Let's found an organization to oppose IRV

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 15 21:12:56 PST 2000

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

There's a tendency for some of the main issues to be linked,
correlated, so that a 1-dimensional scale is a useful

>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.

Then you'd like IRV, which  jumps away from the
voter median fairly often. Sure, that would make for interesting
experimentation if we could expect the jump to go either way equally
often. There's another problem with that: If one side votes
cautiously, erring in the direction of upranking Middle when it
isn't necessary, and the other side votes more incautiously, erring
in the direction of not insincerely upranking Middle when they
should, then the incautious side will be had by the cautious side.
Sincere voting will be an unstable state of affairs.

No, you might find the middle boring, but I'm sorry: Voters are going
to do what it takes to elect the sincere CW, and that's the
voter median candidate, in a 1-dimensional scenario.

>It is the 'strategy' of median finding systems for established parties with
>strong consistent support to pitch to the centre, and small/emerging 
>to try their luck on the periphery, knowing that they can't compete in the

No, more often the small "noncenter" parties are away from the
putative center because that's how they believe, not because of
an opportunistic strategic calculation. For instance, that's certainly
the case with Nader. Of course I admit that there can be exceptions.

Anyway, let's not confuse the media's putative center with the
actual voter median. In the U.S. we don't know where the voter
median is. It might surprise us, when we get a good voting system.

>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).

So what if insincere opportunists go to the voter-median position
to join candidates who are there sincerely? You consider it bad
news if the voter median wins regularly instead of throwing wins
out toward the extremes once in a while. A win by the voter median
is the more democratic outcome. What median-avoiding voting system
do you propose?

Mike Ossipoff

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.

Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at 

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list