[EM] Advocacy. Compromise.

Jonathan Lundell jlundell at pobox.com
Wed Dec 5 16:27:41 PST 2012

On 5 Dec 2012, at 12:32 PM, Michael Ossipoff <email9648742 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 12/2/2012 11:50 AM, Michael Ossipoff wrote:
>> ...
>> Voting system reform can only happen as part of a larger package of
>> improvements that will come by electing a non-Republocrat party to
>> office. Preferably a progressive one. That would be the Greens, the
>> most winnable progressive party. FairVote says that the LIbertarians,
>> like the Greens, favor IRV.
> Richard Fobes replied:
> The Green party _claims_ to support IRV.  Yet they do not use it to
> elect their internal party delegates.
> [endquote]
> The Greens, from my experience, use a consensus process for their
> internal decisionmaking. I don't agree with that process. I feel that
> its result is that the most aggressive or pushy person gets their way.
> But that's how they make internal decisions, based on my experience
> with them.

The GP does use STV for internal elections to various governing committees, and IRV where appropriate. 

Formal consensus can be surprisingly effective when used in small groups with a clear common goal. That's often not the context in which the GP uses it, and it can certainly break down. It can also be very time-consuming.

> That doesn't make any less genuine their support for IRV for official
> public elections.
> Fobes continued:
>  And I haven't heard of the Green
> party putting any effort into using IRV in their primary elections.
> [endquote]
> But isn't the voting-system of the government-run primary already
> decided? If a state uses Plurality for its elections, does a party
> have a way to use IRV for their primary, when using the official
> government primary process. I don't think that that choice is up to
> the Greens, when they use the government's official primary process.
> To use IRV in their primaries, wouldn't the Greens have to somehow do
> the primaries on their own, maybe by website? Well, maybe they could
> do that. It might be a good suggestion to make to them. Maybe, now,
> the web makes it possible for a party to conduct its own primary, by
> any method that they choose.

The California GP would love to use IRV and/or STV in its primary elections, but those elections are run by the state on behalf of the party, and the state does not have the capability. There's been some discussion of conducting elections or primaries internally, but doing so securely across California (never mind the entire US) is a daunting challenge.

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