[EM] correction

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 
candidate's chances.

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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