Meta election

Charles Fiterman cef at
Mon Oct 26 08:03:49 PST 1998

Let me add this to the meta election list.

Violent emotion and hate campaigns shouldn't be encouraged by the rules.


Given the choice of promoting yourself or attacking an opponent it should
be better strategy to promote yourself. If your opponent really needs to
be shot in the reputation and you don't do it the newspapers generally will.

In multi sided elections this seems to be true. If you have two opponents
and attack one you can get away with it, you get away with it better if
you follow attacks on one by saying nice things about the other.
If you attack both you are toast, people write you off as a nut case.
The math seems to favor issue ads over attack ads in multi sided elections.

In two sided elections it is experimentally better to spend your money
on attack ads than on issue ads.

So election procedures that favor multi sided elections lower the temperature
of anger and violence. This is one of the meta goals of democracy. We need 
a system other than shooting each other. The best things about democracy aren't
logical ideals like monotnicity they are not shooting each other. If an 
election system leads to murder it has failed at the most basic level.

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