Let's found an organization to oppose IRV

LAYTON Craig Craig.LAYTON at add.nsw.gov.au
Tue Nov 14 19:35:04 PST 2000

Demorep wrote (in part):

>On the plurality/majority problem,  there are the 3 obvious possibilities
>the left-right scale------

There is no such thing as a left-right scale.  The generalisations are
convinient for conversation, but don't mean much at all.

>Can the dashed lines not be continuous ???


Eg:  Libertarian vs. Conservative.  Libertarian candidate supports small
government and deregulated market, but is pro-choice, supports lifting Cuban
embargo, wants to reduce prison terms and abolish death sentance &c.
Conservative candidate supports highly protectionist economy, with tariffs
and subsidies, no immigration, anti-abortion, wants to ban communism &
homosexuality &c.  Who is more right wing? Neither (although left wingers
are automatically tempted to say that the candidate they like better, the
Libertarian, is more left wing).  Right and Left are 'parcels' of policies
that often, but not always, go together (and can sometimes be

I understand that both Nader and Buchanan (supposedly left & right wing)
support the same kind of major campaign finance reform, while the center
candidates don't.  Probably not so apparent in the US as in Europe; very
extreme left wingers often have the same hatred of big government as very
extreme right wingers.  And then again, very extreme left & right wingers
sometimes agree on the goal of a very strong government.

In relation to the issue of centrism: Electoral systems tending to the
centre might find the median candidate, but in doing so, they encourage
parties to move towards the centre, effectively giving you a single party
system, and robbing the voter of any real kind of choice.

It is the 'strategy' of median finding systems for established parties with
strong consistent support to pitch to the centre, and small/emerging parties
to try their luck on the periphery, knowing that they can't compete in the
centre with the more established parties.  Effectively that means one party
in the centre with two different names, and so called extremists
marginalised enough so as not to be able to offer serious criticism of the
centrist government program, despite often holding majority supported views
(like campaign finance reform).

Note that the strategy of major parties crowding the centre seems to be
equally applicable to Condorcet, IRV, Borda & Approval, with Demorep's
YES/NO system being slightly worse, and plurality slightly better.  I
support Condorcet, but I was just trying to point out that an argument about
how one voting system is more centrist (hence better) than another is not
correct, and even if it were, would not be acceptable (because centrism is
not more desirable).

Incedentally, have detailed vote counting rules been developed for any of
the major Condorcet systems?  I mean, the type of rules that could be
followed by vote counters doing a manual count, covering all contingencies
such as dead heats &c?  I would like to see any.

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