[EM] To Bill Lewis Clark re: stepping-stone

Bill Lewis Clark wclark at xoom.org
Sat Jan 24 13:48:01 PST 2004

Eric Gorr wrote:

> These numbers are _only_ relevant if the candidates are aware of
> Condorcet and have spent time understanding the differences.

They're relevant for getting one or the other actually implemented anytime

Realistically, I think if either of the candidates I mentioned (Dean or
Kucinich) were to get elected -- or at least prompt a national debate on
election system reform -- then the issues of IRV vs. Condorcet (etc.)
would eventually come up.  And at that time, I'd certainly hope that
something better than IRV ended up getting implemented.

But my point is mainly that I'd like to see less badmouthing of IRV and
its supporters, and more uniting for a common goal.  IRV has a lot more
visible public support at the moment, and stands an actual chance of
coming into the national spotlight.  Supporters of ANY alternative voting
system should get behind that movement, rather than trying to fight it.

> IRV may offer some benefits over Plurality, but those benefits are
> easily negated by the well known extreme flaws of the system, leaving
> us with no net improvement.

If there's no net improvement, then Plurality must have some benefits over
IRV as well -- what, specifically, are they?

Bill Clark wrote:

>>IRV is a realistic option, and Condorcet is not.

Eric Gorr replied:

> Based on what? There is no actual evidence here.

Here I can only repeat myself:

>>Number of potential presidential candidates supporting IRV: 2
>>(Dean and Kucinich)

>>Number of potential presidential candidates supporting Condorcet: 0

Unless and until some candidates start supporting Condorcet, it's simply
not a realistic option.  In the meantime, I'm throwing my support behind
Kucinich (and the rest of the IRV supporters) and hoping they make enough
of an issue out of election reform that Condorcet can start to get some

Even if IRV ends up being the only option, I'd still rather have that than
plurality (and nothing that's been written here has yet convinced me that
I'm wrong to think that way.)

-Bill Clark

Dennis Kucinich for President in 2004

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