[EM] IRV / RCV advances

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Thu Jul 12 19:29:32 PDT 2018

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

Subject: [EM] IRV / RCv advances

From: "Sennet Williams" <sennetwilliams at yahoo.com>

Date: Thu, July 12, 2018 9:37 pm

To: "Election-Methods at lists.electorama.com" <Election-Methods at lists.electorama.com>


> Sorry I don't get online much, but everyone should know that RCV is getting a LOT of good publicity.1-Maine just had the first statewide IRV election in U.S. history.2-since then, there have been op-ed(s?) in the NYT calling for RCV nationwide3-London Breed has just become the first african
american female mayor of SF: thanks to RCV.4-Jesse Arreguin is the first latino mayor of Berkeley, thanks to RCV.5-Jean Quan was the first asian mayor of Oakland, thanks to RCV.6-Libby Schaaf, Oakland's new mayor, was elected thanks to RCV.
> If you want to pay attention, IRV/RCV/ranked pairs are inevitably the future, that is why  I don't understand this craziness discussing outdated election "systems."-Thanks for reading
you know that Ranked Pairs is not the same as IRV although both RP and IRV are, strictly
speaking, RCV.
but, unfortunately, IRV was presented by FairVote as the *only* way to tally a Ranked-Choice Vote ballot in the past, but at least they called it "IRV".  now they have appropriated the term "RCV" and use that label to repackage the same IRV (under a
different name since "IRV" has gotten a little bit stained, particularly after Burlington 2009) with a different label that might seem more attractive.
I would hope that **everywhere** that this topic comes up in the mainstream media that we can hear someone saying:

"Ranked-Choice Voting - GOOD ;  Plurality Voting -  BAD"   (fine, Rob Richie and i agree about that.)  but then we need to hear:

"Ranked-Pairs -  GOOD ; Instant Runoff Voting (or STV or Hare or AV or whatever is the name in vogue at some particular place in spacetime) - BAD"
we can introduce RCV to voters and to governments without having to define it **solely** in terms of IRV.  IRV is
the second **worst** way of realizing RCV (Borda is, i think, the worst, and i haven't formed an opinion about Bucklin).  A Condorcet-compliant method the only correct way to implement RCV.  (and I still think that RP is simpler to implement and simpler to sell than Schulze, sorry
Marcus.   and RP and Schulze agree on any election with a Smith Set of 3 or smaller and while i think a cycle will almost never happen, a cycle with a Smith Set bigger than 3 will truly never happen in a governmental election with decent ballot access requirements so we may as well sell
the simpler RP.)
I am truly disappointed that, in the public discussion, *only* IRV is suggested for RCV as if they are the same thing.  They are not.  IRV is a crappy way of doing RCV.  Why not just do it the right way?
I believe that more than two viable parties is a
good thing and we want to level the playing field between what is now the two major parties and, what are now, minor parties.  And I want Independents to have a level playing field.  So when an election happens when there are 3 or more **viable** candidates (in which anyone of the 3 are
plausible winners), my fear is what happened in Burlington Vermont in 2009 will happen again somewhere, people will get pissed, RCV is repealed, and election reform is set back another generation.  We lost IRV in 2010 and it will be 2030 before enough people die and enough new people come into
Vermont that the memory of this failure will start to dissipate.  THEN maybe we can have another stab at RCV.  I hope then, we'll do it right.
In the meantime, I wish all other jurisdictions will at least be able to consider Ranked Pairs (along with STV or IRV) and choose
Screwups in reform sets reform back.  Sometimes permanently.  We need to learn from mistakes and these IRV proponents are not learning from the mistakes.


r b-j                         rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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