Why not Claim 100% of Runoff?

One argument Rankers like to make against Cardinals is that many cardinal systems lack a “majority” criterion. After all how can any election result be legitimate when the winner only enjoys a dirty plurality instead of a noble noble majority. But how meaningful is a majority when you just force people into it?

When you force people to support every candidate (yes even the last one) is that really suggesting that the winner has a majority of support? I think that’s a pretty shallow way to get a majority. And after all why not finish the process? When the final 2 candidates are on why not eliminate the last candidate and let all their votes “run-off” into the winner? Then you wouldn’t only have a majority, you’d have Unanimity! Imagine that how great a democracy would be where all of the leaders are supported 100%! I don’t think the Glorious Kim Jung Un in North Korea enjoys that sort of support :stuck_out_tongue:

Kidding aside a majority won by forcing votes into a funnel is not a meaningful statement. We could have some nonsensical Approval Voting System where we just say the plurality gets the losers votes and then we could say it satisfies a “majority” criteria that’s as meaningful as the majorities generated by Rank Choice Voting.

It’s better to have an honest look at who the winner was and what % of people supported them. Then we know where we are as a society. If we had a leader than won an Approval Voting election with 80% we could be truly wowed at them. If we have a leader who wins an Approval Vote with only 30% we could be aware of how fractured we are. An ugly truth is 100 times better than a beautiful lie.

1 Like

Yeah. An even more powerful way of exposing the “fake majority” is this system:
Random Pair Ranked Voting

  1. Voters rank all candidates.
  2. Two truly random candidates are chosen.
  3. The candidate that a majority of voters prefer is elected.

It does technically give one candidate a “majority”. But we do not know if those two random candidates are really supported by anyone.

If no candidate is liked by a majority of the voters, then no voting system in the world can change that. RCV will make it look like the winner has majority support. Approval Voting will show that the winner doesn’t.

1 Like

Most IRV reform efforts don’t mandate that voters rank every candidate? Indeed, you can just say “the winner got a majority of votes in this runoff, but 60% of voters had no preference between the two” and that conveys mostly the same information as

Yes but they often ignore exhausted ballots when calculating % support in later rounds.