Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
abd at lomaxdesign.com
Fri Mar 9 16:40:03 PST 2012
At 01:42 PM 3/9/2012, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
>However, that advantage is lost if the parties start cloning the
>candidates. To keep it, I think one would have to have an exhaustive
>runoff, and that would be very impractical.
This kind of discussion has gone on for a long time. It's up in the
air with no support on the ground.
Parties might clone candidates, but it will probably cause them to
lose elections, because
(1) Is the party shown on the ballot? Party voting patterns really do
depend on that.
(2) The most valuable asset of a candidate is name recognition. If a
candidate has widespread positive name recognition, the candidate may
win the election from that alone. Parties work very hard to create
name recognition for their candidate. Creating it for multiple
candidates is harder, the effort is diluted.
So ... parties can gain ballot position, for partisan elections. In
nonpartisan elections, which covers most top two runoff elections in
the U.S., I think, the party name cannot be on the ballot, so people
vote on name recognition. Parties have little to do with it.
When the party is on the ballot, the party is not allowed to list
more than one candidate! They would confuse the hell out of their
less connected supporters if they ran a party candidate plus a clone.
Why not just run the strongest? And put resources into improving that
You might easily think, "well, they can tell their supporters to vote
for A and B." Sure. If they can get supporters to remember the name,
and if they have that many supporters. Look at real politics in the
U.S. Most people are not real partisans, they are "independents,"
though sometimes they will identify with one party more than another.
Exhaustive runoff is impractical. But I don't think the scenario is
at all likely, and could badly backfire.
The best and earliest implementations would be nonpartisan elections,
that are already top two runoff. It's a small improvement, that's
all. But a step in the right direction.
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