SOPHISTICATED BEHAVIOR UNDER
MAJORITARIAN AND NON-MAJORITARIAN
Fany Yuval and Kaisa Herne
This study addresses the issue of sincere and sophisticated voting under majoritarian
and non-majoritarian voting procedures. By conducting experimental voting games, we
compared a common majoritarian procedure, Plurality Voting (PV) with a non-
majoritarian procedure, Sequential Voting by Veto (SVV). We focused on two different
aspects of the subject: the likelihood of sophisticated voting under each one of the
voting procedures and the conditions that foster sincere and sophisticated voting under
these procedures. The results highlighted the signiﬁcant differences between majori-
tarian and non-majoritarian voting procedures as a key factor in determining the
tendency of voters to use sincere or sophisticated voting. Clearly, the sincere model
was dominant in SVV games while sophisticated voting dominated the PV games. The
extent of sophisticated voting ran counter to the group size, a tendency that was
stronger under SVV than under PV. By demonstrating the advantages of the minority
principle, when voters are small in number, we hope to encourage the development of
a solution that will enable the use of SVV in general elections.
Key words: voters’ behavior; sophisticated voting; minority principle; majority prin-
ciple; veto voting; plurality voting.
The fact that democracies employ voting procedures that are based solely
on the majority principle could lead to the conclusion that a decision based
on this principle can always be reconciled with democratic principles. In
fact, ‘‘there is nothing inherent in democracy that requires majority rule’’
Fany Yuval, School of Political Sciences, The University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905,
Israel (firstname.lastname@example.org). Kaisa Herne, Department of Political Science, University of
Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland.
Political Behavior, Vol. 27, No. 3, September 2005 (
0190-9320/05/0900-0217/0 Ó 2005 Springer ScienceþBusiness Media, Inc.