Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Condorcet voting

A brief explanation, in case people don't quite know what it is.

1.) You rank the candidates on the ballot. Tied rankings are allowed, as far as I know.
2.) Each candidate is compared to the other candidates on the ballot.
3.) The votes are counted by pitting every candidate against every other candidate in a series of imaginary one-on-one contests. The winner of each pairing is the candidate that the greatest number of voters preferred. Each voter's preferred candidate is the voter that ranks highest on their ballot. For instance, take the race between Ale and Tom. They are paired against one another, and the number of votes where Ale is ranked higher than Tom are counted, and then the number of votes where Tom is ranked higher than Ale are counted. If Ale is preferred by more voters then she is the winner of that pairing. If Tom is the one preferred, he wins that pairing. In this way, all pairings are considered. If one candidate beats every other candidate in these contests then they are declared the Condorcet winner.

Hope that makes sense! Didn't have time to post this earlier, but take that into mind when you vote. I personally like this system- while it means that popularity sort of still trumps the system, I think it would be beneficial in races where there are either two people getting elected to a position, or else when there are no amazing candidates and voters might actually have to think about who they vote for and consider things like platforms and stuff if they take the time to learn anything about the election- it essentially encourages being informed. Obviously it's not perfect, and people will still vote for whoever their friends are, etc. I just really like the choice of being able to indicate my preference for candidates, because sometimes it's not all that clear-cut of a choice to make.