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I Complete La Follette

Nathan, Nathan, Nathan…. This is one of the lasting reforms ann legacies of La Follette and the Wisconsin Idea. Why do you want to ruin our legacy? Source: jef4wi

Wow, you know when a die hard Democrat starts quoting Republicans you’re in trouble. I would argue that me and Bob are the same page here. I am simply taking La Follette to his logical conclusion. As Jef himself quoted La Follette’s aim was to

weaken the grip of political bosses by creating an open-primary system.

My post was arguing no more than weakening the grip of corrupt political parties of a non-existent primary system. Look at Herb Kohl, even though his politics are to the right of most Democrats he continues to run with little challenge every six years. He is so far to the right that Republicans are unable or unwilling to endorse a challenger. Lets be clear, backroom deals in smoke filled room by party bosses is not what I’m after. I think enough of that exists irregardless of a primary.

Lets use the recent Senate race with an idealized primary scenario. I don’t think it would be a stretch to assume Herb Kohl and Tommy Thompson would move on to challenge Rae Vogeler for U.S. Senate. I do not think that either Thompson nor Kohl are in sync with the needs and values of most Wisconsinites. We can rest assured that in our political duopoly that Thompson or Kohl would be the winner.

Now, lets say Wisconsin had IRV instead of a primary system. All of the candidates in the original primary scenario could still run for Senate. There is no more of a need for smoke filled rooms in this scenario than the ones that currently exist to choose who will be in the primary. An added benefit to the IRV scenario is the majority (look at the difference between primary and general election totals) of Wisconsin citizen will determine who should be their next Senator.

I know Diamond Mine finds this IRV thing confusing. IRV is simply letting one vote in a primary and general election at the same time, in the same place, and on the same ballot. First, Dave confuses IRV with compulsory voting, and then attempts to argue that, unlike the U.S. I guess, Australia has maintained a solid two party system. He fails to mention they have over eight functioning political parties and the duopoly effect would be much worse without IRV.

Dave Diamond seems far more concerned with compulsory and donkey voting than less than 20% of the voting population in Milwaukee County voting in the last election. What he really resents is the non-monotonicity of IRV. Monotonicity is simply that ones initial plurality is not hurt by voters 2nd or 3rd preference. By definition any system that requires a majority instead of a plurality will be non-monotonicity.

The Demopublican poll illustrates this point perfectly, while on the first round Diamond Dave had plurality of 40%, by the final round he lost the election to Herb Kohl. Herb Kohl won because he was other candidates 2nd and 3rd choices. Herb Kohl won because close to 100%of all votes were counted. If Diamond Dave won by simple plurality 20% of the votes would have been thrown out.

The irony is that while he attacks the Greens for their ‘conceit of lesser evilism’ that is the nature of a plurality based voting system. It creates animosity between the majority and minority parties because their participation threatens the duopoly power structure. It also creates a “politics of lesser evilism’ in which more and more issues of concern to Americans are taken off the table, and areas of duopoly conflict are relegated to stem cells. Either way you slice it a plurality based system is one driven by conflict. In IRV Dave Diamond sees voters voting against who they want to win rather than an electoral system driven by cooperation.

In the IRV scenario I would have voted Vogeler, Kohl, Masel, Thompson, Lorge. I imagine many who voted for Masel or Vogeler would have chosen Kohl in the 2nd or 3rd round. Even if Tommy had a solid plurality, Kohl still would have likely won the majority. IRV would nurture a multi-party unified left.


2 responses to “I Complete La Follette

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