On Fri, 03 Sep 2004 17:02:28 +0100, Peter Bleackley
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Ugh. I think that if a real election were ever held on that basis, the
> results would be widespread dissent. It's far too likely to elect a
> candidate who was nobody's first choice. The theory is that if say 45% of
> the electorate vote for A, 40% vote for B and 15% vote for C, but A's
> supporters prefer C to B, and B's prefer C to A, then you should elect C
> as
> a compromise candidate. But only 15% of the electorate wanted C, so 85%
> are
> dissatisfied.

Only 15% wanted C as their *first* choice. Looking at the above problem,
it looks like the other 85% all said "I actually wouldn't mind C, if it
came down to it", otherwise they'd have ranked C below A and B, and the
race would be between those two.

OTOH, the current plurality system in the USA is also far too likely to
elect a candidate who is the non-first choice of a lot of people. Indeed,
it even discourages people from voting their true preference, because in a
traditional election like the one you propose, if it was well-known that
one of A and B would get the majority vote, most people would see a vote
for C as wasted, and would be forced to choose between the lesser of two
evils, and pick one of A or B. In practice, the C supporters *don't even
get the chance* to vote for their candidate.

This is in opposition to Condorcet, where the winner will be (basically)
the one the fewest people object to.