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In an election-method context, an agenda is an ordering of candidates, or more generally, options/alternatives, that are to be voted on. Generally, the first two candidates in the agenda are put in a head-to-head matchup where the majority-opposed of the two is eliminated, and this is repeated, until only one option remains, which wins.

Using sequential head-to-head matchups is a Smith-efficient process which can be modelled by several Condorcet methods, such as the "bottom-two-runoff-instant-runoff-voting method" (also known as the "BTR-IRV method"). Other sequential comparison methods can be found under Category:Sequential comparison Condorcet methods.

Asset voting can be thought of as similar to an agenda except that because it is a fluid negotiation process. Head-to-head matchups can occur between practically any pair of candidates, and can occur various times. Both are similar in that they are commonly used in real-world settings (or variants of them) for group decision-making and legislative votes.

Agendas come under criticism because they allow the agenda-setter (the person assigning the order) to potentially have great control over who wins when there are multiple candidates in the Smith set. The Banks set and uncovered set are sets that examine and model the manner and effect of strategic voting with agendas.

Some voting reform advocates prefer voting on all options at once, possibly with Approval voting or another single-winner method.[1] See also Government formation for some discussion of this.[2]


  1. "r/EndFPTP - Comment by u/lucasvb on "Stop Fragmentation while maintaining"". reddit. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  2. "Voting and Elections". Retrieved 2020-04-11.