[EM] Utilitarianism and Perfectionism.

Juho Laatu juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Feb 8 12:29:02 PST 2012

On 8.2.2012, at 16.18, David L Wetzell wrote:

> ...
> At any rate, this is why I've argued that ascertaining the best single-winner election rule is nowhere near as important as pitching the importance of mixing the use of single-winner and multi-winner election rules, with the latter replacing the former more so in "more local" elections that are not competitive often in single-winner elections.

I think I agree when I say that the first decision (in the USA) is whether to make the current two-party system work better or whether to aim at a multi-party system. After that has been agreed, it is easier to pick the used election methods. Now, in addition to technical problems one has also a mixture of political higher level targets injected in the discussion, and that does not make it any easier.

At the top level there is the presidential system that is tailored for the two-party approach. If one would give up the two-party approach at that level one might move also e.g. away from the single-party government approach towards multi-party govennments.

At the lower levels one might consider also two-party oriented methods that are allow also third parties to take part in the competition. I mean that if one wants to stay in the two-party model, one may not need full multi-winner methods at the lower levels. It would be enough to e.g. guarantee that also third parties can survive and get their candidates elected, and that some third party may also one day replace one of the major parties as one of the two leading parties in some states, and maybe at national level too. I think this more lmited approac to multiple parties is quite different from typical multi-party requirements that typically include requirements like proportional represnetation.

Of course one may also adopt different models in the two layers, two-party system for the rop level and proportonal representation for some state level representative bodies. Above I also made the assumption that the strict tw-party approach where there are two fixed parties and that's it, is not considered acceptable / sufficient.

The message I'm trying to carry with this, is simply that after one names the targets, it is much easier to discuss what the best methods to implement those targets would be. Is it a two-party system, a flexible two-party system, or a proportional system, and are the targets different at different levels and in different bodies.


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