[EM] Hitler-Stalin-Middle Example Again

Steve Eppley seppley at alumni.caltech.edu
Mon Mar 4 18:29:07 PST 1996

DEMOREP1 wrote:
>My standard for a single winner office is whether a majority of the
>voters absolutely (and not relatively) want a candidate to be
>elected to that office.

Good, another one for the outline.  This is one possible refinement
of the meaning of the "majority rule" standard, but it can be
separated in the outline.


>Thus, approval voting remedy remains. Each voter may approve one or
>more candidates for the office using multiple same choices (0, 1, 2,

Would you elaborate, showing an example ballot?  How do 0,1,2 fit in?
I thought Approval ballots look like {Nader:ok Clinton:no Dole:no}

>If 2 or more candidates get a majority, then Condorcet may be
>used for the tie-breaker

Would this Condorcet tie-breaker be a later election, or would the 
initial balloting include ranking?

>To a major extent, the whole discussion about single winner methods
>is somewhat irrelevant if (1) legislative bodies are being elected
>with a majority rule proportional representation system, (2)
>executive officers are elected with short terms of office, (3) all
>officers can be recalled and (4) there is a major constitutional
>reform allowing ordinary citizens to enforce the laws directly.

A lot of ifs.  Also, single-winner methods are broadly applicable to
group decision-making needs in many situations.

A CEO is only needed to handle emergencies.  Why should they need
more power than that?  Any decisions of a CEO should be reversible
by more authoritative bodies (a small group selected by the people
or by the people's representatives; the people's representatives; or
the people themselves).

>Thus, single winner election reform should be part of a
>constitutional reform package.

Single-winner reform could also come first, since it's a completely
separable issue.  I consider it less radical than prop rep, since it
doesn't change the government structure--it merely improves the
elections in significant ways.  Being less controversial, why should
its fate be tied to other reforms which may take longer to win?  

The only argument I see for waiting to win them together is the
practical one of limited campaign re$ources of the reform movement.
This argument is offset by the lowering of barriers which smart
single-winner reforms would bring.  Two in particular: 
(1) allowing Condorcet ballots to rank multiple proposals within one
initiative, which would slash the cost of campaigning for pr by
initiative and make it more likely to pass. 
(2) the immediate viability of third party candidates freed of the
spoiler dilemma, garnering more votes from voters freed of the
lesser-of-evils dilemma, gaining media attention for third party
ideas (including prop rep), and increasing voter participation. 


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