[EM] single winner? Maine -style IRV vs brainstorming

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Thu May 16 15:11:41 PDT 2019

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

Subject: [EM] single winner? Maine -style IRV vs brainstorming

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

Date: Thu, May 16, 2019 1:30 pm

To: "election-methods at lists.electorama.com" <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>


> I cannot figure this list out.   

> IRV modernization is starting to sweep the country,  and we keep seeing posts about inferior theoretical systems that would not even be legal in the U.S.  (you cannot vote for more than one candidate for U.S. elections)

> Maine's election system definitely picks a single candidate that is the most preferred vs all the losing candidates.___
No Sennet, it does not **always** pick the single candidate that is most preferred vs all of the losing candidates.  It is the same Single Transferable Vote (STV)
method that is in use for all other governmental elections that I am aware of.  We have already, in 2009, demonstrated in Burlington Vermont that this STV method elected a candidate when another candidate was preferred over the STV winner by a margin exceeding 6.5%.
That is a
I think STV RCV is better than no RCV.  But STV, unless it's IRV-BTR (bottom two runoff, which is Condorcet compliant), is worse than STV RCV because sometimes this STV will elect a candidate when more voters mark their ballots that they prefer a different *specific*
candidate.   And when voting reform lite makes a mistake like this, the electorate reacts badly sometimes and sometimes the voting reform is repealed and set back at least an entire generation.
Wait 'til Maine gets a serious 3-way race where **all** 3 candidates are plausible winners
going into the election (i.e. media polls show them as virtually tied going in).  That's when you might get a problem.  But if the potential spoiler candidate is *not* a plausible winner, that is does not have close to enough support to beat either of the front runners, but the spoiler
**does** have enough votes to change who the winner is (like we had in Vermont for Governor in 2014) then STV does okay.  Then STV will solve the spoiler problem.
But in a tough 3-way race, funky things can happen with STV and **has** done so a decade ago in Burlington

r b-j                         rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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