Mayor Recalled, Re-elected in Same Vote



Fall River, Massachusetts. One ballot asked, do you want to recall the mayor, and with whom do you want to replace him. The indicated decision from the first part was indeed to recall the mayor. The second part was vote-for-one. The incumbent mayor won a plurality. …

Whoa, there… WHY would the incumbent even be allowed to run in that second election if it only comes to play if the mayor is recalled?

Opponents split vote. So he has to get up from his chair, because he is recalled, and he has to sit down again, because he is re-elected.

Well, of course…

We have to use this case to help explain to the public why choose-one Plurality Voting produces nonsensical results and must be replaced with a consensus system.

This is a noble attempt but (1) I think many of the people we recruit to Score/Approval will defect to IRV, which has almost like 1984/DPRK/China* level media coverage in the sense that all other views are blacked out of the press, and (2) in this particular case the Occam’s razor fault can be attributed to the stupid decision to put the incumbent mayor on the recall ballot.

*OK, Fine, this is too extreme of a comparison. But still!! This is exactly why I said I feel like a conspiracy theorist. Conspiracy theorists are (1) absolutely convinced they are “right”, (2) upset that the MSM and MSP are “wrong”, and (3) accuse the media of perpetuating the CT’s marginalization.

Case compared to Brexit votes.

A comparison I do not see. All of them were Y/N simple majority votes, no? There are Condorcet paradoxes that can arise in Y/N votes (2/3 support A, 2/3 support B, and 2/3 prefer nothing over A+B)

Off topic: Puzzle: Construct (or prove impossibility of) a town with three independent issues A,B,C such that a majority supports each one, a majority opposes any two, and a majority supports all three. Each resident’s utility of the situation is the sum of the utilities of the issues that passed.

Reporter does not see the solution, nor the true cause of the apparent paradox. Merely says that democracy is complicated, and should not be treated as sacred.

That is because the solution is colored infrared. You have to put on special goggles to see it, but once you do, it becomes so obvious that you wonder why no one else can see it.


I think this illustrates a simple pseudo-problem which no reasonable election method can overcome. It’s really simple and I will likely mention it again (for the TL;DR crowd).

There are 45 crows who will never grant any vote to any non-crow. There are 30 muskrats who will never grant any vote to any non-muskrat. There are 25 opossums who will never grant any vote to any non-opossum. (In consequence 100 votes will be cast.) The muskrats with the opossums have 55 votes, which they use to unseat the incumbent crow. The crows use their 45 votes to re-win the election. So it’s easy-go, easy-come-back for the incumbent crow.

Nothing is really wrong here, and there is no problem. This illustrates that any cure for the “non-plurality criterion” “dilemma” is a hopeless pipe dream.


Which is why you mandate that the incumbent cannot run on the recall vote. Then at least you get a different crow each time.


I disagree with all the replies to date. Fall River and the British need Score Voting to select the “least evil” of the multiple alternatives that don’t have majority support. In the case of Fall River, that is a question of which candidate should be mayor. In the case of Brexit, it is a question of what kind of deal should the UK seek with the EU. Stay, hard exit, or something in between. Score would find the best consensus without paradox.