[EM] Conceiving a Democratic Electoral Process

Don Hoffard dchoffard at frontier.com
Mon Jul 9 17:51:40 PDT 2012

Assume you have 100 voters with all different political views (1-100).

(1 being very liberal, 100 being very conservative and 50 middle of the


L Party members are 1 to 37 in political views.

C Party members are 63 to 100 in political views.

The M's (no partisan/independents) have 38 to 62 in political views.


The L Party members select a candidate with political view of 25.

The C Party members select a candidate with political view of 73

An independent candidate also runs for the office with 52 political views.


Assume that each voter votes for the candidate with views closest to theirs.

The vote is in: L Party candidate = 37 votes, M candidate = 24 votes, and C
Party candidate = 39 votes.

With a winner-take-all election the C Party candidate wins with only 39% of
the votes.

If you assume there are no Parties and we have the same people running for
office you get the same results.

A two party system is a natural result of a winner-take-all type election.

That is why we have congressman and congresswoman with political views of
around 25 and 75.

"Duverger's law is an idea in political science which says that
constituencies that use first-past-the-post systems will become two-party
systems, given enough time."



If we had a Condorcet election system in the above election then we have M>L
63/37 and M>C 61/39.

Thus M is the Condorcet winner.

You may end up with more parties (with less political power) and get less
extreme office holders (more 50's).


NOTE: With a TOP-TWO type system we still would have L versus C in the
general election with C winning.

If we assume we have an L 10, an L 40, an M 50, and a C 80 we could have the
top-two as L 10 versus the C 80.

Not only that problem, but given enough time the "Party officials" will end
up choosing the L (or C) candidate and not the "Party members" to avoid
splitting the votes.

It is still a Plurality type voting system (i.e. two-past-the-post) and can
tend to favor the more extreme.

I have no problem with a general election of the top-two Condorcet primary

In the above election we would have M (M>L 63/37 and M>C 61/39) versus L
(L>C (51/49) with M winning the general election.

And in the other example we would have L 40 versus M 50 (and not L 10 and C
80) with M winning in the general election.


Don Hoffard


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20120709/38a1e363/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list