Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Papers,
Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science

No 2015/26: What Happened in Burlington?

Eivind Stensholt ()
Additional contact information
Eivind Stensholt: Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics, Postal: NHH , Department of Business and Management Science, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: Three visualization techniques illustrate the distribution of electoral preferences over a candidate triple. Two of them, introduced here, concern an IRV tally. The conditions that may allow the “pushover strategy” and the “No-Show Paradox”, are identified, and the practical consequences discussed. The controversial mayoral election of Burlington, Vermont, in 2009 is background. We see the IRV method in a legal and in a political context, presenting aspects of a judgment in the Minnesota Supreme Court 2009 and of the UK referendum over IRV in 2011. IRV is the single-seat version of STV. Both may achieve proportional voter influence with a designed disproportional distribution of seats in a legislature, e.g. as part of a potentially viable modus vivendi in ethnically divided societies.

Keywords: Electoral preferences; IRV tally; STV

JEL-codes: C00; D72

46 pages, October 7, 2015

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