[EM] Election-method reform bill in U.S. Congress

Erik Moeller eloquence at gmail.com
Thu Jul 6 18:09:43 PDT 2017

On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 5:40 PM,  <fdpk69p6uq at snkmail.com> wrote:

> Is that bad?  A government that has trouble passing laws until they're
> modified to appeal to a diverse majority seems like a good thing to me.

I think it's important to distinguish between political parties and
political opinions. Parties always contain within them some amount of
diversity, and fragmentation of parties may not significantly increase
diversity beyond a certain point of diminishing returns. Parties can
split because of personality conflicts and struggles for power that
have nothing to do with larger ideological differences in the general

I don't know if this is harmful under all circumstances. It is IMO
definitely harmful if you generally want your government to be formed
with and sustained by an affirmative majority in parliament, because
you end up with lots of parties who, by behaving "rationally" within
their self-interested context, end up unable to form a government: "We
said clearly beforehand that we would never form a coalition with
party X, so we cannot now break this promise, or voters will punish us
next time around."

If, like Norway, you're comfortable with minority gov'ts and ad hoc
parliamentary majorities, fragmentation may be less harmful.


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