democrats, my guess, are responsible for what happened in Ann
Arbor, collectively with the Greens. Being in the majority doesn't
help if the majority is internally divided and can't cooperate.

If the method in Burlington goes back to a plurality method, say, the
same applies. Progressives and Democrats, get it together and you
will win. If you are divided, *they* will win. And you are
collectively responsible for that.

```