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

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Wed Mar 3 10:57:52 PST 2010

On Mar 3, 2010, at 1:58 AM, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:

> 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",

here is a funny story from The Onion (about a year old):


> 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.

i've been saying that myself, many times.  to a lot of deaf ears in  

> 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.

it's Plurality winner if 40% is reached.  if no one gets 40%, it's a  
runoff in about 3 weeks between the top two.  if applied in 2009, the  
runoff would be between the same two candidates, and there is a good  
possibility that, with reduced turnout at the runoff, the election  
would have come out differently.


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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