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Cloning is a strategy used by some political parties in some election methods.

Independence of clone alternatives[edit | edit source]

main article: Independence of clone alternatives

To quote oldid=11056:

In voting systems theory, the independence of clones criterion measures an election method's robustness to strategic nomination. Nicolaus Tideman was the first to formulate this criterion, which states that the winner must not change due to the addition of a non-winning candidate who is similar to a candidate already present.[1]
To be more precise, a subset of the candidates, called a set of clones, exists if no voter ranks any candidate outside the set between (or equal to) any candidates that are in the set. If a set of clones contains at least two candidates, the criterion requires that deleting one of the clones must not increase or decrease the winning chance of any candidate not in the set of clones.
In some systems (such as plurality), the addition of a similar candidate divides support between similar candidates, which can cause them both to lose. This is known as Vote splitting. In some other systems (such as the Borda count), the addition of a similar alternative increases the apparent support for one of the similar candidates, which can cause it to win. In yet other systems (such as ranked pairs), the introduction of similar alternatives does not affect the chances of the dissimilar candidates, as required by the criterion. There are further systems where the effect of the additional similar alternatives depends on the distribution of other votes.

See Independence of clone alternatives for more about this subject.

  1. T. Nicolaus Tideman, "Independence of clones as a criterion for voting rules", Social Choice and Welfare Vol. 4, No. 3 (1987), pp. 185–206.