Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Coming Year

Just want to let everyone know, we're not dead. It's just that in September I bought a house, in October I got married, in November I was standing with the local Occupation group, and in December it gets really, really dark and depressing in Alaska so I just didn't feel like writing anything. But now the solstice is behind us, the new year is in front of us, and we'll be back with a vengeance starting in January. My apologies for the unexpected absence (and my further apologies for making a "my apologies for not posting" post.) I left a couple of important comments un-answered in my haste to the bank/altar/park/dark, and we'll (if all goes to plan) be starting off with a response to those early next year. See you then!


  1. In order: 1. Congratulations! 2. CONGRATULATIONS! 3. How receptive have Occupiers been to voting reform? 4. My condolences. 5. Oorah!

  2. I've actually found it kind of difficult to steer the conversation around to talking about election reform. The last time I checked in (before Thanksgiving) it was still all about just being in the space and being acknowledged in that space, not yet about using that to agitate for specific changes.

    I think, considering the monetary aspects driving this, that publicly-financed elections (i.e., "get the money out of politics") would be a more natural cause for Occupy to move in support of. And that's a good idea too, although obviously I want to put the electoral reform bug in their ear as well.

    Also: Thank you, thank you, it's only really bad for four or five weeks, and thank you for reading!

  3. Congratulations! Is your wife going to blog??

    I now live in IL and am adequately employed.

    I have been a part of the Election Methods listserve. I've been arguing that we need to value the X*P of election rules and that in the short run, |Xirv-Xoth|<<Pirv-Poth, especially if we hybridize irv with approval voting, couple it with an even stronger push for American forms of Proportional Representation, learn the lessons from Burlington and prevent ourselves from getting divided and conquered like what happened there.

    I've also been arguing that we don't need to move away from a 2-party dominated polity so long as we move away from our tendency to be 1-party dominated. This is part and parcel of my defense of IRV, since the diffs in election rules are less important when there are fewer serious candidates and arguably IRV does tend to keep a system 2-party dominated and to give the two biggest parties strong incentives to realign around the moving center. Cases like Burlington happen when there is a transition as to which 2 parties are dominant and one of the bigger parties has not aligned itself near the true political center. The ability of a non Condorcet-Winner party to win under IRV is the stick that coerces the major parties to realign around the true center...

    It's been interesting...

    WRT CFR,
    1. It's damn hard to get at the nat'l level. #OWS's ethos tends to be on more local/state issues.
    2. It's damn hard to enforce well when the foxes are guarding the henhouse.
    3. I think the answer likely to emerge from #OWS movement are networks of LTPs that specialize in "more local" and vote strategically in "less local" elections so as to check the influence of $peech. This need not end the existence of minor parties, but given our current dysfunctional election system, they're more fit and better continue the #0WS emph on decentralization

    And, of course, I hope they'll rally around American forms of PR that increase the number of competitive elections (a natural, easier to enforce way to check $peech), remove the perverse incentives due to the tendency of our system to tilt to effective single-party rule, and that give economic/ethnic/ideological minorities better chances to be swing voters.


  4. btw, I got a qualified endorsement of IRV3/AV3, based on its robustness to strategic voting from Jameson Quinn, inventor/advocate of the SODA version of Approval voting.