[EM] Dave, Jameson: IRV
jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Fri Jan 20 19:39:53 PST 2012
> A sincere CW, a Condorcet candidate, can't lose in a runoff.
Not unless voters change their mind. That could happen if they hadn't taken
the CW seriously before the first election, and so not looked closely
enough at them. Consider, for instance, all the flash-in-the-pan
not-Romneys in the Republican primaries. Imagine a similar phenomenon in
the general election. Say you had Romney against Obama. With partisans on
both sides who detest the other side, but are also holding their nose to
vote for their own candidate, an underqualified nobody, such as
a somewhat-more-centrist version of Herman Cain, would have a chance to be
CW if they "surged" at just the right time. Very unlikely that such a surge
would last until a runoff, though.
> Therefore, s/he can't lose
> if s/he is one of the two biggest votegetters in the primary. IRV doesn't
> have a guarantee like that.
> The conditional methods that I've been proposing won't elect "weak CWs",
> unfavorite CWs.
Do you mean strategic CWs? Strategic CWs basically only arise when there is
no honest CW, a possibility improbable enough for me to mostly discount.
No, I meant weak, as in unexamined flash-in-the-pan, as above.
> >Anyway, that whole argument just leaves IRV, MJ, and SODA as viable.
> What?? :-)
I don't mean that these are the most viable methods. I mean that they're
the most viable according to the weak-centrists-shouldn't-win argument. I
don't think that WCSW is the most important criterion, by any means, but it
is one aspect of viability worth discussing.
> IRV's viabillty is in the sewer, after Burlington.
> In my conversations with people, SODA
> has been rejected for complexity,
Have you seen simple four-step description of the process copied below?
This is enough to actually run a SODA election with; if you are willing to
summarize even further, you can easily reduce the first three steps to one
sentence each, and the last step to a clause on the last sentence.
*Here's the full step-by-step process of SODA voting:*
1. Candidates predeclare their preference order for the other candidates,
so that voters can make an informed choice
2. Voters vote on a ballot similar to the following. Approvals and
delegated votes are tallied and announced.
Vote for as many candidates as you approve, or vote for just one candidate
to delegate your vote:
▢ Adams (Prefers Churchill, then Bachelet, then Deakin)
▢ Bachelet (Prefers Deakin and Churchill)
▢ Churchill (Prefers Adams)
▢ Deakin (No preferences declared)
If you only vote for one candidate, your vote is delegated to that
candidate, unless you check the box below. A delegated vote means that if
your favorite cannot win, they may assign further approvals to your vote,
according to their preferences above.
▢ Do not delegate. Do not let the candidate I voted for add approvals to my
Note: If you vote for more than one candidate, or if you vote for a
write-in or other candidate with no declared preferences, your vote is not
delegated. In that case, no-one can add approvals to your vote, and it does
not matter whether you check the box above.
3. The candidates, one at a time in decreasing order of approval, can
assign approvals on the ballots delegated to them. For candidates with less
than 5% approval, delegated approvals are assigned automatically. In either
case, the assigned approvals must respect the candidate's predeclared
4. When one or more candidates have approvals (direct or delegated) from a
majority (more 50% of the voters), or when all delegated approvals have
been assigned, the candidate with the most approvals wins.
> and because it's such a big departure from the usual
> practice of letting the ballots, and only the ballots, decide the election.
Guilty as charged. But again, delegation is optional for any given voter,
so if they want their ballot to be fixed, they can have it be so without
losing voting power or getting any dishonest strategy incentives.
> You're all worried about what the incumbants will like or accept. They'll
> only accept what will keep electing them. They were elected by a method
> with a serious spoiler problem. Without that problem, and voters'
> consequent favorite-burial, those people wouldn't be in office.
I expect that around half of incumbents would be out, not all of them. The
ones with real, non-spoiler-based popularity do exist, and I have no beef
with them (per se).
> know that. Give them a little credit. If you want something that our
> current inumbants will like, then my advice to you is to stick with
> Plurality and IRV, because those are the methods that will artificially
> preserve two-party domination.
> It was shown by Myerson & Weber that Plurality and IRV will keep on
> electing even the two most despised parties, if media have led people to
> believe that those are "the 2 choices".
> That's because, after everyone has voted for those parties, (surprise) one
> of them will win, seeming to confirm the belief that they're "the 2
> Of course we're familiar with this in Plurality. But Myerson & Weber
> demonstrated that it's
> true of IRV too.
Is this Myerson, R. and Weber, R.J.(1993) A theory of Voting Equilibria.
American Political Science Review Vol 87, No. 1, 102-114?
> Initiaitives can win without any help from incumbants. It would be nice if
> incumbants would
> support methods that would end their careers, but don't count on it.
Constitutional conventions need to be green-lighted by either congress
(dead end) or legislatures from 2/3 of states (worth trying, after staging
mock conventions using a deliberative polling methodology, to show good
Many states don't have an initiative process, or have an essentially
impossible one or one that's been gutted by the courts.
> Mike Ossipoff
> IRV is if the two biggest parties do not center themselves around the
> center. This possibility is what will goad them to recenter themselves more
> often. That is what would have happened in Burlington if the anti-IRV
> campaign had not succeeded. >* *>* Over the decades, when confronted with
> IRV's spoiler problem, the IRV *>* promoters always insisted that it's
> just "theoretical". *>* * I believe non-monotonicity is theoretical,
> because it presumes that a significant fraction of the population has a
> total change of heart as to who to vote for. It doesn't have the Weak
> Condorcet Winner problem, which means the CW doesn't always win and when
> that happens, it can get spun to bring back a more illiberal election rule.
> >* *>* if complete results were *>* always available from IRV elections,
> the spoiler problem would be found to *>* happen in other instances as
> well. *>* * The issue is how much and how bad is the numero dos candidate
> relative to the CW. The Vermont Prog candidate wasn't that far off from the
> center... >* *>* (We should be contacting IRV opposition in the cities
> using it or *>* considering it, to suggest that they insist that complete
> *>* election results be divulged after IRV elections. Maybe letters to
> the *>* editor to papers in those cities too.) *>* *>* Though I've heard
> some IRV-promoter rhetoric about it, I haven't heard an *>*IRV-promoter's explanation for how that "theoretical"
> *>* problem actually happened, and an explanation for how he can still
> claim *>* that IRV's spoiler problem is only theoretical. *>* * You have
> to sort thru what's being discussed. Nonmonotonicity is theoretical, as in
> sour grapes "if only if..." As for "spoiling", IRV reduces its likelihood
> of happening. It can only happen if there are three relatively big parties
> and the two biggest are not centered around the center and the supporters
> of the party-off center don't read the writing on the wall and
> strategically support the more centrist party. >* *>* JQ:It's obvious
> that Burlington was a serious failure for IRV. It did not *>* live up to
> the advantages promoters had claimed for it. * dlw: Their simplified
> marketing pitch wisely did not go into these sort of relatively unlikely
> outcomes and they froze the message to being about IRV vs a return to the
> status quo, as is also wise in an election campaign, as opposed to an
> electoral methods listserve. >* *>* JQ: However, I have heard IRV
> supporters claim that Burlington was not a *>* total failure, because the
> results were better than plurality, assuming *>* that same set of
> (presumably mostly honest) ballots. I've also heard them *>* claim that
> Approval would have gotten the same results as plurality, due to *>* (my
> words) the Chicken dilemma. I disagree with both of these ideas, but I *>*can't trivially refute them.
> *>* *>* That said, I agree that it's hard to imagine voters going for IRV
> *>* nationally after Burlington. Even the arguments above amount to "it
> wasn't *>* TOO bad", which is not exactly inspiring. *>* * I've no doubt
> that Burlington wd continue to get spun against IRV. The point is the
> dynamics. Instead of two major parties tilting too far off center, as has
> been the case, we'd have two major parties that'd need to adjust to the
> moving center far more often. But it's inane to think that a particular
> third party is going to be able to get as strong as the Prog party of VT in
> Burlington at the Nat'l level w.o. getting coopted by the major parties,
> jealous to keep their duopoly positions. So the chances of this happening
> are nil in prez elections. The problem with IRV in such elections wd be
> vote-counting and that is fixed by IRV3/AV3.... >* *>* Honestly, this is
> part of why I keep pushing SODA. I think that incumbents *>* are used to
> balancing the dynamic tension of playing to their base or *>* playing to
> the center. I think that a system which radically upsets that *>* balance
> in favor of centrists is very scary to them, as well as to partisan *>*activists. I think that Condorcet actually does upset the balance in this
> *>* way; and that Range and Approval arguably do, at least enough to wake
> *>* those fears. I think that this fear has various facets; it's the real
> *>* "meat" behind the LNH argument, and I've also talked about it as the
> "weak *>* CW problem". It's perfectly reasonable not to want a dark-horse
> CW to win *>* if they couldn't in fact survive the scrutiny of a runoff;
> and even if it *>* weren't reasonable, any incumbent would hate having to
> worry about that *>* happening. *>* *>* Anyway, that whole argument
> leaves just IRV, MJ, and SODA as viable. IRV, *>* I agree, is a dead end,
> with numerous serious problems. So the question for *>* me is, is MJ or
> SODA more likely to pass in the US? Right now, I believe *>* that the
> answer is SODA, but I'm not really sure. *>* * dlw: What about IRV3/AV3?
> Like I said above, it's not easy for a third party to get as strong as VT
> Prog was in Burlington at the state or nat'l level... and the dynamics wd
> be towards a change in the nature of the two major parties more so than the
> continuation of a competitive 3-way election.... >* *>* (Again, I will
> strongly support Approval, Range, or Condorcet. I'm not *>* saying this
> argument makes them bad. I'm saying it makes them less viable *>* because
> incumbents and partisans, probably the two most-politically-active *>*groups there are, would both be very wary of them for these reasons.)
> *>* * It's nice to see a little more realism on the list-serve. dlw >* *>*Jameson
> *>* *>* *>* *>* 2012/1/20 MIKE OSSIPOFF <nkklrp<http://lists.electorama.com/listinfo.cgi/election-methods-electorama.com><http://lists.electorama.com/listinfo.cgi/election-methods-electorama.com>at
> hotmail.com> *>* *>>* The discussion about IRV referred to something like
> P(IRV) and P(other), *>>* where those presumably represent the
> probability of *>>* success of IRV vs that of other methods. *>>* *>>*Burlington should show you that the probability of IRV ever making it to
> *>>* federal use is zero. I mean, can you be serious? Any proposal *>>*for federal elections would be thoroughly scrutinized and examined. Do
> *>>* you think that Burlington's demonstration of IRV's spoiler *>>*problem won't be found by those studying IRV's merit?
> *>>* *>>* Over the decades, when confronted with IRV's spoiler problem,
> the IRV *>>* promoters always insisted that it's just "theoretical". *>>*
> *>>* But now it can no longer be said to be only theoretical, because it
> has *>>* happened. In fact, most likely, if complete results were *>>*always available from IRV elections, the spoiler problem would be found
> *>>* to happen in other instances as well. *>>* *>>* (We should be
> contacting IRV opposition in the cities using it or *>>* considering it,
> to suggest that they insist that complete *>>* election results be
> divulged after IRV elections. Maybe letters to the *>>* editor to papers
> in those cities too.) *>>* *>>* Though I've heard some IRV-promoter
> rhetoric about it, I haven't heard an *>>* IRV-promoter's explanation for
> how that "theoretical" *>>* problem actually happened, and an explanation
> for how he can still claim *>>* that IRV's spoiler problem is only
> theoretical. *>>* *>>* David was using "x" to mean "merit" or something
> like that, when he spoke *>>* of x(IRV). Regarding IRV's merit, see
> above. *>>* *>>* Mike Ossipoff *>>* *>>* *>>* ---- *>>* Election-Methods
> mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list *>>* info *>>* *>>* *
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