[EM] Party-based top two with approval

Kevin Venzke stepjak at yahoo.fr
Fri Mar 9 04:47:22 PST 2018

Just a quick idea on the last point: I can imagine a situation where there's a minor, established party called "Reform," and in some election an independent candidate decides he's going to label himself "Reform" because 1. the label isn't too much of a stretch, 2. he thinks he's strong enough to win within that list, and 3. he wants a boost from the "established" Reform voters. If the original Reform voters aren't OK with this, they don't have much recourse. They can change their name, but they can't protect the new name either. Whether it's "false flag" would be disputed.
But this is assuming there is no actual party with a role in the process. Below it sounds like you're saying there is still a Reform party who can decline to advance the candidate. So I can declare that I'm running as Reform, but it means that *if I win* on the list, the Reform party organization can opt to throw Reform's win away and let someone else have it. That's an interesting idea. The party still has control of the list, but only at the end, and always at the expense of forfeiting their "win."
I wonder if such a system would be "stable," as in, have general acceptance. A party in the position of wanting to forfeit their seats because of rogue candidates trying to piggyback, I can imagine would start to argue for a change in the rules. On the other hand if a seat is forfeited it's presumably lose-lose for the party, voters, and the candidate. So maybe it's a threat that would never actually happen.

      De : Rob Lanphier <robla at robla.net>
 À : Kevin Venzke <stepjak at yahoo.fr> 
Cc : Election Methods <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>
 Envoyé le : Lundi 5 mars 2018 0h04
 Objet : Re: [EM] Party-based top two with approval
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for thinking this through.  I'm struggling to figure out my
position, so it's good to be able to vet this here.  More inline...

On Sun, Mar 4, 2018 at 3:24 PM, Kevin Venzke <stepjak at yahoo.fr> wrote:
> I maybe misunderstood part. I would expect in a jungle primary that there wouldn't be a need to restrict what party a candidate claims to be from, since party affiliation isn't a consideration within the method. But under your proposal, parties can decline to advance their winning candidate. So some "party" is making a decision.
> I was also thinking (maybe incorrectly on rereading) that the approval winner on each list was always counted from all voters. If that's true then it's important for parties to be able to exclude candidates from their list. If it's not true then there is less need to control who runs as what party. But it seems a little odd if it's not controlled... Taking it to an extreme I can imagine a system where every candidate just has to claim to be left-wing or right-wing and we somehow do something with that.

That's kinda where we're at in California today, thanks to Prop 14:


In the status quo, we have a situation which can work out really
poorly for either party.  As of right now, there's no good way to
winnow down the list.  Right now, both Democrats and Republicans are
trying to get candidates to voluntarily bow out of some races:

...but they have no orderly way of doing it.

I think, under my proposal, even though candidates would be free to
declare themselves as running under a particular party without support
of that party, it could easily backfire.  Since voters declare their
party preference in addition to the candidate, they would need to win
the overall approval vote in order to stay on the ballot.  If they
only win the approval of self-declared members of the party, then the
party would have agency to decline their advancement to the general.

> It sounds like you're saying it's a problem (or else think I view it as a problem) that the parties can't winnow candidates prior to the jungle primary. I don't necessarily view that as a problem... At least, if the jungle primary is supposed to serve as a primary then there shouldn't be a lot of control beforehand. (I'm fine with candidates dropping out on their own when polls say they won't be competitive.) My fear is that if parties have the ability and inclination to winnow candidates prior to the primary, then will they really see a need to offer some choices in the primary?
> I guess if under your method, all the party lists just have one candidate, this is hardly broken. An overall Approval winner can run on whatever list they want and advance to the final round.
> I would like to deduce party lists organically but it's tricky to come up with something simple. It sounds like maybe you're saying the candidates declare a name for the party they represent and these become options on the ballot for the voters to self-identify. I think that might be abusable... I can imagine a candidate trying to attach themselves (while encouraging the same of their supporters) to a "list" they think they can win, to get an extra boost from the other votes for that list.

Can you help come up with a more specific example of this?  I agree
with you, it *seems* that a candidate would be motivated to attach
themselves to a party in what I referred to as a "false flag"
operation.  I fear that you could be right about it being abusable.
However, as it's been rolling around in my head, I haven't been able
to devise a specific example where that actually would actually

The only false flag operation I could envision being successful is
more of an intra-party insurgency, which seems much more benign.  I
think the idea of a party sincerely getting co-opted by voters willing
to self-identify as supporting that party can be a very good thing.


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