Have you ever heard of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)? It's way better than this system.

Have you ever heard of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)? It's way better than this system.


Yes, we've heard of Instant Runoff Voting.

In IRV you rank candidates according to your preference - first choice, second choice, third choice and so on. All of the first choice votes are counted, and if no candidate has a majority, the one who got the least votes is knocked out. Votes from those who chose the eliminated candidate first are transferred to the second choices of those voters. This cycle repeats until one candidate has more than 50% of the vote, hence the name "Instant Runoff."

While it sounds like a good system, IRV has serious flaws and is not mathematically supportable, does not create equality in the vote, in practice still yields a two-party dominated system and doesn't even come close to performing as well as equal voting methods (Approval, Range3, Approval2Runoff, Range, Range2Runoff) in terms of creating good election outcomes.

The full discussion of IRV is beyond the scope of this FAQ, but to get a sense for the problem, check out this video.

Basically, because IRV has you express favoritism first and approval second it doesn't eliminate the spoiler effect, it just hides it. As a result, an honest vote in IRV has a good shot at knocking out an acceptable candidate and having your worst outcome beat your favorite. Because an equal vote in the first stage lets you show approval first, you have a decent shot of seeing your favorite square off against your acceptable candidate in the general election, and then you can see if the people as a whole support your favorite too.