[EM] favorite betrayal and 2-party domination

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Sep 9 10:00:35 PDT 2005


On Sep 8, 2005, at 22:14, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> At 10:58 AM 9/8/2005, Juho Laatu wrote:
>> In range voting the Approval style strategy of giving
>> full points both to the favourite small party candidate (A) and the
>> best big party candidate (B) could move us towards 2-party domination.
> It is interesting that this claim is made, not only by Mr. Laatu, but 
> also by Mr. Smith with respect to ordinary Approval.

Strictly speaking I didn't make the claim that approval would suffer 
from 2-party domination effects, only that range voting does when 
approval style strategy is applied. On the other hand I do think that 
also approval has some of this flavour. I however believe that all 
these effects are marginal and do not have any major impact in "two 
parties or big parties vs. small parties" in real political systems.

> I see no reason to anticipate that.

Me neither. I'm sorry if I have given the impression that I do believe 
that Condorcet and range and others lead to 2-party domination. 
Obviously I have since also Kevin Venzke had somewhat similar concerns. 
See some more comments on my reply to him.

> That full points are given to the small party candidate is, I think, a 
> pressure in the opposite direction from 2-party domination.

Agreed. When comparing to the systems in use in current two party 
countries (or in many other systems too) Approval and the other 
discussed methods really lean in the opposite direction. I note that 
many (most?) multiparty countries have intentionally set some rules 
(stronger than the above discussed phenomena) that to some extent 
favour big parties and reduce the power of small parties (e.g. d'Hondt 
method, 5% of votes required to get any seats etc.). But these rules 
have not made those parties 2-party systems. As I said in my mail, I 
believe that the reasons than lead to 2-party domination are elsewhere 
than in these discussed methods.

Juho Laatu

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list