Shouldn't Talk To Santa Clara?

Mike Ositoff ntk at
Mon Oct 19 01:36:52 PDT 1998


That's 2 against, & 0 in favor of out-of-county IRO opponents
writing to people in Santa Clara County. So far then, it
looks like I won't write. Unanimous replies so far.

> Mike Ositoff wrote:
> > This November, voters in Santa Clara will vote on whether or
> > not to authorize IRO for county elections. I've told why
> > I claim IRO is worse than Runoff, the method currently in use.
> >
> > Is there a reason why I shouldn't talk to people in Santa Clara
> > County about that? I'm an outsider? But haven't CVD outsiders
> > peddled their wares in Santa Clara, Texas, & New Mexico, etc.?
> >
>     Why would you fight an improvement in the electoral system, when
> such things are so few and far between?

Yes, if IRO is perceived as an improvement, by people who want
improvement, then I don't want to be seen to be intervening
against improvement. Of course debating IRO on these lists isn't
like actually getting involved in a county election about it.

>     Like it was said earlier, if there are 4 or more candidates the
> run-off election can unfairly cause electoral distortions; the split
> vote effect that needs no explanation.

Sure, but so can IRO, as in my 5-candidate example.

>     If there is a leftist/centrist/rightwing trio of candidates, support
> evenly matched for the two centrist/rightist candidates (with a slight
> plurality for the liberal candidate), and a fourth left-leaning
> enviormentalist candidate runs also, splitting the vote will cause the
> centrist and conservative candidates to be the only choices for the
> office.

In that situation, the liberal would make the runoff. Whether
he'd win would depend on whether the Centrist or the Republican
came in 2nd and entered the runoff with him. If the Centrist
also made the runoff, then the centrist would win, with help
from the Republicans. If the Republican entered the runoff,
the Liberal & Leftist votes would give the LIberal an initial
advantage, which could be lost if the Centrists prefer the

In IRO, the Leftist gets eliminated 1st, and gives the
Liberal a plurality. If the Republican gets eliminated next,
then the Centrist wins. If the Centrist gets eliminated next instead,
then it could go to the Republican or the Liberal, depending on
how the Centrist rates those 2.

So both methods could elect any of the 3, depending on details
of 1st & 2nd choice preference numbers.

The merit differences between Runoff & IRO probbaly aren't
really extreme, though I'm more impressed by the generality
of the examples where Runoff does better.

Anyway, these comments are just what I was trying to get--
to find out how intervention in Santa Clara against IRO would
seem to people. So thanks for the replies, and any further replies
are welcome & requested.

So far, 2 opposed, 0 in favor.

Mike Ossipoff


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