[EM] Condorcet How?

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Mon Mar 22 10:02:14 PDT 2010

On Mar 22, 2010, at 6:17 AM, Markus Schulze wrote:

> here are some interesting videos on IRV in Burlington:
> http://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/instant-runoff-voting-interviews
> http://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/irv-or-down-instant-runoff- 
> voting-debate

i've seen them.  if i had reacted more quickly, i would have appeared  
in one of them.  (i was one of the questioners in the debate, but  
they "didn't understand [my] question" so neither side answered it.   
it was very frustrating.)

> I have the impression that there was no reasonable
> debate on IRV.

there surely was little reasonable debate.

> Most anti-IRV arguments were ridiculous or simply false.

they surely were either ridiculous or false.  fueled by some good  
analysis from Warren Smith, but they misused the result.

> The anti-IRV campaign was a pure anti-Kiss campaign.

not purely, but the fact that Kiss is in so much trouble provided a  
lot of fuel for the anti-IRV campaign.

>> in fact, if the election was decided with Condorcet
>> rules (doesn't matter which, since there was no cycle),
>> these same Republicans would have bitched all the more,
>> since the Condorcet candidate had only 23% and came
>> third in plurality.  so the primary political motivation
>> behind the repeal was not due to that the Condorcet
>> winner was not elected.
> I agree that the Republicans would also have attacked
> Condorcet. But as Montroll was preferred to Wright with
> 56% against 44%, an anti-Condorcet/anti-Montroll campaign
> wouldn't have been successful.

Markus, the main complaint (besides that Kiss, who was considered by  
these Republicans to be such a bad mayor and he was elected via IRV)  
was against the Ranked Ballot.  their slogans were: "Keep Voting  
Simple" and "One person, one vote".  their main factual indictment  
against IRV is that it elected someone whom 71% of the electorate  
voted *against*.  what would they say if it were Condorcet and the  
candidate that 77% voted against was elected?

I don't know if an "anti-Condorcet/anti-Montroll campaign" would have  
been successful or not, but I am not as confident that it would fail  
as you Markus, and I live here in Burlington.  I *do* know that the  
oft cited pathologies noted by Smith (picked up locally by UVM Prof.  
Anthony Gierzynsky) would not have applied, since there was  
absolutely no cycle, all candidates were very well ordered from a  
Condorcet POV.

I would like to think that if it were Condorcet from the very  
beginning that Preferential Voting would survive, but these IRV  
opponents were also rabid ranked-ballot opponents ("Keep Voting  
Simple! One person, one vote! Keep Voting Simple! One person, one  
vote!").  They believe that God Herself ordained the "traditional  
ballot" (as well as Washington, Jefferson, and Madison) and that  
changing from that is heresy in the religion of democracy.


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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