[EM] Voting by selecting a published ordering

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Thu Apr 6 14:22:25 PDT 2006

At 04:18 PM 4/6/2006, raphfrk at netscape.net wrote:
>This is a step in the direction of closed party lists, which are a
>really bad idea.

Actually, it is a step *away* from such lists. As long as anyone can 
declare and run as a candidate. Note that even write-in candidates 
would work, provided that the write-in has submitted a list in 
advance (if the lists are provided in advance, which they are in this 

>However, I guess since the candidate submits his own list, there is
>less of a
>problem with a party's central office controlling the process.  The
>question then
>becomes how someone becomes a candidate in the first place.

How about by registering with the election officials? Perhaps with a 
petition signed by a certain number of voters, relatively modest. 
But, as I mention above, as long as anyone files a list with the 
election officials prior to the election, with the proposal as it is, 
write-ins would work. They would not be wasted votes, unlike most write-ins.

Hey folks, it is a really brilliant proposal, wish I had thought of 
it myself....

>I am not so sure giving a boost to candiates who convince alot of other
>candidates to
>place them 2nd is a good idea.  This promotes an "insider" effect.

Ah, but insiders know each other. The problem with outsiders is that 
they are unknown. Ever notice that periodically "outsiders" -- or 
those who pretend to be so -- are elected in a backlash, and then 
nothing really changes, as the "outsiders" turn out to be the same 
old same old?

I think this is a *strength* of the proposal. I think that 
politicians know each other much better than the general public knows 
them. And breaking into this system would not be difficult at all. 
You just start participating in politics at a low level, so that you 
get to know people. You become an insider, in a word. It would be, I 
think, harder to buy yourself in, by coming in as a "reformer", i.e., 
all too often, as someone spending their own wealth to gain office. 
It is expensive to run campaigns. If you are funded by existing 
organizations and structures, you are, by definition, an "insider." 
If you are not funded by these, it is almost impossible to raise the 
necessary funding, so "outsiders" must almost intrinsically be 
wealthy or supported by the wealthy. It's not rocket science.

>You are probably right that it would be an easier sell than updating
>infrastructure and also, it means that anyone can easily check the
>results which is
>not possible in most ranked elections.  It would need to be made clear
>improving efficiency by implementing party list system is not a natural
>next step.

That would, of course, not improve efficiency at all, it would merely 
complicate the process and make it more manipulable by disempowering 
individual candidates and putting the power into less accountable 
party structures. I can't imagine why one would move from a candidate 
list system to a party list system. What in the world would be 
gained? A party could already insist that its candidate follow a 
party-approved list; what the candidate system would do is to allow 
candidates to run independently of parties. Of course, any candidate 
could get around an imposed party-list system unless it were made 
difficult to form a party. There are anti-democratic measures that 
are sometimes taken to do this....

I think it is a pretty safe proposal.

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