[EM] Condorcet How?

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km-elmet at broadpark.no
Wed Mar 24 08:32:03 PDT 2010

Terry Bouricius wrote:

> 2. Why did FairVote first start advocating IRV instead of Condorcet? 
> FairVote's initial and still leading concern is the promotion of 
> proportional representation (the majority should elect the majority of 
> seats, but minorities should be fairly represented at the table). Because 
> of the anti-party sentiment in the U.S. ("I vote for the individual, not 
> the party"), made the adoption of party list voting appear unachievable. 
> The most plausible form or PR for the U.S. seemed to be the 
> candidate-based STV, which already had been proven to be adoptable in the 
> U.S. earlier in the 20th century, and used for many generations in 
> Australia as a model. There are no functioning models of a Condorcet 
> variant for PR, and no functioning models in government elections for 
> single-seat Condorcet. It is virtually impossible to get a government to 
> adopt a voting method that is not already used by other governments, or at 
> least by numerous non-governmental organizations....so Condorcet was never 
> a real option. FairVote has been involved in several near-miss referenda 
> to adopt STV PR (Cincinnati, San Francisco, Lowell, etc.). IRV is merely 
> the single-seat variant of FairVotes' preferred PR system. As happened in 
> the Australia national Senate elections, which transitioned from IRV to 
> STV-PR, once IRV was adopted, a huge barrier (the use of ranked ballots) 
> to adopting STV PR is removed.

Is it virtually impossible to get a government to adopt a voting method 
that has been used before but isn't anymore, as well? If not, then 
Borda-elimination - Nanson's method - has been used in Michigan, and it 
is Condorcet. There are certainly better Condorcet methods, but it has 
been used.

As for Condorcet PR, there are now methods that can provide PR within 
the context of Condorcet - for instance CPO-STV or Schulze STV. They 
probably didn't exist when FairVote made the decision, however.

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