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Debate: Instant-runoff voting

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Is instant-runoff voting a good idea?

Background and context

Instant-runoff voting (IRV) is the American English term for a voting system used for single-winner elections, in which voters rank candidates in an order of preference.
If no candidate is the first preference of a majority of voters, the candidate with the fewest number of first preference rankings is eliminated and that candidate's ballots are redistributed at full value to the remaining candidates according to the next ranking on each ballot. This process is repeated until one candidate obtains a majority of votes among candidates not eliminated. The term "instant runoff" is used because the method is said to simulate a series of runoff elections tallied in rounds, as in an exhaustive ballot election.[1] Instant-runoff voting is sometimes referred to as alternative voting or the Alternative Vote (its oldest name) in the United Kingdom, the preferential ballot or preferential voting in Canada and Australia, and ranked choice voting in the United States. Instant-runoff voting is used to elect members of the Australian House of Representatives,[2] the President of Ireland,[3] the national parliament of Papua New Guinea, and the Fijian House of Representatives.[4] It is also employed by several jurisdictions in the United States, including San Francisco, California and Pierce County, Washington; to elect the leaders of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom; to elect the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada in a national primary[5]; and in the elections of city mayors in a number of countries including Great Britain[6] and New Zealand.[7]

See Wikipedia's article on Instant run-off voting for more background.

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Arguments

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Yes

  • Instant run-off voting would save taxpayer dollars.


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No

  • Voting percentage is not reflective of voter will. "Consider the end result of last night's D.C. for Democracy voting: in the end, Biddle took the endorsement with 72.4 percent of the vote. Which sounds mighty impressive, until you realize that he would have won a first-past-the-post vote by merely one tally."


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Pro/con sources

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Yes


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No


See also

External links and resources

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