[EM] How would you fix California's top two primary?

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Wed Jan 11 01:51:40 PST 2017

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: Re: [EM] How would you fix California's top two primary?

From: "Kristofer Munsterhjelm" <km_elmet at t-online.de>

Date: Wed, January 11, 2017 3:34 am

To: fdpk69p6uq at snkmail.com

"EM" <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>


> On 01/11/2017 06:43 AM, fdpk69p6uq at snkmail.com wrote:

>> On Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 6:56 PM, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:


>> because it's

>> better than just picking two Approval winners right out.



>> You *should* pick the top two Approval (or Score) winners to go to the

>> run-off. This isn't proportional representation. The goal of a

>> single-winner election is to find the candidate who most closely matches

>> (the entirety of) the population. If there has to be a runoff, then it

>> should be between the two people who are most liked, because they are

>> closest to the centroid of the population.
no.  that is decidedly not true.
whether the runoff be delay or instant the candidate most preferred by voters is not necessarily one of the two highest vote getters.
again (just because it's easy for me) the Burlington 2009
mayoral election (decided by IRV).  neither of the two top vote-getters (counting first-choice votes when there were three candidates left in the runoff) were preferred over the Condorcet winner who did not get into the final runoff.  they (or "we", but not me) repealed IRV
anyway, but a delayed runoff would have done no better.  it would still have been a runoff between the two candidates who where less preferred (if the voters are asked) than the Condorcet winner we had that year who was also the most centrist candidate.
>> This means they will
>> be moderates from the same party, and that's a good thing because that's

>> where the average voter leans, too. Then voters can then choose between

>> the two based on hairstyle or whatever.


> But if you do that, then cloning is easy and rewards the party with the

> most disciplined voters. Each party simply fields two candidates who are

> as close as possible to each other, and then the runoff becomes pretty

> much redundant.


> Not a good outcome, I'd say!
me neither.
what i don't get is all of this interest in Approval (or Score) over Ranked-Choice Voting anyway.  asking voters (like they are judges at the Olympics) to score candidates is really silly. and Approval, while simple in concept, also
directly confronts voters with the tactical burden of deciding whether or not to Approve of their second choice.  No one has been able to address that concern *simply*.
Ranked ballot with Condorcet-compliant tabulation of the votes and deciding the winner.  No one here has been
particularly successful at demonstrating why another method is simpler overall and works better.  Instructions to voters are simple. Sincere voting is clear (voters know exactly how to rank their second choice).  Transparent and precinct-summable.  And, unless there is a cycle (which
I am convinced will be uncommon) there is a simple refutation to any challenge claiming the wrong candidate was elected or that a spoiler spoiled the election.  Like a tie or any very close election, a Condorcet cycle is indicative that it was close and any of the candidates (in the Smith set)
have strong voter support and are a plausible winner.
i think political parties have a useful political purpose.  i just don't think it should be limited to *two* parties, and while i don't exactly mind that there are two *dominant* parties and, like competing products or companies, i
expect the dominance of the major parties to (in a self-fulfilling manner) continue to support their dominance, like the major parties will have more supporters and more money.  But what I *don't* want is Duverger's Law giving the two dominant parties an *additional* edge in the election by
scaring most voters from voting for a third-party candidate they might like better out of fear that the candidate they hate gets elected.
I think California's primary system is crap.  Each candidate, whether major or minor party or independent, should pass a ballot access requirement
(number of valid signatures) to get on the ballot.  Let each party have their own slugfest to decide who they will prop up.  Even losing candidates in the primary or caucus fight **should** be able to run as an independent as long as that candidate gets enough signatures.  And then
let voters decide in the General (among two or three or five or six candidates) who should get elected.  The ballot access requirements should be tough enough to normally limit (to a single winner seat) the number of candidates on the ballot to a reasonable number (i think less than ten, even
less than eight).
unrelated: I am still just sick and mad-as-hell about what happened on November 8.  9 more days until doomsday.  i can't believe how the media is trying to "normalize" Cap'n Combover.  i wish someone would off that motherfucker *and* his
VP.  (that's so Christian and tolerant of me.)
r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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