Alternative Voting Methods

Essays and tutorials, by James Green-Armytage



Election strategy: 2010, 2008

Proxy voting: 2010, 2007, 2006, 2005

General: Voting methods survey, definitions and criteria



Election strategy


Strategic Voting and Nomination (2010, pdf)

Abstract: Using computer simulations, I estimate the fraction of elections in which sincere voting will be a core equilibrium given each of nine single-winner voting rules: plurality, two round runoff, Hare (also known as the alternative vote or instant runoff voting), Coombs, minimax, Borda, Bucklin, range voting, and approval voting. Additionally, I determine how often each voting rule is vulnerable to simple voting strategies such as ‘burying’ and ‘compromising’, and how often each voting rule gives an incentive for non-winning candidates to enter or leave races. I find that Hare is generally the least frequently vulnerable to strategic voting, and that Coombs, Borda, range and approval are generally the most frequently vulnerable. I support many of my key results with analytical proofs.


Strategic Voting and Strategic Nomination (2008, pdf)

This is essentially an earlier version of the paper above.





Proxy voting


Voluntary Delegation as the Basis for a Future Political System (2010, pdf)

Abstract: This paper describes a hybrid of direct democracy and representative democracy, in which citizens can vote directly if they wish, and name a representative (or ‘proxy’) of their own choosing otherwise. These provisions follow from the premise that, in a democracy, representation should be voluntarily sought by voters rather than imposed by the electoral system. Here I develop this simple but powerful premise into a set of blueprints for a fully functioning system of government. Alternative provisions are developed for the case in which internet-based voting is used, and the case in which it is not used. Several innovative ideas are introduced throughout, such as the use of ‘virtual committees’, and a provision for continual consideration of issues.


An Introduction to Proxy-Based Democratic Systems (2007)

An earlier attempt to write a unified proxy paper.


Representation by Delegable Proxy (2006)

Direct Democracy by Delegable Proxy (2005)

The piece on representation was intended to complement the piece on direct democracy. 





General voting methods information


Voting Methods Survey (2004)

This rather huge survey describes about forty of the most interesting single-winner and multiple-winner voting methods. The methods are often illustrated using numerical examples, and occasionally with nifty esoteric-looking diagrams. This page is the oldest on the site, so some of it may be slightly out of date, but it is still quite informative. 


Definitions and criteria (2005)

A number of definitions and criteria that are useful for discussing and evaluating voting systems. Primary topics include majority rule, defeat strength, strategy, and continuity. Many of the key concepts are illustrated by numerical examples.