[EM] NYT/Richie voting reform "debate" next Sunday; write in.

David L Wetzell wetzelld at gmail.com
Wed Feb 8 20:15:06 PST 2012

Whether we like it or not,
FairVote is the leading electoral reform org in the USA
and what Rob Richie is pitching in the NYTIMES is the standard that's going
to get voter-attention.

I'd rather do my best to advance electoral reform period and to make such
gain traction in the USA.
It's readable and it all strongly tends to be true and that's good enuf for

Also, I believe that what Rob has written is consistent with the use of
It might be a good idea to encourage such as an alternative to making out
Burlington, VT into
something that it should not have been.
And, of course, to push harder for PR's use in "more local" elections that
need it to become competitive.


On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:19 PM, <
election-methods-request at lists.electorama.com> wrote:

> Send Election-Methods mailing list submissions to
>        election-methods at lists.electorama.com
> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
> http://lists.electorama.com/listinfo.cgi/election-methods-electorama.com
> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
>        election-methods-request at lists.electorama.com
> You can reach the person managing the list at
>        election-methods-owner at lists.electorama.com
> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> than "Re: Contents of Election-Methods digest..."
> Today's Topics:
>   1. Re: Election-Methods Digest, Vol 92, Issue 55 (David L Wetzell)
>   2. NYT/Richie voting reform "debate" next Sunday; write in.
>      (Jameson Quinn)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: David L Wetzell <wetzelld at gmail.com>
> To: election-methods at lists.electorama.com
> Cc:
> Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 19:49:36 -0600
> Subject: Re: [EM] Election-Methods Digest, Vol 92, Issue 55
>> ---------- 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
> fund-raising...
>> 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!!!
> dlw
>> 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
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>
> To: EM <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>, electionsciencefoundation
> <electionscience at googlegroups.com>
> Cc:
> Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 20:18:52 -0600
> Subject: [EM] NYT/Richie voting reform "debate" next Sunday; write in.
> Invitation to a Dialogue: A Better Way to Elect? Published: February 7,
> 2012
>    - TWITTER
>    -  E-MAIL
>    - PRINT<http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-a-better-way-to-elect.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&pagewanted=print>
>    <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-a-better-way-to-elect.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&pagewanted=all>
>    -  REPRINTS<http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-a-better-way-to-elect.html?_r=1&ref=opinion#>
>    - SHARE<http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-a-better-way-to-elect.html?_r=1&ref=opinion#>
> <http://www.nytimes.com/adx/bin/adx_click.html?type=goto&opzn&page=www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/opinion&pos=Frame4A&sn2=f8475720/9aad5d74&sn1=82e89b96/89090ad2&camp=FSL2012_ArticleTools_120x60_1787503b_nyt5&ad=TreeofLife_January27_120x60&goto=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Efoxsearchlight%2Ecom%2Fthetreeoflife>
> *To the Editor:*
>  Enlarge This Image
>  Hieronymus
> Every four years a handful of the same old states effectively pick party
> nominees for president, voting earlier and earlier with campaign spending
> mattering more and more.
> The parties should winnow their field with what is known as the American
> Plan <http://archive.fairvote.org/?page=965>, a nomination schedule that
> rewards retail campaigning and gives late-entering candidates a better
> chance. Ten biweekly rounds of voting would be held, starting in small
> states. Delegates would beallocated proportionally<http://www.fairvote.org/delegate-allocation-rules-in-2012-gop#.TzFko1Zjc4T> rather
> than by winner take all.
> Up to three candidates for each party would earn a place in a national
> primary, held in June in conjunction with Congressional primaries.
> Ranked-choice voting — a proven system used in national elections in
> Australia and mayoral elections in a dozen American cities, in which voters
> rank candidates in order of preference — would ensure that winners earn
> majority support in an “instant runoff<http://www.instantrunoff.com/the-basics>
> .”
> For general elections, the nominees of major parties should face more
> competition from third-party and independent candidates by having fairer
> ballot access, inclusive debates, ranked-choice voting and, eventually, a national
> popular vote <http://nationalpopularvote.com/> for president.
> For Congressional elections, creating larger districts with several seats
> and a proportional voting system to allow more voters to elect a preferred
> candidate would better represent the left, the right and the center.
> With these changes, all Americans could be engaged in our presidential
> elections, not just the favored few of Iowa, New Hampshire and the other
> early primary and caucus states. And we just might regularly end up with
> better presidents and members of Congress.
> Takoma Park, Md., Feb. 6, 2012
> *The writer is executive director of FairVote, which promotes election
> reform.*
> *Editors’ Note: **We invite readers to respond to this letter for our
> Sunday Dialogue. We plan to publish responses and Mr. Richie’s rejoinder in
> the Sunday Review. E-mail:letters at nytimes.com*
> ---------------
> Jameson here... I think we should definitely take this opportunity to
> promote reform in general. I'd advise a "yes, and" approach to Richie. As I
> see it, it is definitely not worth trying to talk about the flaws in IRV.
> Richie will get his rejoinder; it's impossible to pre-rebut all of the
> various half-truths or worse that he could come up with, so it's better not
> to try. Also, remember, we want the average reader to go away thinking that
> all the experts agree that election reform is a great idea, not feeling
> that it's a minefield of debate. So say your piece, but be nice to Richie,
> no matter what you think he deserves.
> Personally, I'd love it if the Center for Election Science could have an
> official response. Similarly for all the people with credentials -
> votefair, etc.
> A similar idea: statement signers, do you think we could agree on a
> response in time to get published on Sunday?
> Jameson
> _______________________________________________
> 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/20120208/54f9f785/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list