[EM] Some July 4 comments

Adam Tarr atarr at purdue.edu
Sun Jul 6 18:27:02 PDT 2003

Chris Benham wrote:

>I didn't and wouldn't argue that  "Approval is silly when compared to 
>plurality". I agree that Approval is much better than Plurality.
>Adam seems to have mixed me up with someone else.

My apologies Chris.  There's been lots of criticism flying back and forth 
from IRV to Condorcet and Approval and back again.  At any rate, the 
comments I wrote should be taken on their merits and not considered a 
personal attack.

>I know that some Approval proponents have boasted of their roles in 
>helping to scuttle the introduction of  IRV (to replace Plurality) is some 
>parts of the US.

I would agree that this is a bad use of human capital.  I would sat that it 
is worth trying to convince IRVists to switch to another reform - after 
all, these are people who are plugged into the idea of electoral reform, 
and most of them are more likely to listen to the arguments for Condorcet 
than the average man on the street.  But once IRV makes it to the ballot, 
introducing competing measures, or attacking IRV, is probably not worth 
your time.  IRV is an incremental improvement over plurality, even if it 
does introduce some new problems.  And once any electoral reform is 
implemented, it will probably becomes easier to implement other reforms.

If you are a staunch supporter of approval or Condorcet and you can't 
stomach the idea of supporting IRV in any capacity, then you are probably 
best served by trying to implement Condorcet or approval in a place where 
there is no reform at all, rather than competing with IRV.


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