[EM] Election-Methods Digest, Vol 92, Issue 101

David L Wetzell wetzelld at gmail.com
Wed Feb 22 13:28:16 PST 2012

On Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 3:16 PM, Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>wrote:

> 2012/2/22 David L Wetzell <wetzelld at gmail.com>
>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>> From: Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>
>>> To: David L Wetzell <wetzelld at gmail.com>
>>> Cc: election-methods at lists.electorama.com
>>> Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 18:16:57 -0600
>>> Subject: Re: [EM] Kevin V. and Rich F.
>>>> dlw: The center squeeze problem is not a problem when the center is
>>>> always a moving target.
>>> Strongly disagree. I can't even understand why anyone would say that;
>>> logically, the problem is worse if the center is moving, because it's
>>> unpredictable.
>> dlw: Logically speaking, its a matter of how you model the dynamics of
>> party positioning on a kaleidoscopically shifting policy-space.  If it's
>> imperfectly predictable then that means there's rationale to be cautious in
>> how one repositions towards what seems to be the center and any party that
>> claims to represent the center has its work cut out for itself.  If there
>> is center squeeze this further tends to mitigate the repositioning towards
>> the center, which in turn leads to greater political continuity.  You need
>> both continuity and change in politics to progress.
>> Also, if it's dynamic then you got to take into account more than just
>> one election.
>> Essentially, we're approaching the problem with different loss-functions.
>> dlw
> If you're approaching it from the point of view of the voters, rather than
> the candidates, center squeeze is always a possibility and always a
> problem. All the kaleidoscopes average out and you can ignore them.

dlw: You can't just approach it from the perspective of the voters.
They do act not unlike sheep at times and can be led astray.  This is not
unlike the political cycles observed in the time of Plato.
 Democracy->tyranny->plutocracy->Democracy->tyranny or something like that.
 To have 2 major parties at a time, so long as neither can dominate the
other and plenty of voice is given to dissenters or minorities, provides
some quality-control and stability to what could become a bad situation.

> Jameson
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