[EM] Fwd: IRV splits majorities to empower everyone, & find common ground

IRV Alliance states at 4irv.com
Thu Nov 17 13:54:32 PST 2005

   The thing you have to understand about IRV is that it is not easy 
to exclude voters unless they want to be excluded.  You get 3 chances 
to pick a winner. (in SF)  If you cannot find any candidate that the 
other voters can agree on, you are probably too far out there to 
deserve a strong voice in public policy.  

  If you care to be honest about how real-life politics works, it is 
not possible to have a dominant majority using IRV.  If one 
group/issue has more support than the others, let's say 40-60%+ 
support, then realistically  more than one candidate will focus on 
that majority group and split the 1st choice vote.   This is the 
effect of spoiler-proof multi-candidate elections: No one can count 
on a safe majority.  It raises the bar by allowing 2nd choices/more 
voters to be counted.

  Out of all the candidates that split the 1st-choice majority using 
IRV, the one who reaches out to the most minority voters for 2nd/3rd 
choices will win.  Allowing all voters 3 chances means that any voter-
group, no matter how small, can swing the election.  IRV makes all 
voters equal, whereas single-choice ballots give the majority group 
an overwhelming advantage and minority groups are usually just 
footnotes.  (Popular incumbents can expect 1st round majorities using 
IRV, the same as with most if not all non-PR elections) 

   Using PR, it hardly matters if the Sunnis get 10% or 30% of the 
representation.  Why vote?  They are still almost powerless compared 
to the competing majority.  So a few people a day would rather blow 
themselves up then pretend to participate in the charade of one-
choice politics.  The neo-cons would not let Iraq use IRV because 
they don't want Americans to find out that it would work here too.

  Sensing strong PR support, maybe you could help me out by naming  
any govt. agency anywhere worldwide that has voluntarily adopted PR 
general elections lately.  (I did read it that is being repealed 
somewhere in the far east because politics were such a mess there)  
And an occupied war zone planned as a puppet-state does not count 
as "voluntarily" if it tried to use PR.

more questions:
1st, Scott wrote:
> A parliament IS a legislature.

    Well, I have seen them differentiated many times.  I thought that 
legislatures are elected by district, but parliaments are elected by 
PR and then they appoint a prime minister. A prime minister to be in 
charge and pull the strings is necessary because PR-elected bodies 
are usually hopelessly ineffective and hog-tied by partisans.

    Regarding Ireland, It supposedly has the healthiest economy in 
Europe and partisan violence has virtually ended since IRV was 
adopted. (it would take years to overcome established competition)  
However, if the parliament elects a PM, that is not straight IRV and 
would make the district elections MORE partisan, probably more than 
off-setting the IRV effect.

   As a footnote, right now a PR advocate an another list is 
vehemently proclaiming that IRV is wrong because it WOULD elect 
extremists!, so I am being debated by both sides today!

  His arguements are not very coherent though.  All these scare-
tactics trying to play on people who may still not really understand 
IRV always peter out in the end.  Maybe the two of you could get 
together and reduce the misinfo to only one arguement against IRV 
instead of two contradictory ones.

    The bottom line is that IRV/IRV+ best represents voters across 
the spectrum by electing moderates with the broadest possible 
majority AND minority/extremist support.

  Also, you could check the "draft" write-up on this page
http://ElectionMethods.com and offer suggestions if you want. I think 
everyone might as well admit that Ranked Pairs(IRV+) is a little more 
logical than IRV, but IRV will do for now to address the real 
problems of minority disempowerment using 1-choice ballots.


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