[ER] Nader poopoos prop rep?! (fwd)

Rob Lanphier robla at eskimo.com
Wed Feb 21 14:53:48 PST 1996

This will make another good FAQ question:

"Won't PR just lead to gridlock?"

Rob Lanphier
robla at eskimo.com

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 21 Feb 96 16:34:02 EST
From: Robert D Richie <75377.1623 at compuserve.com>
To: Elections_reform <Elections-reform at igc.apc.org>
Subject: Re: [ER] Nader poopoos prop rep?!

Matthew Shugart writes...

>In both ways, PR would tend to reduce the interest-group catch-all gridlock
>of the status quo, even as it reduced the chances of any one party holding
>a majority by itself.

>What do others think?  I do think this is a serious issue.  Nader should be
>a "friend," and his objection is not stupid at all.  Moreover, "gridlock"
>will be an oft-raised objection from the anti-PR crowd.

I think Matthew made some very good points in this message. The irony of Nader's remarks is that
he also is going around talking about the need to "shake up or bust up the two-party duopoly" 
(as he said on Donahue last week). Yet he seems fearful of third parties actually winning

I think fear of multiple parties in U.S. legislatures easily can be overstated. I don't think
the situation could be a lot more unstable than it is now, with low voter turnout, great citizen
disgust and government too often dodging big issues. While it's okay to acknowledge people's
fears of coalition governments as they've heard about them in Italy and Israel, we don't need
to bend over backwards defensively.

What Nader and others don't realize is that PR can't be painted with a single brush. I'm hoping that
the information he's recently received from the Greens of California and CV&D will lead to him focusing on
this question of voting system reform and true multi-party democracy. If he does, I think it could
prove quite eye-opening for him -- and perhaps a lot of the millions of folks who think highly of 
him. We'll see.....

Rob Richie

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