Was Lincoln the true winner of the 1860 Election? Examination of the borda count.

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Was Lincoln the true winner of the 1860 Election? Examination of the borda count.

Post  Brooke Stanislawski on Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:48 pm

In the class discussions about different voting systems, we explored the validity of the representation in different voting systems. The writers of this article, http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:sIDifz5UNSwJ:mason.gmu.edu/~atabarroWould%2520the%2520Borda%2520Count.pdf+voting+borda+count&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a, analyze the outcomes of different voting systems in the election of 1860 to see if the "Borda Count [could have] avoided the Civil War."

After thorough examination, they conclude that Douglas would have beaten Lincoln and won the election, under the Borda Count because it gives significant weight to second-, and third-ranked candidates. Although Lincoln had a strong candidacy, Douglas does better when more information is used to determine the outcome, rather than less, as under plurality rule. It is even possible that John Bell would have won in 1860 with a voting system which was heavily weighted toward second- and third-placed candidates or with approval voting. John Breckinridge, the pro-slavery candidate, could not have won in 1860 under any of the voting systems they examined. They even hint at the Vickrey-Clarke-Groves Mechanism because had Breckinridge dropped out, Douglas and Lincoln would have been in a dead heat under plurality rule, Douglas or Bell could have won under other positional vote systems and any candidate could have won under approval voting.

Brooke Stanislawski

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Join date : 2009-04-03

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