[EM] Re: the simplest election reform

Russ Paielli 6049awj02 at sneakemail.com
Thu Jun 16 20:05:23 PDT 2005


I agree completely. I don't think that eliminating primaries should be 
an objective of choosing an election method.

Yes, an "ideal" election method, if one exists, might make primaries 
somewhat less important, but I seriously doubt any method can render 
them completely unnecessary.

As an example, Approval would make primaries somewhat less important. If 
the Republicans have, say, three candidates, then Republican voters can 
simply vote for all three of them and avoid splitting the vote. But 
different Republican voters will obviously favor different Republican 
candidates, thereby splitting the vote anyway -- albeit to a lesser 
extent than would happen under plurality. That's why primaries are 
needed: to consolidate the party behind one candidate.


Anthony Duff anthony_duff-at-yahoo.com.au |EMlist| wrote:
> --- Araucaria Araucana <araucaria.araucana at gmail.com> wrote:
>>But sneaking approval in this way doesn't solve the more general
>>problem of eliminating the primary.  I *do* want to eliminate the
>>primary, since it is merely an artifact of plurality/SVFPP.
> The primary is not "merely an artifact of plurality/SVFPP."  More
> fundamentally, it is the mechanism for the party to choose a single
> candidate.  
> It is not reasonable to force a party not to choose an official
> candidate.  Is this what you want?  For example, do you think you
> should have been able to vote for McCain as well as Bush in 2000?  
> Having both run as republicans in the real election would not be in
> the interests of the republican party or of either McCain or Bush. 
> Even if the election method doesn't have the the vote splitting
> problem, there is still the problem of splitting public recognition
> of the party's candidate, and of splitting the party's campaign
> funding base.
> Perhaps there was something specific about the primary that you want
> eliminated, but every party has to be able to choose a candidate.
> Anthony
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