IRV vs. Condorcet on Slashdot

An interesting intersection of my two worlds. I
regularly visit Slashdot for discussions about Apple and Open
Source. However, their ranking-based news system covers a wide range of “news
for nerds” including politics, and this week their attention turned
to Condorcet voting systems, especially as compared
to Instant Runoff Voting. In particular, they
cited the work of my friend Mike
Ossipoff
and others on the Election Methods mailing
list.

This is an interesting topic for
radical centrists, since most of us — Iike other
reformers
— support IRV. The problem is, IRV doesn’t quite do what
its proponents say it will. Yes, it will help with the spoiler
problem
, but only up to a point; it breaks down precisely when things
get interesting, and ‘third-parties’ become comparable in influence to the two
major parties. Alas, some combination of inertia and ignorance — plus obscure
technical disputes — keeps CVD (the major reform movement) committed to IRV. I
personally advocate a Condorcet-compliant variant called Maximum Majority Voting, and hope someday other
radical centrists will recognize Condorcet’s superiority — as Scientific American did.

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