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

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Wed Jan 11 02:09:44 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 4:44 am

To: rbj at audioimagination.com

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


> On 01/11/2017 01:37 AM, robert bristow-johnson wrote:



>> i would ditch it. i actually think that political parties serve a

>> purpose. but i think that it should be easier for an independent

>> candidate or a third-party candidate to run on a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

>> with whoever the two major parties prop up to run for office.


>> the Primary election is not the "primary" place to fix these (lack of)

>> multiple-choice issues. it's the General.


>> we can use RCV (that's Condorcet compliant) in the primaries, too,

>> within each party. but i **really** don't like the idea that the top

>> two of one party end up eclipsing the offerings of any of the other

>> parties. in fact i hate that idea. i think California screwed up with

>> this top two thing.


> If you have the complexity budget to go right to Condorcet, yes. The

> impression I got from Erik's post was that he was looking for small

> changes as it'd be hard to change the system entirely.


> But I agree. If you can get Condorcet, get Condorcet.

from an infrastructure POV (like voting machines and software), it's no worse than IRV.  just different (and better) tabulation rules.  and IRV has been used and is currently in use in a few places.  with optical-scan ballots, it's just a matter of software (or firmware).
 not hardware.
in fact, it's *better* than IRV regarding complexity in infrastructure because Condorcet is precinct summable.
but convincing simple people (who don't consider third parties) and craven or selfish politicians to change the ballot is hard enough.  and then with
FairVote being disingenuous by equating voting reform and Ranked Choice with IRV (not they are appropriating the term "RCV" for IRV because they think it sells better, that is really dishonest), only confuses more.
and Rob Richie argued (to me) that IRV could be viewed as an
"incremental change".  problem is that voting and elections is *such* a sensitive thing that *one* screwup result from the incremental change sets back voting reform to square 1.  when doing voting system reform, we need to do it *right*, as best as we know how, from the
if Vermont ever reconsiders Ranked Choice, I will be in the state house plugging one simple mantra:
"If more voters mark their ballots that they prefer Candidate A over Candidate B than the number of voters marking their ballots to the contrary, then Candidate B is not
That is the simple rule and the simple goal.  And who can argue with that?
((grrrr.  still pissed as hell.  this is *worse* than it was 16 years ago and THAT was really bad.  mendacious narcissistic demagogue.  but what can go wrong?
1933, but this time they give him nuclear codes.  "peaceful transfer of power" my ass.  i wish someone would off that motherfucker.))

r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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