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

Rob Lanphier robla at eskimo.com
Sun Mar 3 18:31:05 PST 1996

On Fri, 1 Mar 1996, Steve Eppley wrote:
> Rob & Mike et al, what's wrong with Condorcet+NOTB?  Is it so
> unlikely that all candidates will be disapproved that you're
> comfortable with a dumbed-down ballot?  Why the silence?

Well, I had to think about it.  What if NOTB wins?  Do we hold another 
election?  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?

One possibility would be to change the length of the presidential term
depending on the winner's showing in the race.  For example, in the U.S.
Presidency, ff they beat NOTB, they get a 6 year term.  If they don't beat
NOTB, they get a 2 year term, essentially installed as an "interim"
president until the country can figure out what it really wants.  That 
would add meaning to the NOTB label.

On the issue of giving candidates a "mandate", the winner always 
interprets their victory as a mandate, regardless of how close it is.  
Clinton did in 92 after getting only 43% of the vote.  Abraham Lincoln 
only received 39% in 1860.  So, trying to take away "mandate" status from 
a winner is a losing cause.

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.  However, I suppose that a runoff between the first 
and second place Condorcet winners might be good in the case of circular 
tie-breakers.  But doing that adds potential strategic advantage to 
forcing a second election through the order reversal techniques Mike 
explained earlier.  Risky, but possible.

Rob Lanphier
robla at eskimo.com

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