# [EM] The Green scenario, and IRV in the Green scenario, is a new topic here. Hence these additional comments. Clarification of position and why.

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km_elmet at lavabit.com
Mon Feb 4 07:53:12 PST 2013

On 02/04/2013 02:40 PM, Peter Zbornik wrote:
> Being a green party member (although a Czech one and not US), I would
> variant of IRV, i.e. elimination of the candidates and transfer of
> votes until two remain, no quota for election (or quota=100%) except
> for the case where one candidate has more than 50% of first
> preferences.
>
> The top two candidates would meet in a second round in IRV.
> A candidate would be elected if he/she would get more than 50% of the votes.
>
> Empty votes would count as  valid votes in both first and second round.
>
> If no candidate would be elected in second round new elections would take place.
>
> The advantages of the proposed election system are
> 1) the voters are given a chance to concentrate only on two candidates
> in the second round, and are thus allowed to change their preferences.
> 2) blank votes together with IRV might make the candidates less
> polarized, as, given a large number of blank votes, the candidate with
> the highest number of votes in the second round would have to rely on
> the second preferences of the voters for the opposing candidate in
> order to get 50%+ votes.

Perhaps this method would work for runoffs if you can get a more
sophisticated base method through, say for internal elections:

- Run a single-winner election using your method of choice. Call the
winner w_1.
- Use a proportional ranking method to determine the second runoff
candidate w_2 so that the virtual council {w_1, w_2} represents as much
as possible of the population.
- Have a runoff between w_1 and w_2.

If w_1 is a strong winner, he'll win in the runoff. If he's a weak
winner (e.g. the "bland politician being everybody's second choice"
scenario), w_2 wins.

In IRV, this would be like running two-member STV where the IRV winner
is barred from being disqualified.

There could be a problem, though, in a society that has a bland centrist
politician and strong left- and right-wing candidates. Since the runoff
can only hold two candidates, either the left-wing or the right-wing
candidate would be disqualified; and if the bland politician is
sufficiently bland, then the wing candidate would pretty much win by
default. IRV "solves" this by not letting center-squeezed candidates win
in the first place. Another option is to have multiple candidates in the
runoff, but then the simplicity and strategy resistance properties of
the second round go away.