[EM] some July 4 comments
chrisbenham at bigpond.com
Sat Jul 5 04:26:04 PDT 2003
Adam Tarr wrote:
"...Australia's upper house..is the only one that uses IRV"
This is the wrong way round, only the "lower" house (the one on which
the government is based) uses IRV. It is called the House of
Representatives and the other house is called the Senate and it is made
up of an equal numbers of members from each State, elected using the
Hare-Clarke PR method.
One of the things I strongly object to from the "IRV is nearly as bad as
Plurality" Approval proponents , is that they obsessively focus on the
number of seat-winning/competitive parties a method encourages/allows
and seem to assume that all 2-major party systems are equivalent.
Assuming for a moment that a political landscape dominated by 2 major
parties is a normal and happy situation, isn't it VERY important that
the party which is prefered by an absolute majority is the winner ?
Also with IRV the major parties are under more pressure to avoid being
challenged and maybe eventually supplanted by rivals from the same
And of course not all one-party systems are equivalent either. If the
method was Condorcet in single seats each with approx. the same number
of electors, an insitutional anti-gerrymander in place, no corruption
and a regular high turn-out and the (unlikely) result was that a
sinlgle party dominates by staking out the centre then arguably that is
a much better scenario than the present Republicrat "two"-party system
in the US today.
I strongly support PR. I agree that Adam's IRV "nightmare" IRV
example is conclusively damning, especially as it is political
spectrum based with everybody voting sincerely/plausibly. And yet on
balance I prefer IRV to Approval (which to my mind is fundamentally silly).
Recently while contemplating IRV and Coombs, I thought of a new (to
me) method as a joke which may not really be so bad.
At each round, have an elimination runoff between the candidate with the
fewest first preferences and the candidate with the most last
preferences. ("Elimination Runoff" ?)
Adam wrote "..the Democrats and the Republicans are quite distinct on a
range of issues". mmm...Haven't you seen that funny "Rage against the
Machine" video ? I think maybe you have a good microscope !
More information about the Election-Methods