Eb Oesch


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5 general voting pathologies: lesser names of Moloch

Your criticism of IRV is on point. A revolutionary might be happy to see the center squeezed so some kind of radical or reactionary ekes out a win, just to shake things up somehow, but I would not be.

Approval voting's main real advantage is in implementation: like FPTP, it is a one-pass system requiring only a running tally of votes, one data point per candidate. But despite the rumors based on inapt metrics, it is highly tactical. It is "inherently tactical"-- even an honest voter must make a tactical choice in a three candidate race. You approve the Good Guy, but do you also approve of the OK Guy, just to minimize the remote chance the Burn Everything Guy wins?

3-2-1 was news to me, and it looks pretty good. I would not hesitate to follow the consensus on this if the alternative were bikeshedding that meant FPTP wins from inertia. (The solution to that, of course, is for a committee to use a fancy voting scheme to vote on which fancy voting scheme to endorse, but only after the group has voted on which fancy voting scheme to use for that vote as well, and so on.) 3-2-1 is also inherently tactical, but only when there are four or more candidates, and I suppose there usually won't be four or more contenders with a chance worth worrying about.

I remain a fan of Condorcet with IRV as fallback, for reasons we don't even seem to disagree about, just a matter of degrees of preference I suppose. It isn't inherently tactical. It's also hard for me to imagine a realistic large-scale scenario under uncertainty where even a dishonest voter could expect to gain by being tricky. Your criticism that this system is less simple seems mild. Implementation-wise, offhand the system seems about as practical as 3-2-1 or any other ranked choice system, because once you step beyond a one-pass system to something you'd rather use a computer to manage, all of these systems are practical to the computer.