[EM] Kevin V

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Wed Feb 8 14:37:56 PST 2012

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.

>>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

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