[EM] Burlington Vermont repeals IRV 52% to 48%

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km-elmet at broadpark.no
Tue Mar 2 22:58:11 PST 2010

robert bristow-johnson wrote:
> Well, that's sad.  Even with a sorta narrow victory the anti-IRVers will 
> swagger down Church Street like they own the place. We will now all 
> accept that God instituted the "traditional ballot" for use forever and 
> that a 40% Plurality is a "winner".
> It would have been optimum if IRV survived this vote by a narrow margin.
> It's sad that when FairVote introduced and promoted the ranked ballot 
> that, from square 1, they always coupled it to the IRV tabulation of 
> votes.  When enough disasters (at least anomalies) happen like in 
> Burlington or Aspen, some backlash, both ignorant and enlightened, is 
> bound to happen.

I think that shows that IRV is just not good enough. Of course, I could 
be wrong: perhaps it is, as you said, an outcome on par with "Bush wins 
the presidency -- in the supreme court", but if it was IRV itself that 
gave the opposition enough proverbial ammunition, then that does count 
against the method.

Since I prefer Condorcet, I would say that a good method should have 
elected Montroll. IRV didn't.

What's really bad is that now people will probably think that the ranked 
ballot and IRV are one and the same - that the only way to conduct a 
ranked ballot election is by using IRV. That would, absent favorable 
development elsewhere (Condorcet efforts that succeed, showing another 
way is possible).

What method will be used in Burlington now -- Plurality or runoff? Since 
you said 40% earlier, I guess it's a runoff, but 40% sounds odd as a 
runoff threshold. Shouldn't it be majority? Anything less and the voters 
might have preferred someone else.

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