Why I'm now leaning toward Copeland//IRV as the best method to promote
My writing is confusing because I have allowed myself to become confused.
My writing is confusing because I have allowed myself to become confused.
Ok. So can you..... work on that?
Or, could I at least request that you don't post so many separate small comments? If you feel you must add another thought, just edit your last comment. It feels like whack-a-mole, and every time I contribute to this forum it just feels like things get derailed. Especially if a comment isn't on topic, it really shouldn't be its own, separate comment. (admittedly, this comment is off topic, but this thread has already gone off the rails)
FYI I've been having MUCH better luck at the reddit EndFPTP forum than this one recently, in terms of having people read what I write and having a discussion that feels like it goes somewhere rather than just being frustrating. Which is a shame. It's not just you, but still, you are the guy running it and I'd suggest you should take some responsibility for the direction of the forum. There is so much potential this board has that, in my opinion, is being wasted.
I also like that that forum has a policy of not slamming on IRV.
Your stridency against IRV --- even in cases where it has hardly any impact on the outcome, such as the above --- simply reinforces the status quo.
@rob there are many methods that make strategic voting unnecessary, such as selecting a citizen uniformly at random.
Marylander last edited by Marylander
@rob The complexity of IRV has slowed its spread, even though there are far more complex electoral rules. At public hearings to implement it somewhere new, it gets criticized for being confusing. I think people in the voting reform space tend to underestimate the complexity of hybrid voting methods like this one because they are composed of building blocks we already are familiar with, but for people not already initiated, having to explain all the building blocks means more of a chance to lose them before you get to make an argument. If I were to try to promote some Condorcet method, I'd probably go with something like Minimax, since the cycle-breaker is fairly simple but also in practice very similar to the cycle-breakers of some of the more highly regarded Condorcet methods.
(I will note that in my opinion, we will almost never see a Smith set with more than 3 candidates, and furthermore, if there is a cycle, all of the pairwise matchups will be close; 51-49 all 3-ways will be far more likely than 60-40 all 3 ways.)
rob Banned last edited by
there are many methods that make strategic voting unnecessary, such as selecting a citizen uniformly at random.
I'm not sure what you are getting at there...I don't think I implied that making strategic voting unnecessary was the only criteria. Was that your interpretation?
I listed some other criteria, but if I didn't state it outright, a primary one was that IRV, while far from perfect, is already considered good enough all by itself by huge numbers of people who are advocating for it, and actually using it in real world elections, including the entire state of Maine, many cities here in the Bay Area, etc.
That is obviously not the case with "choose a random citizen".
Here I am suggesting IRV simply be used in the rare case of pairwise ties. (again I should point out: in all 440 ranked choice elections monitored by FairVote, every single one had a Condorcet winner. One of them, Burlington, did not elect the Condorcet winner with IRV. But this method would elect that Condorcet winner, since its first step is to choose the pairwise winner if it exists) So even if many of us here don't consider IRV "good enough all by itself", I would argue that it is good enough for an extremely rare tiebreaker case.
Notice that a similar method, "Ranked Robin", works exactly the same as this, except for using Borda count for resolving the pairwise tie. It's really a renaming of Copeland//Borda, and while I have no problem with that method, using IRV may have an advantage in terms of being able to market it to all those who are behind "normal" Ranked Choice (IRV).
If you look at this FairVote page, https://www.fairvote.org/research_rcvwinners , they state as a positive about IRV that it tends to elect Condorcet winners if they exist. This method simply says "ok, fine, lets just go ahead and pick that Condorcet winner if they exist, and if not, use your method." FairVote itself may argue against this, but I can't imagine how they'd justify it if they just said that picking Condorcet winners is a good thing.
Back to "choose a random citizen." I'm not sure if you are suggesting it as a way of breaking pairwise ties, or have some other reason to bring it up. Assuming the former, I think it would be a bad choice, not so much because it would choose a bad candidate (after all, the candidates that are tied for pairwise wins should all be considered perfectly viable candidates), but because it is non-deterministic. The same set of ballots could produce different results. That's messy (adding an extra step to the process) and unnecessary.
At public hearings to implement it somewhere new, it gets criticized for being confusing.
I would totally agree if not for the fact that IRV already has momentum, most people who don't live under a rock have some familiarity with it, it has been used in real elections for decades now and.... key point... in all 440 election(*) where ranked ballots have been used, there was a Condorcet winner, so this tiebreaker stage wouldn't even be necessary.
Tldr: it just seems weird to think people would get hung up on the IRV part of this method, since it would be so rare to be needed, and IRV is already such a known quantity.
Let me make an analogy. Say someone is considering an off the grid, solar and battery powered house. If for some reason the system goes down for a short while, it is proposed that they have a gasoline powered generator as a backup. How much time would you expect people to spend debating the complexities of gasoline engines? (despite internal combustion indeed being complicated and having downsides, it is also a well known quantity)
* the 440 elections monitored by FairVote that they had enough information to be able to determine whether there was a Condorcet winner.
Marylander last edited by
- the 440 elections monitored by FairVote that they had enough information to be able to determine whether there was a Condorcet winner.
How many of those elections reported the complete rankings of the ballots? In an election where the complete rankings are not reported, it will still be possible to determine the Condorcet winner if one candidate gets a majority of the first choices, and IRV will elect that candidate. However, if no candidate gets a majority of the first choices, then it will not be possible to determine the Condorcet winner. This could lead to selection bias in their dataset.
@marylander They say:
"Of the 440 single-winner RCV elections in the United States since 2004 in which we have sufficient ballot data to assess whether the Condorcet winner won the election, all but one — the 2009 mayoral election in Burlington, Vermont — were won by the Condorcet winner."
So that says to me, all of them had complete ballots. There presumably were some elections without complete ballots, but they were simply ignored in this sample.
In this article, they go into a bit more detail. mentioning how in the Bay Area, all ballot image is revealed after being scrubbed for personally identifiable information. (in the bay area there have been 138 elections, all had a condorcet winner and IRV elected them, 40 of them did not elect the majority candidate)
@Sass, is there any reason to doubt what "Fairvote" reports as facts?
@jack-waugh The ballot data is publicly available and is free for you to check their claims yourself.
Personally speaking, I spent (way too many) hours scraping publicly available STV ballot data from about 1400 elections in Scotland and in New South Wales, AU. Each one except for around 14 (so 1%) had a Condorcet winner which was elected.
And that's STV, so we might expect an even higher incidence of cycles than with IRV.
Sass last edited by
@jack-waugh Depends on the context. I haven't spent a ton of time scouring their site because it infuriates me, but in my limited experience, their hard data on what voters actually put down on ballots tends to be pretty reliable. Their claims about what different voting methods do and don't do are usually pretty bunk all around, though.