[EM] Postscript, July 4 comments
John B. Hodges
jbhodges at usit.net
Fri Jul 4 13:09:04 PDT 2003
So, basically what you have shown with this example [the IRV
nightmare scenario] is that pure center parties can get squeezed out
under IRV. To remain viable, a pure center party has to stay larger
than at least one wing, taken as a coalition. It has to poach voters
from at least one wing; it cannot allow itself passively to be
poached upon. In trying to poach from either wing it may lose some
voters to the opposite wing; probably the equilibrium solution
involves two parties glaring at each other over the 50-yard line,
each fighting also to guard their rear from additional parties.
"Wing" parties may win if Center-wing and Wing together make a
majority but Center-wing allows itself to get too centrist. There
will always be at least two distinctly different parties.
Postscript: It occurs to me that there may BE no equilibrium
solution. Because IRV essentially eliminates the spoiler effect, it
greatly reduces the effective "barriers to entry" of new parties. So
the field is always competitive; every party has to work to keep its'
voters, it can take no voters for granted. Every voter is a "swing"
In a one-dimensional "left-right" analysis, all we can say is that
under IRV the voters on the "50-yard line" will always be part of the
final winning coalition. (The center-voters will always prefer the
final winner to all its remaining competitors, a trivial result for a
majoritarian system.) We cannot say that any PARTY will always be
part of the winning coalition. Speaking as a voter, this is IMHO a
Enough for today; got a party to go to, to celebrate our
John B. Hodges, jbhodges@ @usit.net
The two-party system is obsolete and dysfunctional.
Better forms of democracy: www.fairvote.org
REAL CHOICES, NEW VOICES, by Douglas J. Amy
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