Edited by Jac C. Heckelman and Nicholas R. Miller
Chapter 6: Majority rule and tournament solutions
Majority rule – the selection of collective outcomes that have majority support – plays a special role in normative and positive theories of social choice. Majority rule works in a straightforward fashion when only two alternatives, call them a and b, are under consideration, for example, an election with just two candidates a and b, or a proposal that can be either accepted (a) or rejected (b). Each voter either prefers a to b or prefers b to a (or possibly is indifferent between them) and votes for his or her preferred alternative (or possibly abstains). When three or more alternatives are under consideration – for example, an election with more than two candidates, or a proposal that can be adopted as is, amended in various ways, or rejected – majority rule as a basis for choice becomes more complicated. In the two-alternative case, majority rule satisfies two distinct principles: the majoritarian principle according to which the alternative with the first-preference support of a majority of voters (sometimes called the strict majority winner) is selected; and the Condorcet principle according to which the alternative that is majority-preferred to every other alternative (commonly called the Condorcet winner) is selected. When there are only two alternatives, these principles are equivalent and, apart from the problems of ties, can always be fulfilled. With more than two alternatives, they are not equivalent and, even apart from the problem of ties, cannot always be fulfilled.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.