Majority Support?

Mon Nov 25 19:53:31 PST 1996

E=Eppley, D= Demorep1
E- Are you implying that if all candidates are disapproved and a new election
is held, new candidates (i.e., candidates who didn't compete in the original
election) wouldn't be allowed to enter the race?  
D- No. See below regarding Mr. E's use of "re-election" and Mr. Washington. 
E- If so, that's something I didn't realize from your earlier writing... but
I don't really think it's what you mean to imply now. (Correct me if you are
indeed implying that.)

Maybe we just have a terminology problem.  By "re-election" I'm  referring to
the new election mandated when no candidate has majority approval.  

Example:  In the original election, Hitler, Stalin, and Attila the
Hun are all disapproved: no one wins and a new election for the
office will be held soon.  Washington, who didn't run in the original
election, is now approached and asked to run.  Is Washington eligible to run
now?  If so, and if Washington is willing to run now, why  didn't he run in
the original election against such horrible opponents?
D- We did have a terminology problem with "re-election".  Mr. Washington can,
of course, run in the "re-election" if it is going to exist.  Perhaps Mr.
Washington was in a battle with H, S and A to save the U.S. and was too busy
to run in the original election- having now defeated one or more of them he
is now available in the re-election, if any.  As I have repeatedly said, the
legislative body can fill any vacancy if all candidates are majority
E-  Since you didn't answer the question I asked, I'll read between the lines
and assume that it does not concern you if candidates who are actually okay
to a majority are disapproved because some didn't vote sincerely.  (Those
voters would rather have a vacuum of power and anarchy than accept a
D- A candidate is "actually ok to a majority" only if such candidate is
majority approved or at least not majority disapproved.  There will be
problems with insincere voters and truncated votes in plain Condorcet as I
have repeatedly noted.
E- I went to some trouble to develop that example, and your reply was
unfortunately too brief to address the issues I raised: Is the example
realistic or not?  
D- I would estimate that most 45-20-35 examples will be very realistic. 
E- Is it worth complicating the sw reform proposal, making it more
controversial, and risking defeat of the reform?  

Remember, the status quo also allows an unapproved candidate to win, so the
simple sw reform doesn't make things worse, it makes things much better.
D- A majority approval or disapproval feature will save (i.e. produce) any sw
reform in my opinion.  I repeat again-- the chief competitors to head to head
(top 2 runoff, IRO and plain approval) all will generally produce a majority
winner (which may not be the head to head winner in many cases).  Without the
majority approval/disapproval feature, head to head has little chance with
the famous "average" voter (especially when he/she will be bombarded with
negative attack ads regarding circular ties and your 45-20-35 example).

E- By the way, the | "vertical bar" character I used to mark the
approval/disapproval dividing line is the shifted character on the \
"backslash" key, if your keyboard is reasonably ibm-compatible.  
If someone doesn't see it as a vertical bar, please let me know.
Maybe Demorep's choice of the / "slash" is better.
D- Since the slash is used as a division symbol, I suggest that it also be
used to represent the division between approved and disapproved candidates in
any examples.

D (earlier) -along with the supposedly unrealistic standard circular tie
example (as if there was W>S>H>W in head to head pairings) in which all the
candidates are defeated by a majority.

E- Yes, they might indeed use such bogus scare tactics.  The rebuttal we
would make is to point out that anytime there is such a circular majority
against all the candidates, then the "vote for only one" system would also
elect a candidate who would upset a majority of voters.  
D- This is a logic point beyond the comprehension of the average voter.
E- But not vice versa: "vote for only one" can elect a candidate who would
lose some pairing when Condorcet won't; it's just the gag on voters
expression--not letting them express their true preferences --which hides
this common occurrence.

Similarly, if Condorcet without Disapproval would elect a disapproved
candidate, so would the existing "vote for only one" system.  
D- The average voter will then regard Condorcet without Disapproval as
equally dangerous and rotten as plurality.
E- But not vice versa: the existing system will do it more often.  
D- Anytime it happens is unacceptable.
E- Didn't you  make this point yourself recently when you commented that
Clinton would not be able to win if voters could express disapproval?
D- Yes, I did. Clinton has now been elected twice by a minority of the
voters. Good luck to the U.S. in 1997 and in future elections.
E- Of course, they'll have the money to spread disinfo on tv, and we'll have
to rebut in the few paragraphs alloted in the state ballot mailer.
D- I repeat my opinion- without the majority disapproval feature, the average
voter will be very scared in making second, third, etc. choices (especially
if candidates show a 34-33-33 type first choices split or a 46-42-12 type
split).  A majority disapproval feature will greatly discourage radicial
leftwing and rightwing lunatics running for executive and judicial offices
(let them run in a p.r. legislative election) and encourage some nonpartisan
enforcement of the laws.  For every dollar spent for reform how many dollars
will be spent by fear mongering anti-reformers (using supposedly bogus
circular tie examples)- 10, 20, 100 ?????   Most states have no state ballot
mailers giving pros and cons to issues on a ballot.

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