[EM] irv and the politics of electoral reform.

David L Wetzell wetzelld at gmail.com
Wed Jun 26 12:48:55 PDT 2013

This is in response to an earlier post by Juho where he speculates that IRV
is the preferred reform by politicians in the two major parties who want to
accommodate change that does the least harm to the status quo.  I think
it's useful to consider the ideas of "the politics of electoral
by Alan Renwick, as reviewed by Patrick Dunleavy.  Renwick breaks
"electoral reforms" into two categories, "‘majority elite imposition" and
"elite-mass interactions".  The first is a faux reform pushed by the elites
to increase their control.  The latter is a reform pushed by the masses on
the elites whereby both sides accommodate each other some to give way to a
new political equilibrium with a different system for the circulation of
the elites.

I think the "reform" in the US that wins the majority elite imposition
prize is "top two primary".  It certainly "improves" on fptp the least of
all possible "reforms" and removes a lot of important voices in the final

I see IRV as an "elite mass interaction".  It doesn't end the tendency to a
two-party dominated system, but it does change the nature of that two-party
dominated system so that both must hew more to the center and new ideas or
frames for wedge-issues can be brought up by outsiders.

I also see that FairVote's proposed upgrade of "top two primary" to that a
"top four primary" is essentially trying to coopt the momentum such a false
reform has gotten for disingenuous reasons so that it'd actually be useful.
 It also "solves" some of the problems with IRV by limiting the number of
candidates in  the final election to four.  There are only 41 ways to rank
up to 3 of four candidates and so it'd be feasible to sort ballots into
these forty-one categories at the precinct level.

This fits with my proposal to rally around IRV and then if or when IRV
proves dysfunctional, using IRV to proffer alts to IRV.  If we make IRV+
"American forms of PR" in "more local elections" the progressive-centrist
consensus for reform then it'll pave the way for further experiements down
the road that'll give some of the ideas this list focuses a lot on more


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20130626/1cc22519/attachment-0003.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list