[EM] Kevin V

David L Wetzell wetzelld at gmail.com
Tue Feb 7 14:17:17 PST 2012

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kevin Venzke <>
To: em <election-methods at electorama.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2012 20:01:39 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: [EM] Re Raph Frank wrt 3-seat LR Hare and RV for US Senators
by proxy.

*De :* David L Wetzell <wetzelld at gmail.com>
*À :* Raph Frank <raphfrk at gmail.com>; EM <
election-methods at lists.electorama.com>
*Envoyé le :* Mardi 7 février 2012 13h20
*Objet :* Re: [EM] Re Raph Frank wrt 3-seat LR Hare and RV for US Senators
by proxy.

dlw: I argue that the strength of the US presidency and regular
presidential elections has the effect of building up our two-party system.
This is why I take as a given that there tend to be 2 bigger major parties
and not as many serious candidates in "single-winner elections".  This in
turn tends to
reduce the import of the diffs among the wide variety of single-winner

I think it works like this:
President isn't responsible to or chosen by Congress ->
There is not that much prize for having a majority of a house ->
Weak party discipline (because of less focus on party: a candidate can get
reelected even if his peers are unhappy) ->
If you are a viable candidate, there is no need for you to carve out a new
party. There is only room for two contenders per
race (under FPP), and there are two parties that will take you as long
as you can win for them.

dlw: Aye, but the prez election itself and its potential for coat-tails and
the reward from capturing one or both of the US legislatures
does build up the parties who can afford to run a serious prez election
race.  I think some of the weak party discipline is also due to the
restrictions on donations to parties in the 1974 FEC act.
Our system wd function better if there was more intra-party discipline and
the donations flowed thru the relatively transparent venue of the party.

KV: I think we could have three "parties" (if not a much greater variety of
viewpoints) with the right method. I wouldn't care
if they are actually parties or just a higher number of real choices, on
average, in a race.

dlw:Would it make a diff if our two major parties became two different
major parties, bridging the gap between the de facto center and the true
If American forms of PR were adopted so that there'd still be 2 major
parties per area, they wouldn't be the same 2 parties for all regions,
which would then enable minor parties
to contest the duopoly.  And if this got complemented by a host of
LTPs(with coalitions)  that specialized in contesting "more local"
elections and voting strategically together in "less local" elections,
along with other acts that hold elected officials accountable to their
promises then we'd have better quality choices, even if the quantity is
less than we'd prefer.


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