[EM] [SW] Hitler-Stalin-Middle Example Again

Steve Eppley seppley at alumni.caltech.edu
Sun Mar 3 19:56:17 PST 1996

Rob L. wrote:
>Well, I had to think about it.  What if NOTB wins?  Do we hold
>another election?

A new election with different candidates is what I had in mind, but
your ideas about variable length term are intriguing.

>It just doesn't seem to be a very useful mechanism, since extreme
>voters will most likely classify moderate compromises as
>unacceptable.  Could you outline a specific set of numbers where
>NOTB helps?

It's simple to come up with an extreme case, like a two-way race
between Hitler and Stalin.  NOTB forces a new election with better
candidates.  What I can't do, though, is determine how likely such a
scenario is.

The 1996 Republican Presidential primaries offer a current example,
though.  The voters appear to want someone who isn't running, like
Colin Powell.  If the entire field was rejected early, then Kemp,
Bennett, Cheney, and maybe even Quayle would give it a go.

>On the issue of giving candidates a "mandate", the winner always
>interprets their victory as a mandate, regardless of how close it

I think a ranked ballot can make false mandates tougher sells,
particularly if there's a Condorcet tie.  (This is another Standard
for our outline.)

>Holding second and third elections doesn't make a lot of sense to
>me.  If the voters are undecided the first time, there isn't much
>that will change their mind.

New candidates?

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