Daunou’s Voting Method

Abstract

Pierre Daunou, a contemporary of Borda and Condorcet during the era of the French Revolution and active debates on alternative voting rules, proposed a method that chooses the strong Condorcet winner if there is one, otherwise eliminates Condorcet losers and uses plurality voting on the remaining alternatives. We axiomatically characterize his method which combines potentially conflicting criteria of majoritarianism by ordering them lexicographically. This contribution serves not just to remind ourselves that a 19th-century vintage may still retain excellent aroma and taste, but also to open up a novel way of applying potentially conflicting desiderata by accommodating them lexicographically.