[EM] Losing Votes (ERABW)

Richard Fobes ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org
Fri Dec 14 09:12:00 PST 2012

On 12/13/2012 11:31 AM, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
> On 12/13/2012 05:28 PM, Chris Benham wrote:
>> Of the various proposed ways of weighing "defeat strengths" in
>> Schulze, Losing Votes is the one that elects most from the "tops of
>> the ballots". Given that we are seeking to convert supporters of FPP
>> (and to I hope a lesser extent, IRV), I think that is a marketing
>> advantage.
> On the other hand, we know that only paying mind to the tops of the
> ballots is a bad idea. That's what Plurality does. IRV pays less
> attention to the top (so that it can pass mutual majority, for
> instance), but Australia and Burlington seem to indicate it's not enough
> unlike Plurality.

In a sense, IRV pays too much attention to the "bottom of the ballot".

First, consider that plurality voting assumes that the candidate with 
the _most_ first-choice votes is most popular.

Relatedly, IRV assumes that the candidate with the _fewest_ first-choice 
votes is least popular.

Both beliefs are mistaken rather often.

IRV works fine if there are only two dominant candidates and other minor 
candidates, but what's the point of adopting a better ballot if the 
counting method only allows two main candidates?

Of course long-time folks here know all this, but there are a few folks 
here who are in the process of learning more about voting methods.

Richard Fobes

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