Do people take advantage of instant run-off voting to "not throw away their vote"?

What do they do in Australia? Where else do people have such systems? I suppose I could just look up Australia, but I fear it might be hard to interpret and I’d rather hear from someone with experience of it.

I ask because the recent British Labour leadership election was very different from the last. I suspect that there was a substantial portion of the electorate who preferred, say, Abbot in 2010, but didn't vote for her because she was not viable. The whole complicated system exists to allow people to simply express their preferences and not put in the strategic voting effort of determining who is viable, but maybe it isn't doing much.

(It is definitely doing something. In 2010, 28% of the vote share went to non-viable candidates. A plurality system applied to those first round votes would have chosen David over Ed.)

As an Australian I can say I'm constantly baffled over the shoddy systems used in other countries. People seem to throw around Arrow's impossibility theorem to justify hanging on to whatever terrible system they have, but there's a big difference between obvious strategic voting problems that affect everyone, and a system where problems occur in only fairly extreme circumstances. The only real reason I can see why the USA system persists is that both major parties benefit from it and the system is so good at preventing third parties from having a say that ... (read more)

2Good_Burning_Plastic5yThis [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkey_vote], I hear.

Open thread, Oct. 19 - Oct. 25, 2015

by MrMind 1 min read19th Oct 2015198 comments

3


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