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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    05 Apr '12 01:57
    It’s time the U.S. started using instant runoff voting, as Democrats know from the Gore-Bush-Nader election results, and as Republicans (should) know by now from the Republican primaries.

    Look at the following example, from a hypothetical Republican primary in a conservative state.

    Under a standard, plurality voting system...

    40% Romney
    35% Santorum
    20% Gingrich
    5% Paul

    ...Romney wins. The end.

    But, under an instant-runoff voting system...

    (First round--no majority achieved)

    40% Romney
    35% Santorum
    20% Gingrich
    5% Paul

    (Second round--no majority achieved)

    44% Romney (second choice for 80% of Paul supporters)
    35% Santorum (second choice for 0% of Paul supporters)
    21% Gingrich (second choice for 20% of Paul supporters)

    (Third round--majority achieved)

    45% Romney (second choice for 80% of Paul supporters, third choice for other 20% of Paul supporters)
    55% Santorum (second choice for 100% of Gingrich supporters)

    This eliminates complaints everyone’s heard of to the effect that “a majority of voters prefer an alternative to Mitt Romney.”

    Benefits in general:

    1) Eliminates “strategic voting.” In other words, you can vote for who you want to without fear of your vote “going to waste.”
    2) Reduces negative campaigning. For example, Romney would have had an incentive not to criticize Gingrich as much, in hopes that Gingrich’s supporters would choose him as their second choice.

    Any objections?
  2. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    05 Apr '12 01:58
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_runoff_voting
  3. 05 Apr '12 06:47
    I've been saying IRV is essential to real democracy for a long time. Funny how people always use that word "electability".

    My hat is off to you WW
  4. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    05 Apr '12 07:08
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    I've been saying IRV is essential to real democracy for a long time. Funny how people always use that word "electability".

    My hat is off to you WW
    I'm glad we're on the same page.

    The more I think about IRV, the more I don't understand why it isn't used nationwide. I'd like to blame ignorance, but I assume some political resistance is to blame, too. And yet, I don't see why Democratic and Republican parties would need to be worried, at least for a while, simply because I wouldn't expect there to be enough cross-spectrum appeal for far-right or far-left party candidates to make them viable anyway.

    Another thing I wonder about is whether IRV makes the whole primary system a moot point. I think having 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats running in the same general election might be a bit overwhelming, but I could easily imagine 2 or 3 from each party running at the same time, with different results than you would get from the two-tiered process. The O'Donnell-Castle-Coons election disaster comes to mind as a good example. Maybe have a primary process with a submajority threshold to advance? Or have one where the top 3 candidates advance? Food for thought.
  5. 05 Apr '12 12:27
    I would imagine that we could get less mainstream politicians using IRV and we would have more catering to the interests of specific groups.
  6. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    07 Apr '12 05:27
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I would imagine that we could get less mainstream politicians using IRV and we would have more catering to the interests of specific groups.
    Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.