[EM] Approval with 2 ballotings

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Wed Jan 1 21:47:42 PST 2003

On Wed, 1 Jan 2003 09:29:06 -0800 (PST) Alex Small wrote:

>>The above considerations suggest that if we propose Approval for
>>municipal elections now done by Runoff, then the Approval balloting
>>should be followed by a top-2 runoff. It's a matter of suggesting
>> that people be allowed to vote for as many as they want to in
>>the 1st balloting instead of only for 1.

Sounds like regression.  Separate elections as runoffs are an UGLY attempt 
to make a weak method acceptable.  Looking for a strong method to offer as 
a replacement, minimizing the number of physical elections should be a goal.

> True, but there's the very real danger of a faction voting for both
> their favorite and one of the 3 Stooges.  Consider the California GOP
> gubernatorial primary in 2002.  Gray Davis ran ads suggesting that
> Riordan was dishonest when he claimed to be a conservative.  Now, while
> allegations of double-talk may be perfectly legitimate in a political
> campaign, the timing and targeting indicate an attempt to get a weaker
> candidate (Bill Simon) nominated.
>>I don't care if they keep the party primaries. No
>>doubt people would insist on it, though I agree with the Libertarians
>>that parties have no right to expect the public to pay for parties'
>>voting to decide whom they'll run.

Libertarians might be more popular if they could recognize that government 
should properly do whatever the people wish government to do.

> I see it this way:  Parties should have the right to nominate their
> candidates at private conventions open only to registered members.
> However, if they avail themselves of the public primaries then ANY voter
> should be allowed to participate, not just registered members.  I
> suspect that the candidates nominated in open elections will fare better
> than those nominated in smoke-filled rooms.

How does a party get its millions of members together for such a 
convention to nominate a candidate for governor in NY or CA?  Once 
together, how do the members manage to accomplish anything useful?

Purpose of primaries is for each party to complete the nomination process. 
  How can the primary claim to represent the collective decision of party 
members if outsiders are allowed to vote?

Note:  If the primaries are done by government, as in NY, then this 
service should be provided for all parties with ballot status, as is done 
in NY (for the 7 parties in 1995, 8 in 99, and 5 in 03).

What happens with smoke filled rooms involved can be complex - try for 02 
for NY governor:
      Democrats:  One designated by meeting of State Committee (your smoke 
filled room - though remember that these are elected by party members in 
each district); one by 15,000 members signing a petition (he 
saw embarrassment if he tried for SC designation, so he did not try).
      Independence:  Two by SC (one by majority, one by getting 25% of 
votes and choosing to run - can take several votes for a majority to 
agree; any candidate getting 25% in any vote can declare in on the primary).
      Conservative:  One by SC.  Five% of members petitioned to have a 
primary anyway - this permitted voters to write in any desired candidate - 
in this case goal was to nominate a non-party-member (tricky - our law 
would not permit a petition for the non-member without permission by the 
SC, and this was NOT achievable).

An aside:  East Harlem (in NYC) LIKED!! their Congressman - Republicans, 
Democrats, and his own party, would each petition to place Vito on their 
line and he could coast to victory in November.  Republican and Democratic 
party leadership got tired of explaining this embarrassment, so they came 
up with a law in 1947 that petitions had to be for party members OR be 
approved by party leadership.  East Harlem reelected Vito anyway, but law 
is still around and minor parties LIKE to use it.  Next election 
Republicans, Democrats, and Liberals shared ONE candidate, and thus 
retired the nuisance (Vito).

> OK, maybe this is somewhat inconsistent with my 3 Stooges argument, but
> I (like many other independents) got disgusted in 2000 when the Dems and
> GOP passed over 2 honest candidates (Bill Bradley and John McCain) for
> two liars who wouldn't have gotten anywhere in life were they not
> namesake sons of politicians.  Thanks to closed primaries, we spent much
> of 2000 talking about Al Gore sighing and George W. mispronunciating
> words.  Neither of them had a damn thing to say that really mattered.  A
> third of the voters can't stand either major party, but we're stuck with
> the monstrosities that their registerd members nominate.

NOT clear that the two you like are any better, but I agree about electing 

Not clear that open primaries would have been any better - why would they 
have produced better results.

Agreed we need to look at how presidential elections could be improved.
> Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
> Alex

  davek at clarityconnect.com    http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
   Dave Ketchum    108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708    607-687-5026
              Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                    If you want peace, work for justice.

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