[EM] irv and the politics of electoral reform.

David L Wetzell wetzelld at gmail.com
Wed Jun 26 12:50:12 PDT 2013

I should add that the book doesn't consider more than elite mass
interactions because possible changes that'd benefit the masses without
accommodating the existing elites in some how don't get passed.



On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 2:48 PM, David L Wetzell <wetzelld at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> reform <http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/8266>" 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
> round.
> 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
> opportunities.
> dlw
> dlw
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