Jun 20, 2023Liked by Steven Hill

I very much enjoyed these three Hill/Drutman papers, so thanks.

I've been trying figure out how both authors can agree on so many things and nevertheless disagree on relative merits of RCV-Fusion, and I think I see what's going on here. It's a matter, not so much of what has worked or is clearly likely to work in the future to get the U.S. any closer to the goal both men share regarding the supreme importance of a move to PR. Rather, I think the differences here seem to me to largely stem from the extremely high value Drutman puts on the development of additional parties. As one can tell from his book--as well as from this dialogue--Drutman makes the coordination and other benefits provided by parties absolutely essential to any effective modern democracy, and he believes (with good reason, in my view) that the two-party system has run its course in the U.S. . Hill, may or may not agree with him on the party-related matters. For him, the most pressing short-term goal (i.e., prior to achieving PR--the supreme importance of which, both scholars agree on) seems rather to be elimination of the spoiler effect in winner-take-all elections.

RCV may or may not strengthen third parties: if it does, both scholars might agree that is a nice side benefit. Similarly, Fusion may or may not have benefits on the spoiler front; and again, both scholars may well agree that is a good thing for it to be doing. But as their principal short-terms goals differ, there are bound to be disagreements about what should be focused on--even if we were to agree on what is really working.

In my book, I try to package Approval and a novel version of SNTV to get PR (which I agree is extremely important), but, like many Approval and RCV devotees, I can also probably be accused of failing to give sufficient attention to the importance of parties, particularly with respect to their unique coordination capacities.

So....is anybody here "right"? Well, if we're looking for "a winner" of these sorts of debates, I think the answer will depend on how we prioritizes our values and goals--both short- and long-term. But, in a word, Yeah, every reformer in the general area is right and should keep on keeping on!

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Sorry about all the typos. One day, maybe I'll learn to proofread before hitting "post.". :(

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Thank you for helping the discussion of fusion. RCV4CO's policy committee talks to campaigners as well as voter organizations and elections administrators. Our organization’s goal is to serve the voters of all political viewpoints. A strong plurality of voters say that neither major party serves their purposes - yet they have diverse viewpoints. This speaks to the need for multiple emerging parties and caucuses within parties. (We'll be putting forth The Colorado Fair Elections Plan in the near future to clarify the details on that.)

The problem with fusion voting is how it plays out for the end-user - the voter. For instance, in the 2018 New York Governor's race, Cuomo (D) appeared on the ballot four times and Hawkins (G) appeared on the ballot one time. (https://www.syracuse.com/politics/2018/11/green_party_howie_hawkins_new_york_governor_2018_election.html) We all learned in undergrad political science that the feelings of voters are malleable - being first on the ballot can give a 10% bump to a candidate. Similarly, in the minds of the voters a candidate who appears on the ballot multiple times has an advantage in the form of social pressure.

Drutman’s takes on fusion leaves out the needs of emerging parties and caucuses gain a toe-hold in the public discourse. Fusion is being used by the major parties to marginalize minor parties and independent candidates, thus limiting competition.

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Drutman, Hill, and Horn have considerable knowledge, long experience, and solid reputations - all well beyond my level in such matters. One doesn't need those qualities, however, to recognize arguments as thoughtful, non-ideological, well-argued, and respectful as this one clearly is. Would that more arguments in our national political arena be more so.

Thanks to these three. And thanks to DemocracySOS for providing the platform.

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Jun 21, 2023Liked by Steven Hill

"As I stated at the outset of my article, it’s a big country and there is room for different approaches to political reform."

I'm an advocate for "home rule" and promote state legislation that allows informed municipalities to pick a desired election method. Better Ballot South Carolina is planning to provide periodic presidential polls using RCV to familiarize residents with the method. I encourage other state election reform organizations to do likewise and for FairVote to provide periodic national RCV presidential polls after the general election ballot nominees are identified.

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Let rcv adopt aspects of fusion, like if voters only vote once, it is default presumed that they're letting that candidates party decide the rest of their rankings, as will be made public knowledge in advance....

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