Consider a group of 50 residents attending a town meeting
in Massachusetts. They must choose one of three proposals for dealing with town
garbage. Proposal 1 asks the town to provide garbage collection as one of its
services; Proposal 2 calls for the town to hire a private garbage collector to
provide collection services; and Proposal 3 calls for residents to be
responsible for their own garbage. There are three types of voters. The first
type prefers Proposal 1 to Proposal 2 and Proposal 2 to Proposal 3; there are
20 of these voters. The second type prefers Proposal 2 to Proposal 3 and
Proposal 3 to Proposal 1; there are 15 of these voters. The third type prefers
Proposal 3 to Proposal 1 and Proposal 1 to Proposal 2; there are 15 of them.
(a) Under a plurality voting system, which proposal wins?
(b) Suppose voting proceeds with the use of a Borda count
in which voters list the proposals, in order of preference, on their ballots.
The proposal listed first (or at the top) on a ballot gets three points; the
proposal listed second gets two points; and the proposal listed last gets one
point. In this situation, with no strategic voting, how many points does each
proposal gain? Which proposal wins?
(c) What strategy can the second and third types of
voters use to alter the outcome of the Borda-count vote in part (b) to one that
both types prefer? If they use this strategy, how many points does each proposal
get, and which wins?