[EM] Why I prefer ranked-choice voting to approval voting

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Sat Oct 15 09:33:22 PDT 2016

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: Re: [EM] Why I prefer ranked-choice voting to approval voting

From: "C.Benham" <cbenham at adam.com.au>

Date: Sat, October 15, 2016 11:01 am

To: election-methods at lists.electorama.com



>> I want to briefly address another form of ranked voting called

>> Condorcet voting. Condorcet voting also uses a ranked ballot, but the

>> votes are counted in a different way.

>> While Condorcet voting is a great voting method, ...


> "Condorcet voting" isn't decisive enough to qualify as a "voting

> method". Condorcet is just a criterion (or a category of methods that

> meet the criterion).


> Min-Max Margins, Schulze (Winning Votes), Smith//Approval, "Benham"

> (check for a CW among remaining candidates before each IRV-style

> elimination)

> are all very different methods that happen to meet the Condorcet criterion.
forgot Tideman (ranked-pairs).
regarding semantics:  i think that it is loosely appropriate, in discussion here and in discussion among the laity to use the term "Condorcet
method" or "Condorcet voting" as any of the Condorcet-compliant methods for the sake of discussion to differentiate ranked-choice methods from each other.  i.e. Condorcet vs. IRV or Condorcet vs. Bucklin or Condorcet vs. Borda .  the different Condorcet-compliant methods
potentially differ in outcome only when there is a cycle, which in real elections continues to appear to be a rare occurrence.  not only that, at least when margins are considered and there is only three candidates in the cycle, the outcome of Schulze and Ranked Pairs and Min-Max appear to the
same.  so, as rare as cycles are, even rarer in the real world are cycles with a Smith set of more than 3 candidates.  so i think, as long as we may leave the details about what to do about cycles to a future debate, it's an acceptable semantic to use the term "Condorcet method"
or "Condorcet voting" in the discussion of RCV.
that said, i think *any* of these Condorcet methods are far better than IRV because when IRV actually fails to elect the CW (which has happened in reality in a governmental election in 2009), even if voters don't know or
understand exactly what went wrong, they know **something** did and Ranked-Choice Voting (in general) is discredited along with IRV.  so also are other voting reforms.  Fairvote doesn't get it and even after the experience of 2009, they push IRV portraying it as the *only* way of reform
realizing RCV, which is explicitly dishonest.  and they don't get it that somewhere, sometime again, they will get a skeptical jurisdiction to adopt IRV and when it fails again (which may well happen when there are three equally viable candidates), IRV (and, by dishonest association, RCV) will
be again discredited.
still seems that Condorcet -> Ranked Pairs -> Margins is the simplest, mostly fair (doesn't deviate from Schulze-Margins) method to simply adopt this principle: "When more voters mark their ballots that they prefer Candidate A over Candidate B than the number of voters who
prefer the contrary, then Candidate B is not elected."  Who can argue with that??  Whenever Candidate B is elected when more of us wanted Candidate A or Candidate C or someone else, i mean WTF?  how can anyone who believes in majority rule and one-person-one-vote disagree with

r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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