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

Dgamble997 at aol.com Dgamble997 at aol.com
Mon Jan 26 12:03:37 PST 2004

Adam Tarr wrote:

>Axiom 1 - We're electing a legislature.  There are three (perhaps more) 
>parties.  The "centrist" party is the weakest, in terms of first-place 
>Axiom 2 - Truly proportional, multi-member districts are not possible(*) but 

>we want the overall results to have some degree of proportionality.


>Conclusion - use IRV, since it has the potential to produce good 
>proportionality, whereas the other methods are almost assured of producing 
>lousy proportionality.

Firstly I have never said and do not pretend for a minute that IRV or any 
other single seat method has the potential to produce good proportionality. 
Single seat methods will give proportionality only by chance. 

However IRV does have advantages over Plurality in a 3 party system. In 
Britain many seats are won under Plurality with a candidate getting less than half 
the vote. It is fairly easy under this system for a party disliked by the 
majority to win individual seats on a split vote and thereby win elections on a 
split vote due to a divided opposition. 

The lowest percentage of the vote for a winner in 2001 was 29.9% in a 4 way 
contest in Scotland.

Whilst strongly preferring a proportional system to IRV if the choice was 
between IRV and Plurality I would choose IRV as better than the status quo.

David Gamble
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