Only The Sangfroid

Mark is of fair average intelligence, who is neither perverse, nor morbid or suspicious of mind, nor avid for scandal. He does live in an ivory tower.

These are his draft thoughts…

When you sleep, where do your fingers go?… Election time again!

It’s election time in Victoria and the question of preferences is upon us again.  Some might remember that I complained about the Greens’ lie that giving preferences to the Greens could not possibly result in a Coalition victory.  While reading through some notes, I discovered that Lewis Carroll (the author of Alice in Wonderland) had already noted this problem.  Adopting his example (which he wrote in A Discussion of the Various Methods of Procedure in Conducting Elections):

Imagine there are eleven people in an electorate and four possible parties: Greens, ALP, Libs, Nationals.

1 Greens ALP Nats Libs

2 Greens ALP Libs Nats

3 Greens ALP Nats Libs

4 Libs ALP Greens Nats

5 Libs ALP Greens Nats

6 Libs ALP Greens Nats

7 Nats ALP Libs Greens

8 Nats ALP Libs Greens

9 Nats ALP Greens Libs

10 ALP Greens Nats Libs

11 ALP Libs Nats Greens

To paraphrase, Dodgson: ‘There seems to be no doubt that [ALP]’s election would be the most generally acceptable: and yet, by the [method of elimination whereby the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated], [they] would be excluded at once, and ultimately [the Liberal candidate] would be elected.’


One response to “When you sleep, where do your fingers go?… Election time again!”

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