[EM] Can anyone help with straight-ahead Condorcet language?

Hahn, Paul manynote at wustl.edu
Mon Sep 20 23:21:15 PDT 2021

Should (1) have something like “Unranked candidates are treated as being below all the ranked ones” appended?


On Sep 20, 2021, at 11:32 PM, Daniel Carrera <dcarrera at gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Robert,

On Mon, Sep 20, 2021 at 10:12 PM robert bristow-johnson <rbj at audioimagination.com<mailto:rbj at audioimagination.com>> wrote:
And, BTW, it is *not* my intent to synthesize language for Tideman RP or any other Condorcet method other that just the basic generic method: "Elect the candidate who doesn't lose to any other candidate when compared directly with the other candidate."  I want to show legislators that language as well as the BTR language and compare that to the Hare RCV language that has already been placed before them.

Alright. Here is my attempt to write the simplest possible Condorcet language in legalese. This here is 126 words, which is a fair bit shorter than the 169 words of the IRV template:

All elections of mayor, city councilors and school commissioners shall be by ballot, using a system of ranked choice voting without a separate runoff election. The chief administrative officer shall implement a ranked choice voting protocol according to these guidelines:
 (1) The ballot shall give voters the option of ranking candidates in order of preference.
 (2) A candidate “A” is said to win against another candidate “B” if more voters rank “A” above “B” than rank “B” above “A”. If there is a candidate that wins against every other candidate, that candidate is elected.
 (3) If there is no such candidate, then the candidate with the most first-choice votes wins.
 (4) The city council may adopt additional regulations consistent with this subsection to implement these standards.

I think anyone would agree that this is much simpler than the IRV language. Part (1) is lifted straight from the IRV language. Part (2) is the Condorcet rule in the simplest language I could think of and I think it's drastically simpler than IRV. You said you didn't want to synthesize any particular Condorcet method, but I felt I had to include a way to deal with cycles, so that's part (3). The rule I wrote is FPTP which isn't great but it's easy to understand and familiar.

Basically, the method is "elect the Condorcet winner if there is one, otherwise do FPTP". That's the dumbest Condorcet method, but it *is* a Condorcet method. Let me know what you think. I can try to come up with another option for (3) if you want. Just try to give me an idea of where you want to strike the balance between simplicity vs having a good rule for resolving cycles.

Dr. Daniel Carrera
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Iowa State University
Election-Methods mailing list - see https://electorama.com/em for list info
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