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Dr.Rebecca Mercuri: Hawai'i's Instant Runoff Legislation -- Veto Needed

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 02:11 PM
Original message
Dr.Rebecca Mercuri: Hawai'i's Instant Runoff Legislation -- Veto Needed
Mark Crispin Miller - 4/15/2011 : Hawaii gov must VETO bill that would make hand-counting ballots near-impossible!
Many people think that Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) would do a lot to weaken the two parties death-grip on our pseudo-democratic system.

But IRV requires computerized voting systems, and would therefore only strengthen that death-grip, since it would make hand-counting paper ballots virtually impossible, as Rebecca Mercuri explains below.


MCM

Hawaiis Instant Runoff Voting Legislation Veto Needed


BY REBECCA MERCURI PHD Friday, April 15th, 2011 In the aftermath of the controversial 2000 Presidential Election, the Help America Vote Act was enacted, which (among other initiatives) provided funds for the procurement of new voting systems



Many states rushed out to buy electronic voting equipment that afforded no way to perform an independent recount from ballots that the voters themselves had validated for correctness. Instead, Hawaii did the right thing by evaluating the pros and cons of the available products, ultimately settling on a largely paper-based system. This enables votes to easily and simply be counted, using the traditional 1+1=2 method, if the computer tallies are questioned or a manual recount becomes necessary.

Unfortunately, this will not continue to be the case if Governor Abercrombie fails to veto H.B. 638 which has recently passed both the Hawaii House and Senate. This dangerous bill came to the floor without ample opportunity for opposition testimony. It allows for the introduction of a technique known as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), which is confusing to voters and makes hand-counting virtually impossible, thus increasing the states reliance on proprietary and unexaminable computer software for generating its election results.
...
IRV actually does not accomplish what H.B. 638 suggests, that it somehow allows all voters to vote for their favorite candidate without fear of helping to elect their least favorite candidate. Not only can the least favorite candidate be elected with this method, but it will be completely non-obvious why this has happened when indeed it does occur. This is because complicated rules will be applied, such as the ones described in the Bill, as follows:
...
more at the link




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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. The Republican assaults upon HI must end. They will ruin HI.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 02:33 PM
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2. Quite honestly, if it loosens the death grip that the "two" parties have on our government, ...
...I'll take my chances with it. I believe that IRV
will dramatically change the fortunes of the smaller
parties as well as completely eliminating the "But
Nader made Gore lose!" argument.

Tesha
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Two Parties entrenched wherever IRV tried:
IRV leads to two party domination:

"The three IRV countries: Ireland (mandated in their 1937 constitution), Australia and Malta (and more recently Fiji for a brief period of IRV democracy before its coup) all are 2-party dominated (in IRV seats) despite having many other features in their governments which would seem much more multiparty-genic than the USA with IRV added will ever have. So you can be sure the USA with IRV would be 2-party dominated too." - from the Center for Range Voting's report "Why does IRV lead to 2-party domination?

http://rangevoting.org/TarrIrvSumm.html
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Ireland rather disproves your point, doesn't it?
It shows that, in their IRV voting - ie for president - a 3rd party candidate - Mary Robinson, Labour - did get elected recently. So, in the past 15 years, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour have all had either a President (in the IRV election) or a PM (in the STV election for representatives).

Just looking at the IRV presidential election, we see that in the last 2 elections: in 1997, FF won, with FG 2nd; in 1990, Mary Robinson (basically Labour, but she did also get the support of the Workers' Party) won, with FF 2nd, FG 3rd. And these elections produced very popular presidents - so popular that no-one bothered running against McAleese in 2004. There's no way you can call that '2 party dominated'.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. I strongly disagree on all counts.
1. IRV does in fact loosen the grip of the two-party duopoly as it abolishes plurality wins.
2. IRV is not that complicated. Ballots could still be hand counted, you just have to do a bit more counting. A small amount of googling indicates that the assertion of this OP that IRV is so complicated that it can only be done with computers is:


Total Bullshit



Start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. where has IRV loosened the grip of the two-party duopoly?
pray tell?

I've studied IRV for years and find no such evidence.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Australia
Mostly the point is that IRV in Australia has prevented a duopoly from taking root, even though Australia has had periods where only two parties had significant ballot presence, those eras were short lived.
http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2004/guide/pref...

Our current system has been stuck in place since 1861. It is awful, corrupt, undemocratic. I support all reasonable efforts to replace it.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. What do minor parties in Australia think about Instant Runoff Voting
What do minor parties in Australia think about Instant Runoff Voting
(since they actually live in a country that uses it)?

....
The web site of the Australian Green Party says:
The Australian Greens will:

2.1 work to re-assert the authority of the Federal Parliament by:

making it more representative of the range of opinion within society through the use of proportional representation to elect the House of Representatives
...
So what are they saying?

Are these third parties saying they want to get rd of IRV and replace it with a different single-winner voting system such as range voting? No. These parties express few or no opinions about which single-winner voting systems are superor and inferior, although they probably mostly believe that IRV is superior to plurality voting.

They are saying that they want to get rid of IRV (instant runoff voting) and replace it with multi-winner PR elections.

Why? Probably because all the Australian third parties keep losing IRV elections, whereas they do win a small but significant fraction of PR seats. For example (I am writing this in 2008) the Australian Greens, as Australia's largest third party, have, in their entire history, won exactly one federal IRV seat. This was the (Cunningham) House seat won by Michael K. Organ, who served 2 years (2002-2004). The reason Organ managed to win this seat was that it was not a normal race consisting of the NatLib candidate, the Labour candidate, and some third-party candidates. In this particular race, there was no NatLib candidate. The NatLibs in their current vote recommendation recommend the Greens above Labour. Hence we expect that Organ in this election got most of the NatLib votes.

...more at the link
http://rangevoting.org/AusIRV.html


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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. If you followed the link you would see that
Australian politics is fluid: parties split, coalitions form, it is a true multi-party system in which minor parties such as the Green Party actually play a viable role. Proportional Representation is another reform approach I support. I'll support any reasonable change that would end the fucked up corrupt duopoly we have today.
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