[EM] Election-Methods Digest, Vol 92, Issue 55

David L Wetzell wetzelld at gmail.com
Wed Feb 8 17:49:36 PST 2012

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Kevin Venzke <stepjak at yahoo.fr>
> To: election-methods <election-methods at electorama.com>
> Cc:
> Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 22:37:56 +0000 (GMT)
> Subject: Re: [EM] Kevin V
>   Hi David,
>   *De :* David L Wetzell <wetzelld at gmail.com>
> *À :* stepjak at yahoo.fr; EM <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>
> *Envoyé le :* Mardi 7 février 2012 16h17
> *Objet :* Re: Kevin V
>    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
> elections.
> 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.
> Personally I prefer weak party discipline. I like candidates to have
> independence, with the decision-making power
> less concentrated. And I'm suspicious of what party policies designed at
> the national level would look like.

dlw: Well, intra-party discipline is needed one way or the other to get
things done.  Our system right now is characterized as full of political
entrepreneurship, which makes bills a lot more complicated than they need
to be and things take longer and too much of politicians' time gets spent

> 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
> center?
> 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.
> Yes, I think it would be useful if we could increase the incentive to
> stand at the median, even if two "parties" maintained
> their grip on things.
> I don't find PR very interesting personally. It can be its own goal, but
> it doesn't seem useful for the things I'm concerned
> about.

dlw: For more local electyions that are rarely competitive, it's the only
way to make them not DINOs.  We used quasi-proportional elections for IL
from 1870-1980 and it kept either major party from dominating the state's
politics, so other states that are/were economically dependent on IL could
afford to be more politically independent than if one party had been able
to leverage their domination of IL's politics...  It's a neglected part of
our history!!!


> Kevin
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Kevin Venzke <stepjak at yahoo.fr>
> To: election-methods <election-methods at electorama.com>
> Cc:
> Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 22:53:34 +0000 (GMT)
> Subject: Re: [EM] [CES #4445] Re: Looking at Condorcet
> Hi Robert,
> I would +1 to Bryan Mills' post.
> >in the two-candidate case, you would have to assume unequal treatment for
> voters
> Yes, utility inherently does this. It's trying to maximize "happiness"
> which is a different ideal from giving
> everyone equal weight (e.g. even people who don't have a strong opinion).
> >but when Clay says that Score or Approval is better at picking the
> Condorcet winner than is a
> >Condorcet-compliant method, *that* is no tautology is obviously
> controversial, since it says that there is
> >a number closer to 3 than the number 3 itself.
> What Clay means is that score/Approval are better at picking the *sincere*
> Condorcet winner. Yes, that's
> obviously controversial. It could be true if it so happens that nobody
> wants to vote truthfully under
> Condorcet methods, while Approval in practice never has any bad outcomes,
> etc.
> >if it isn't 0 (for when you don't get who you voted for) and 1 (for when
> your candidate is elected), then
> >some voter is diluting their utilities and i think it's pretty useless
> and in bad taste to ask voters to do that
> >explicitly with a Score ballot.
> "Utilities" refers to what voters actually "feel," not what they are
> putting on the ballot.
> Kevin
> _______________________________________________
> Election-Methods mailing list
> Election-Methods at lists.electorama.com
> http://lists.electorama.com/listinfo.cgi/election-methods-electorama.com
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20120208/3dfa2844/attachment-0003.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list