[EM] In MDDA, Kerry-refusers should co-operate by ranking Kerry

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 17 09:52:33 PST 2005

I was supposed to already be outa here, but I'm just finishing up.

By "principled progressives", I mean progressives who don't believe that 
Kerry deserves a vote, and wouldn't vote for Kerry in Plurality even if 
Kerry and Bush were the only candidates.

By "LO2E progressives", I mean progressives who are dominated and cowed by 
the lesser-of-2-evils problem to the extent that, in Plurality, they'd vote 
for Kerry instead of their favorite because their tv told them that no one 
else is viable or serious, and so they let their friendly, hair-styled 
newscaster tell them what their choices are.

The whole value, in our public elections, of MDDA over Approval and RV is 
that the LO2E progressives are much less likely to feel a need to vote Kerry 
equal to Nader.

What could give them a need to do so? It takes a lot.

We'll assume that Bush doesn't have a majority, because, if he did, he'd 
have an easy win no matter what. Likewise Nader. So Kerry is middle CW.

The Nader preferrers would have to be split between LO2E progressives and 
principled progressives, and the principled progressives must refuse to rank 
Nader. And the Bush voters must use offensive order-reversal against Kerry.

Then, not wanting to help the order-reversers make an artificial majority 
for Nader over Kerry, the LO2E progressives rank Kerry in 1st place with 

This scenario is a bit elaborate, and one could reassure the LO2E 
progressives that it isn't likely, and that the Bush voters are unlikely to 
try that.

But, as I was saying, if you believe that it's an acceptable/unacceptable 
situation, and you regard Kerry as acceptable, then you'll do whatever it 
takes to minimize the probability that someone worse than Kerry will win.

So then, what would it take to re-assure the LO2E voters that they don't 
need to rank Kerry in 1st place with Nader, in MDDA?

What if the principled progressives all held their noses and ranked Kerry 
below Nader, instead of refusing to rank Kerry?

By our assumptions, that means that there's a majority ranking Kerry over 
Bush, and not ranking Bush. Bush can't win in MDDA. He's disqualified by the 
majority against him. And even if Nader is disqualified by the sincere 
majority for Kerry over him, and Kerry is disqualified by an 
offensive-order-reversal majority against him, the majority who rank Kerry 
and not Bush ensures that Bush can't win the Approval count.

So all it takes to re-assure the LO2E progressives that it's ok to rank 
Kerry 2nd is for the principled progressives to assure them that they'll 
rank Kerry.

Some things are worth holding your nose for. I'd be voting against Kerry in 
the most effective way if I rank Kerry (and promise that I will), to 
re-assure the LO2E voters that they don't need to rank Kerry in 1st place 
with Nader.

That can't backfire against me unless it helps Kerry against Nader, with 
un-reciprocated Approval votes. But if Nader has a majority, then Kerry is 
disqualified anyway. If Nader doesn't have a majority, then his supporters 
have no reasonable expectation to elect him anyway, since he isn't the 
middle candidate.

This is true of other rank methods too. If you refuse to give any support to 
someone's lesser-evil, that can force them to protect him more drastically 
than they otherwise would.

Mike Ossipoff

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