October 29, 2009
You want insane election results? Just try IRV!
One of the many dubious claims about Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is that it will produce a consensus winner. Not always true, as has been found in studies of both Aspen, CO and Burlington, VT. The candidate with the most first and second place support does not always win. This is because it is possible to hurt your preferred candidate by turning out too many supporters in his behalf. How is this possible? Just take a look at this explanatory video to see how this could happen (and has indeed happened in real elections in various places across the U.S.)
Why is this more democratic? Why would voters prefer the kind of result described in this video to a straightforward up-or-down vote?