[EM] strategy and method complexity and the advantage of minmax methods

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Tue Jun 7 14:03:36 PDT 2005

At 12:39 AM 6/7/2005, Russ Paielli wrote:
>On the other hand, around election time I still seem to hear a lot of 
>moaning by Libertarians and Greens about being ignored by the media and 
>being shut out of the debates -- as if the problem would go away if the 
>media started giving them equal coverage with the major parties. I think 
>that indicates a fundamental lack of understanding of the real problem 
>they face.

That's a reasonable explanation, at least.... I think minor parties should 
focus on developing structure for the party, and should attempt to make 
strategic decisions *as a party*. Thus the party itself would only 
recommend voting for its own candidates, if it ran candidates at all, under 
two conditions: (1) the party had a reasonable chance of winning, and 
failing to win, it is at all close, would not result in a setback for the 
party's agenda, or (2) if an individual member simply could not in 
conscience vote for the party's recommendation.

Parties could easily find other ways to show party strength and to collect 
funds than by gathering a few votes in an election, perhaps at great social 
cost. For example: the party asks and makes it easy for members to send a 
small donation, perhaps $2, or whatever amount the member cared to 
contribute, to a fund dedicated for the purpose of demonstrating voting 
power, if and only if they voted according to the recommendation of the 
party because of that recommendation. An independent method would exist for 
people to simply register the fact of voting by recommendation, but the 
donation method would be far more credible. And if you can show you have 
voting power, you can start to move the major parties. If major parties 
don't cooperate in a reasonable way, then next time the election is not 
crystal clear, the next time it is closer to Tweedledum and Tweedledee, 
i.e., two moderates are facing off, the party might well withdraw its 
recommendation for a major party candidate and run their own.

I'm claiming that independent voter organizations could essentially take 
control of the process by bypassing it, by organizing and acting 
independently from existing structures. A minor party could do the same, 
really. Indeed, the Green party in the U.S. does allow, with some state 
parties, proxy voting at conventions. It is thus closer to FA/DP than any 
party which does not allow this. But it doesn't have the full-blown 
structure in place, proxy is only considered as a representation method, 
when it could actually become a deliberation method, where overall 
strategic decisions could be made and would have real clout, because they 
were developed within a process which includes board and efficient input 
and consideration, and that is designed to foster trust in the 
recommendations. When you don't just read about the party's decisions in 
the newspaper or get a piece of mass mail, but actually get a phone call 
from your personal representative to the party, someone you know and whom 
you chose directly, encouraging you to follow the recommendation (assuming 
that your proxy does agree with it, which, if the process is done 
correctly, most will), you will start to see great loyalty to "party 
discipline," because it will be truly free and voluntary and will have 
fully considered dissent, incorporating it to the maximum extent possible.

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