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

Adam Tarr atarr at purdue.edu
Mon Jan 26 12:53:23 PST 2004

David Gamble wrote:

>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.

Well I suppose it depends how you define "good proportionality".  You did 
say that it will tend to produce better proportionality in the conditions I 
outlined.  I agree you never said that it would be as good as multi-winner 
STV or somesuch, but I never implied that either.

>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.

Which is basically, what I said about plurality in "option 1".  We're not 
disagreeing on any facts, just on interpretation of them.

>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.

Which was basically my point - IRV, once again, only looks good when we 
compare it to a very bad alternative.

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