video is king of IRV falseness

Someone with a YouTube channel please comment to politely refute these terrible claims, and we can like-storm to move it to the top. I would suggest suggesting them to support all voting systems before getting them to ditch IRV.

I also noticed how sometimes the RepUs channel responds to comments, although such is very rare.

False claims start at 0:57

They even said IRV helps THIRD PARTIES.

To be fair, Australia has two conservative parties, rather than only one. They are very similar, but that’s something.

They say it ends the spoiler effect; and it kind of does with only two strong candidates. Most voters aren’t forward-thinking enough to look to a future with three or more strong candidates.
I think evidence is mixed on whether IRV reduces partisan mudslinging. The exorbitant figures that are spent on negative ads in Australian politics suggest that the effect is limited beyond the local level at best.

At the end of the day, these kinds of organizations need more evidence that 1) your voting system is good and 2) it has volunteers working for it. I think St. Louis is a major steal for the 2nd point, given how big it is (check out the fact they got 2,000 signatures in 3.5 months, though they still need another 18,000), and for the first point, we unfortunately have to wait a while longer. Maybe take that poll CES put out the other day showing Elizabeth Warren had 85% support from NetRoots visitors?


If I recall correctly, Liberal and National rarely compete in the same districts for single-winner elections, since they are in permanent coalition. So it is still 2 party dominated at the district level.

Check out this thread for some examples of IRV allowing minor “3rd-party” competition. It’s hardly anything, but just worth pointing out.

I would suggest suggesting them to support all voting systems before getting them to ditch IRV.

When I’ve talked to them, they’ve said that this already is their position:

But we also encourage folks to pursue systems that you think would work best for your community!

IRV is garbage and illustrating why is important, but try not to take an adversarial tone towards groups that have good intentions.


Are you talking about the entire RepresentUs or just your local chapter?

I just wish that they would stop putting out factually wrong statements like “eliminates the spoiler effect”.

If they think lying will lead to 1% more improvement in the world than telling the truth, then they will lie, as many political causes and actors do. I think the best thing one can do is pin them on things they’ve already said, such as “elections should be about majority rule not pleasing everyone” and build a storyline around that, but I’d be interested to hear other ideas on tackling IRV.

I was talking to someone from national HQ.

I just wish that they would stop putting out factually wrong statements like “eliminates the spoiler effect”.


Please keep in mind that not everyone has the same definition of ‘spoiler effect’ as you. It’s possible this is wrong under your definition but not theirs.

In practice, it is not truthful to claim that RCV “eliminates the spoiler effect.” Obviously single selection voting has a direct spoiler effect, however RCV/IRV also has an almost invisible virtual spoiler effect. Ranked choice voting (RCV/IRV) is ineffective for the disruption of kindred party lock-in, because it forces voters to struggle with double-bind dilemmas when attempting to differentiate relatively desired and undesired candidates. This is a result of its substantial cascading ramifications.

In fact, it actually establishes kindred party lock-in, and thus thwarts alternative candidates. This phenomenon manifests the entire maleficence of the direct spoiler effect.

The most successful approach is:

  • don’t just say that IRV is bad
  • tell them that there are inaccurate, stretched, or oversold aspects to their pitch
  • ask them (and help them!) to simply come up with better IRV pitches that are completely accurate

Maybe they will at least end up with pitches that aren’t as deceptive and that’s good. But most likely every person who goes through this process is finally forced to see the flaws in IRV. They will say (with IRV enthusiasm still), “how about we reword it to X?” (something like “you move to your 2nd choice when your 1st is eliminated”) and you can say “oh, X isn’t actually true though” and then you’re actually having the conversation about it since they see you as helping and being on their side instead of as an antagonistic critic.

The simple challenge of creating an honest IRV pitch is itself enough for most people to finally recognize IRV’s flaws.


They did it again!
This time he says that IRV lets third parties and independents run and “win”. (Which is technically true, but also technically true of FPTP.)

@wolftune The problem is, the best I can come up with is that “IRV elects the correct winner among the two major parties. Weak candidates cannot spoil the election because they get few votes, are eliminated, and then the votes transfer.”

It seems like I have to blow my cover pretty quickly.

It doesn’t even do that. You could say more that IRV elects the correct winner among two major parties as long as third-parties stay weak.

But I was NOT saying YOU should do this!!! I was saying that you tell IRV advocates, “Show me the best, short pitch you have for IRV that avoids anything technically wrong!” and see them fail and then learn about what’s wrong with IRV (or maybe just maybe succeed at a non-offensive, accurate pitch which you can support)

Still not sure how to do so without blowing my cover.

Even if you convince them IRV isn’t as good as promised, and even if they stop misrepresenting it, it’s not like it’s going to really help other systems take off.

Exactly. To so many people, IRV is voting reform, and tarnishing IRV will tarnish other methods by association. It is hard to tell management (or any non-technical people) “Don’t build this walkway; the tensions on these bolts are too high for their load limits” and not sound like “Don’t build walkways like this because they are intrinsically unsafe”.

The only ways around this seem to be:

  1. Nip bad designs in the bud. IRV is now well beyond that stage.
  2. Spread alternatives faster. WDS tried that unsuccessfully for at least 11 years, and the recent Approval and STAR attempts are far behind the IRV epidemic.
  3. Get your system to a presentable and defendable state with several proven results. Then get someone, anyone, to debate when the National Ranked Choice Voting Act of 202X comes out and say “Hey why not use Approval?” (You then proceed to tear down every pro-IRV argument they come up with while emphasizing that you truly want better elections and you have an idea of your own.)

He didn’t attempt a single ballot measure. Even going to a town of 1,000 people would’ve been progress. Also, if all non-IRV reforms pass in 2020, about a million Americans will be using one of them, which is hefty. That can quickly grow exponentially if the methods pay off.

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St. Louis (MO) and Multnomah County (OR), right?

Lane County (OR) and Fargo as well. Plus CES announced they are targeting 3 cities with a combined population of ~350,000, most likely in North Dakota.
I forgot Olympia (WA) too.

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I thought that failed.

Where was this announced?

Which one is this again?