Re: Why plurality is not "wrong"

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Fri Apr 16 2004 - 20:15:00 CDT

Jeff D wrote.
>But herein lies the rub: pluralities clearly DO NOT WORK.

Since this discussion has veered off its topic into philosophy I'll toss a log on
the fire.
First I'll admit because of my politics I favor IRV. That said, it's also not true
that IRV is neccessarily superior to plurality. The common analysis that supports this
based on axioms of voting fairness or intuitive notions about social utility functions.
This completely ignores many other encompassing desiderata for effective govenment. It may well be that
a bi-stable system is superior (in long term social utility) to the more continous model IRV creates. It may well
be that its better to have a political party in power long enough to do someting
than create a potentially unstable 3-body system. It may be good not to have all
issues be decided by vote or micro-level input that IRV promotes (e.g. the original supporting notion of the republic versus a pure
democracy). Parliametary systems approximate a proportional representation system and in some instances
work very well (australia) and in others exhibit instability and exagerrated minority
party importance (italy, israel). I'm not bashing parlimetary systems either.

Its simply not a simple thing to say IRV is superior and Plurality is inferior.
Sure I want IRV, but I'd rather let that be a political debate not a technical one.
OVC enables ranked voting and that's just great as it is.

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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:09 2004

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