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

Eric Gorr eric at ericgorr.net
Mon Jan 26 19:29:04 PST 2004

At 7:54 PM -0500 1/24/04, Adam H Tarr wrote:
>Eric wrote:
>>At 7:17 PM -0500 1/24/04, Bill Lewis Clark wrote:
>>>   It's nowhere near as good as Condorcet
>>>(IMHO) but it's not "change for the sake of change."
>>Apparently, it is.
>My position on IRV's advantages over plurality is this:
>AS LONG AS you have two major factions that have comfortably more than two
>thirds of the first-place preference between them, IRV does a good job of
>preventing minor party candidates from "interfering" in the two party system.
>In this respect, it manages to solve the "spoiler" problem in its 
>most commonly described form (i.e. the extremist party leeching 
>votes from one of the major parties).

Personally, I would not consider that to be an advantage of IRV over 
Plurality, but, at best, an issue on which IRV merely breaks even 
with Plurality. For being a spoiler is sometimes the only way to get 
the 'big guys' to listen to a legitimate issue or grievance.

Furthermore, an extremist party may not be extremist at all, but the 
most preferred party by the voters with the 'big guys' best viewed as 
the true extremists.

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