February 22, 2010

Burlington model of failed IRV

The 2009 Burlington, VT election proves "vote your conscience, no spoiler effect," is a myth. ... 

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The 2009 Burlington, VT election proves 'vote your conscience, no spoiler effect,' is a myth"

...for those that don't know what the simple definition of "spoiler" (HINT: It's not the guy who comes in second!) or "myth" is...ugh...

Anonymous said...

"1997: 5518, CLAVELLE WINS, NO MAJOR CANDIDATE

1999: 9941, CLAVELLE WINS

2001: 6208, POOR WEATHER 26” SNOW

2003: 5959, CLAVELLE WINS, NO MAJOR CANDIDATE

2006: 9865, IRV 37% OF REGISTERED VOTERS

2009: 9013, IRV 27% OF REGISTERED VOTERS"

Let's address the nonsense from above that keeps popping up now & again. Here are some numbers direct from the VT Secretary of State's website:
http://vermont-elections.org/elections1/townmeetingturnout.html

For the 2001-2009 mayoral elections, the numbers of registered voters on the Burlington "checklist" has varied quite a bit...29577, 31917, 25101, and 33261. This is a FACT that the anti-IRV people would simply like to ignore.

For the 2001-2009 mayoral elections, the percentage of voter turnout is actually UP overall since 2000 & since IRV...21.3%, 18.7% (which is a number that I can't personally confirm), 39.3%, and 27%.

For recent mayoral elections, raw voter turnout numbers are basically UP since the late 1990s, 5518, 9941, 6300, 5959 (which is a number that I can't personally confirm), 9865, and 8984.

There has been ZERO, sustained negative effect on voter turnout since the inception of IRV in Burlington, period.

Anonymous said...

If the political system was simple I would say that keeping voting simple makes sense. But it's not.
This blog makes it seem like we can't handle the complex and intricate political system by having a more complex voting system. I graduated high school and can figure it out - I bet most of the people who vote can too.

Dale Sheldon said...

I'm confused by commenter #1. I think they're being sarcastic? Because the 2009 mayoral election in Burlington DOES show that "IRV means no spoilers!" is a myth.

The simple definition of a spoiler is: "a candidate who does not win but, if they had not been on the ballot, there would have been a different winner." Is there any disagreement over that definition? I hope not.

If that definition is accepted, then the Republican candidate was a spoiler. An overwhelming majority of voters who placed him first also placed the Democratic candidate second; had it only been Progressive v. Democrat, the Democrat would have won handily, but because IRV eliminated the Democrat first, making the final round Progressive v. Republican, the Progressive candidate won.

That the Republicans had more first-place votes than either the Progressive or Democrat is irrelevant. That the Progressives are generally considered a "third party" is irrelevant. All that matters is, had there been no Republican on the ballot, than the winner would have been the Democrat rather than the Progressive.

Buy the simple definition of spoiler, the 2009 election proves that IRV is spoiler prone.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm simple. I'd like to be sure that the one vote I have goes to that candidate who best represents me.

Has to do with that 'representative form of government'.

Anonymous said...

It's supposed to be an election, not a craps shoot.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I like that. In other words, I guess I'd like to be sure, have that choice, that the one vote I have goes to that person who best represents me, no matter which 'round' or 'runoff' is involved.

Anonymous said...

Even the Minnesota Supreme Court admits IRV has big problems:

"All experts agree that IRV could lead to a situation in which a voter's vote for a particular candidate harms, rather than helps, that candidate"!!

A vote for your candidate harms them? Isn't it always better to vote for your candidate? The experts and the Minnesota Supreme Court agree "voting for" your candidate in IRV can "harm them".

Let's end this experiment.

rbj said...

Dale S, i think the most accepted definition of "spoiler" is a candidate who has no chance of winning and whose presence in a race changes who the winner is (by drawing votes from the otherwise winner). Kurt Wright certainly had a reasonable chance to win, but nonetheless he was an "irrelevant alternative": a loser who, if added or removed from the race, would change who the winner is.

rbj said...

Minnesota Supreme Court admits IRV has big problems:

"All experts agree that IRV could lead to a situation in which a voter's vote for a particular candidate harms, rather than helps, that candidate"

this is clearly wrong if it's saying that ranking your favorite candidate as number 1 reduces that candidate's means to be elected. but, with IRV, it is possible for one's first-pick vote will help their last-pick choice win the election and that happened in Burlington in 2009.

Anonymous said...

RBJ what are you going to do when 5 passes? Circulate a petition for Condorcet? Nah I didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

"Because the 2009 mayoral election in Burlington DOES show that 'IRV means no spoilers!' is a myth."

Once again, calling the guy that came in SECOND a "spoiler" is NOT a valid argument.

"All that matters is, had there been no Republican on the ballot, than the winner would have been the Democrat rather than the Progressive."

Spoken like a true outsider. Anyone that thinks that there was ANY chance whatsoever for Kurt Wright to drop out of a race for mayor, which is a position that he's wanted for many, many years now, is just kidding themselves. Again, imaginary elections that never took place are irrelevant!
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"Yes, I'm simple. I'd like to be sure that the one vote I have goes to that candidate who best represents me"

"In other words, I guess I'd like to be sure, have that choice, that the one vote I have goes to that person who best represents me, no matter which 'round' or 'runoff' is involved"

...which is EXACTLY what IRV allows you to do.
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"Even the Minnesota Supreme Court admits IRV has big problems"

IRV has already survived incorrect claims that it was "unConstitutional".
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"with IRV, it is possible for one's first-pick vote will help their last-pick choice win the election and that happened in Burlington in 2009."

Nonsense.

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"Circulate a petition for Condorcet?"

He's already tried to do that, moron.