[EM] SODA arguments

Jameson Quinn jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Fri Feb 17 19:05:22 PST 2012

> So in the end, it's more a question of giving a last chance to realize
> that someone isn't really the CW, rather than not electing someone who is
> the CW.
> Concerns me a little. I'm not sure candidates would do the thing their
> supporters would want (or even that they themselves feel is
> best) due to pressures like "staking their reputation." For instance, I
> can see a moderate liberal giving his votes to a more extreme
> liberal even when he himself prefers a moderate conservative. A voter
> whose personal ranking crosses the line like that might
> want to avoid delegating.

This scenario is about whether to elect the squeezed centrist or the
opposite side. The extremist on your own side is already out of the
running. Moreover, as a voter, you can already see if your candidate
predeclared for a same-side exremist.

> It seems to me that there would be a lot more candidates under SODA. It's
> pretty hard to spoil the race and there is benefit to
> be had in receiving some votes. It seems parliamentary that way. How many
> supporters is too few to consider running?
> Well, there is the 5% cutoff, below which your votes are automatically
> assigned for you.
> That's not really a punishment though. The candidate will probably get
> what they would've done anyway.
> I really think this is an issue that might need a rule of some kind. Why
> nominate one when you can nominate five? Anybody
> who appeals to some segment of the electorate could help bring in votes.
> Can you imagine if, for example, the Republicans
> were able to nominate every single one of their hopefuls for the
> presidency, with the knowledge that in the end all their votes
> would probably pool together? You don't have to like Gingrich, you can
> vote for Cain. And maybe your vote will end up
> with Gingrich, but without Cain you might not have cast it at all.

That's a fair point. But look at the other side. Imagine Obama, with a
single "votecatcher" on his left, let's say Grayson. To me it's clear that
the two-person tag team (in this case, on the left) would be much better
off than the 6-person one (in this case, on the right). Too many people
would be tempted to approve just some subset of the Republicans. And
similarly, if it were just Romney and (pre-meltdown) Perry against
(non-incumbent) Obama, Clinton, (pre-scandal) Edwards, and Kucinich... I
think that Romney and Perry would have the advantage. That is to say, more
is not always better, even in SODA.

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