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

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Fri Feb 3 08:26:09 PST 2012

On 2/3/12 6:00 AM, Jameson Quinn wrote:
> I consider the whole "encourages big parties to follow the moving 
> center" thing to be so ridiculous as not to bear argument,

i do too.  fully agree.

> given that, as DSH points out, the center is one of the worst places 
> to be in IRV.

as evidenced in the town where i live.  Democrats should just be 
cleaning up here because of fringe support from both the left and the 
right and we haven't had a Dem mayor for 3 decades.  friggin' 
unbelievable.  (and it looks like we won't again this year.  with a 40% 
threshold, the GOP candidate who lost the IRV in 2009 is almost certain 
to be elected mayor, and will likely not get 50%.)

> Sure, it does a better job than plurality. But if you want a system 
> which preserves two parties but makes them track the center, and you 
> think that US exceptionalism means this is a two-party nation by nature,

even though i would not recommend Obama to say this in public, the 
notion of U.S. exceptionalism is a cancer in our national self-image.  
that notion has caused millions of unnecessary deaths worldwide and will 
likely plunge the planet into an environmental and spent-resource 
nightmare within 100 years.

> then you have a great array of systems which will accomplish your 
> goal, and IRV is not one of them.

it appears that Condorcet favors the centrist candidate more than IRV or 
FPTP (e.g. Burlington 2009) because it is not opaque to 2nd-choice 
preferences in any case (FPTP doesn't even collect 2nd-choice 
information and IRV is opaque to it until your 1st choice is eliminated) 
and it's less likely that left or right wing voters will vote for the 
other extreme as their 2nd choice than choose the centrist.  even though 
that may be the case, that is no reason to adopt Condorcet.  the reason 
to use Condorcet is it elects the simple-majority choice (with equally 
weighted votes) of the voters when that alternative is offered in 
reference any other alternative.  and, as a practical matter, we, as a 
people, gotta choose one of those alternatives.


r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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