[EM] Sparring over AV vs IRV at Least of All Evils...

David L Wetzell wetzelld at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 07:03:11 PST 2012

On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 8:38 AM, Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>wrote:

> 2012/2/3 David L Wetzell <wetzelld at gmail.com>
>> On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 5:00 AM, Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>wrote:
>>> I consider the whole "encourages big parties to follow the moving
>>> center" thing to be so ridiculous as not to bear argument, given that, as
>>> DSH points out, the center is one of the worst places to be in IRV.
>> I said "follow" and I presume that one cannot pinpoint the center...  In
>> my heuristic, we get to see the numbers, but the parties don't.  They can
>> choose direction and to move a little or a relatively lot, but they cannot
>> stake any point, cuz it will change.
> Enough words.
> If you propose a model that is well-specified enough to be tested in
> silicio, we'll talk.

*JMKeynes* stated that creative thinking begins as a "grey, *fuzzy*, woolly
*monster*" in one's head..... my idea is still under development and it
very well may remain a heuristic due to the phenomena of the global
underdetermination of

JQ: Certainly, nothing you've said so far is unreasonable for that; a
> one-dimensional spectrum with an unknown shift between elections, voters
> with some bias towards the top two parties from the last election, and
> parties with some cost for mobility, especially with an inability to switch
> positions, trying to maximize their win percentage with the least movement.
> I believe that in such a model, IRV would be closer to Plurality (ie, bad)
> than it would be to any other good system (approval with reasonable voter
> strategy, Condorcet, MJ, Range, or SODA). I hope we could make some kind of
> a bet, and that my expected winnings plus my curiosity would be enough to
> make it worth my while to actually do the test.

You'd need to model a random walk of the center that alters all of the
positions and the difficulties of mobility of parties.  It's easier for a
new party to locate anywhere, but then it's gotta take time to gain
voter-support.  I think thereby that voter-participation (or lack thereof)
cd also be a relevant factor and the use of a 2-d model.

I'm also guessing from my fuzzy monster that both the distance of the de
facto center from the true center and the stability of the de facto center
are going to be worthy of consideration, not unlike how mean-variance
models are used to evaluate stocks.

> Otherwise, I'm tired of debating this back and forth. I'm an empiricist,
> not a platonist. (Middlebrow?)

I'm not a gambler and not very peculiarly endowed at this point.  (I was a
prof of Econ in Idaho, but apparently my car started leaking
carbon-monoxide close to the beginning of my time in ID, and that took a
toll on me.  I needed some time off and when I started looking for work
again it was the great recession.  That was when I began to study electoral
reform seriously and it is why I'm currently a tutor  (and a writer of
political science fiction apparently).)

So I hope we can try doing something like this... as a way to push the
envelope from static models that presume parties are able to position
themselves where they choose.

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