Stop downtown's attack on RCV

 

Voters in the runoffs were overwhelmingly whiter, older and more conservative than the city as a whole

 

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OPINION The long-time foes of political reform at the Chamber of Commerce and San Francisco Chronicle have launched an effort to repeal ranked choice voting (RCV) and public financing of campaigns. Supervisors Sean Elsbernd and Mark Farrell have introduced a June 2012 charter amendment to repeal RCV, with public financing also in their crosshairs.

Many of us fought hard to pass these reforms, and I am reminded of when the downtown corporate interests repealed district elections in 1980. They blamed the assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone on district elections and the election of Supervisor Dan White. San Francisco has a history of the anti-reformers waiting for their moment of opportunity. Now these same corporate interests think that moment has arrived again.

The Bay Guardian first reported about an anti-RCV campaign in 2009, when a meeting of downtown business leaders was hosted by Steve Falk, Chamber of Commerce CEO (and past publisher of the Chronicle) to discuss repealing RCV.

As part of that effort, polling also was done to see if they could repeal district elections and public financing. They also filed a bogus anti-RCV lawsuit which was unanimously rejected by two courts. Elsbernd's repeal legislation is the culmination of their calculated efforts.

It's clear what these special interests want: a return to the days when local races were decided in low-turnout December elections, and those who had the most money pounded their opponents into submission. An Ethics Commission report in 2003 found that independent expenditures increased by a factor of four during December runoffs, while another study found that voter turnout dropped by more than a third in 10 of the 14 December runoff races held from 2000-2003. Turnout in one city attorney runoff dropped to 16 percent.

Just as importantly, the December electorate did not represent the diversity of San Francisco's population. Voters in the runoffs were overwhelmingly whiter, older and more conservative than the city as a whole, as voter turnout plummeted in December among racial minorities, the poor and young people. Simply put, a return to December runoffs will allow groups like the Chamber and its allies to dump huge amounts of money into negative campaigns aimed at the more conservative December electorate when most San Franciscans don't vote.

In the era of unlimited independent expenditures by corporations (thanks the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United), political reforms like RCV are crucial for protecting our democracy. Both RCV and public financing have greatly improved local elections — since their inception San Francisco has doubled the number of racial minorities elected to the Board of Supervisors. Elections are now decided in higher turnout November contests, allowing more people to have a voice in choosing their local representatives. Winning candidates in RCV contests have won with an average of 30 percent more votes than winners in the old December runoffs.

San Francisco has saved $10 million in taxes by not holding second elections, money used for other public needs. Candidates also haven't needed to raise money for a second election, which helps level the playing field. Progressive candidates have never done well in citywide elections, but this year in RCV contests Ross Mirkarimi was elected sheriff and John Avalos mobilized and finished a strong second. That bodes well for progressives' future.

It's no coincidence that Supervisor Elsbernd is trying to get his charter amendment on a low-turnout June ballot, when the electorate is more conservative. The downtown corporate interests are clear on what they must repeal in order to elect the candidates they want — RCV, public financing, and ultimately district elections. Progressives need to be just as clear on what reforms we must defend.

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano represents the 13th District.

Comments

OK, so they just got rid of Occupy San Francisco, and now the corporate interests are going after local democracy. It all fits, doesn't it? The Chronicle has been beating this drum for years, always attacking RCV, public financing and district elections. When I saw they reported that bogus Chamber of Commerce poll on page one, above the fold, claiming that San Franciscans are "confused" by RCV, I knew that the Empire was striking back. And then they had that bogus lawsuit that two federal courts unanimously rejected, it was a completely ridiculous lawsuit claiming that restricting San Francisco voters to only three rankings was somehow unconstitutional. Yet in just about every other election we have in San Francisco, as well is in the United States, we only have ONE choice in every election. With RCV we get three times as many choices, and yet they claim that is somehow unconstitutional, while all our other elections are constitutional? It never made any sense, and they had the biggest lobbying and law firm in the state arguing it in the courts, all that backed by real estate interests who paid for the lawyers. And of course it was covered by the Chronicle in their newspaper every step of the way, in vivid detail. Because that way they could claim "RCV is being sued" as if there was something wrong with it. They were trying to win in the court of public opinion, not in the courtroom. It was all part of their calculated campaign against RCV.

So I agree with what Ammiano is saying here, we have to defend our local democracy against these corporate raiders. I think we also should launch a boycott of the San Francisco Chronicle. It's already lost something like 50% of its circulation since 2007 because it's such a horrible newspaper, who wants to buy it when you can get so much news for free on the web? San Francisco would be better off without this rag of a newspaper. Boycott the Chronicle!

Posted by Not taking no more on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 11:46 am

So Tom Ammiano made a very good point that before Rank Choice Voting , it was a very small percentage of the electorate participating in the run off. This small percentage tended to be older ,white and more well off because they had the time to go to the polls for a second time. They were not really representative of the SF demographic. If you think about the amount of time and effort it takes for a low income person to go to the polls twice you can see why this happened

Posted by Guest Judy B on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

The demographic that votes twice does.

You're making excuses.

The amount of time it takes to vote by mail or go to the polls, no matter a person's income, that time is the same.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

That's a totally bogus argument. Low income people can mail in their ballots, just like anybody else.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

Odd thing for a white person to say though . .

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

Who said we shouldn't want white people voting? Ammiano didn't say that.

Posted by Guest too on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

lots of white people vote. Why is that a problem to him or you?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

I don't have a problem with white people voting, and I don't read Ammiano's piece as saying that. It's saying that, with December ruonffs voter turnout dropped citywide by huge amounts, but it dropped even more among minorities, young people and poor. So that means the December electorate was not a good snapshop of the city as a whole, it was it's own little entitlement group that was whiter, older, wealthier – and more conservative – than the rest of the city. I for one think it's better to have elections decided when the voter turnout is the highest, so that the electorate is most representative. Don't you?

Also, it's interesting that you would raise the racial aspect of what Ammiano wrote about, but he also said that the electorate was older and more conservative. Do you not object to when people raise the age and partisan dimensions to things, only the racial ones? If so, why is that?

Posted by Guest too on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

represent a bigger proportion of voters in runoffs than at other times? Is he suggesting that whites somehow can't be trusted to vote the right way, and so we need to somehow suppress their ability to express their opinions?

The only voters who ever show up are those who want to. We don't need to decide on a voting system based solely on whether we think the resultant demographic will suit our own personal views.

Lib's love RCV even though it usually disadvanctages them, as Avalos just learned to his detriment. While when someone like Lee wins with over 60% of the votes, it doesn't matter what system we have.

Tom wants a voting system that will enable the minority to control results. Word to Tom. Such a system doesn't exist. And thank god for that.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

This thread of comments illustrates the kind of distortions that the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Chronicle have been pushing to reverse ranked choice voting. How low will they go to rollback the progress of democracy.

Posted by Guest Three on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

Why do white voters scare Ammiano?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

is manipulated.

Thanks for the clarification.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

Those wanting more fodder for answering downtown on RCV should visit www.sfbetterelelections.com ... good stuff.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

Thanks for Ammiano's excellent analysis of the special interests that are trying to dismantle these important improvements to democracy.

They've been working overtime to create confusion. It's time for San Francisco to just tell them no.

Posted by David Cary on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

So I guess you're right.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

If you want to look at it that way, then RCV also denied Chris Cunnie the opportunity for a runoff against Ross Mirkarimi. Prof. Corey Cook and political consultant David Latterman published an analysis recently that concluded that if these elections had gone to a December runoff, Lee would have won easily over Avalos but that Mirkarimi likely would have lost in a close race. So the only progressive to win a citywide election in recent years wouldn't be there.

You can't have it both ways. You can't pick and choose when to use RCV or not, use it in some races when it suits progressives and other races when it doesn't. And on the whole, RCV has been a big help for progressives by getting rid of a low turnout December election where the downtown money could use their hack attack ads and independent expenditures to pound progressive candidates. Why do you think the conservatives on the Board of Supervisors, Sean Elsbernd and Mark Farrell, and the Chamber of Commerce and San Francisco Chronicle and downtown real estate interests, are all attacking RCV and trying to go back to December elections? Ammiano ran one of the most exciting progressive campaigns for mayor in modern history when he got into the December runoff with a write-in campaign. And yet here he is defending RCV, for all the reasons he has stated.

If San Francisco was still using the old December runoff system, we would be in the middle of another election right now, in fact THREE elections for mayor, district attorney and sheriff. Even though everybody knows who's going to win the mayor and district attorney races since both of those were won by landslide margins. And the only progressive elected citywide might have lost. It would cost us, the taxpayers, $4 million bucks for that extra election, money that can be better spent on crucial city services. And for what? To get more negative campaign ads and mailers dumped on our doorsteps? No thanks.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

But we should never support it because we think it means that someone who otherwise could never have won might have a chance.

RCV should achieve the same result, but cheaper.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

We still have Avalos to whine about Sharps park on the BOS.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

RCV didn't deny Avalos anything. With RCV, voters put Avalos in the final, instant runoff and had their best opportunity to show their fullest support for him.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

.But he was still denied a chance.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

People who don't vote are self selected.

It doesn't matter what demographic slice they make up, they have chosen not to vote.

Progressive race theory is that if your demographic slice is too lazy to vote, a rules change is in order.

Posted by Matlock on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

I mst say I'm amazed that with all he hype of RCV increasing turnout' the SF elections department shows the runoff turnout to be a dismal 30%. WTF is that all about?

Traditional runoff elections for contested elections had over 50% even in December.

RcV was supposed to save money but it really hasn't happened. I read $300,000 was spent on education????

Soon, SF will have weekend voting there is no barrier to voting, vs. a decade ago. If you want to vote you can.

One person, one vote. Give voters several days and weekends to vote if they want to.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

The claim that RCV promised to bring more voters to the polls is another Chronic distortion. RCV did promise and did accomplish letting voters completely vote in November and avoid typically low turnout December elections. That's why you haven't seen RCV elections with only 16% turnout, like when Dennis Hererra was first elected as city attorney in 2001 ...
in a contested December runoff.

The turnout this year was 42.5%. Don't believe the fibs le Chronic tells. Go look at the Department of Elections website now to see the numbers your self.

RCV is one person, one vote. If you want to change something to one person, one vote, start with school board elections.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

Only 141,647 voted in the runoff. There are 464,380 registered voters. These numbers are from the elections website.

That's 30% turnout.

252,893 people voted in the last December Mayoral runoff. A 54% turnout.

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 21, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

The problem with Ammiano's argument is the premise that you should formulate your voting laws to favor certain races, ages, and ideologies.

If a certain group votes more often in runoffs, they have earned the right to wield greater influence. The world is run by the people who show up, or who at least take 90 seconds to drop a ballot in the mail.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

"... they have earned the right to wield greater influence." !?! Hmm. Sounds like you *want* the City's leaders to be chosen by an electorate that is whiter, richer, and more conservative than the City at large. (I guess if you're part of that group, that would make sense.)

If you really believe in democracy, you would want the City's leaders to be chosen at an election where turnout is largest. Those who instead believe in control would want the City's leaders to be chosen at an election where turnout is low. Isn't that what Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed said he likes, low turnout elections because then his side will win?

So, Mr./Ms. Guest, which is it? Democracy, or control?

for no reason other than he thinks that will better suit his motives.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

and one who, with his current salary, happens to be in the 1% as well.

How ironic - and sad.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

Strawman argument

From dudes link

"We are a nonpartisan coalition of Californians who believe that all citizens deserve equal and satisfactory representation in government. We are working to promote and implement voting methods that fulfill this right as much as possible. "

Add in the race theory above and I doubt that there is anything non-partisan about about Steve. Its interesting that he mentions Ralph Reed, and his non partisan voting guides.

The goofy left seems so much like the goofy right these days.

Posted by Matlock on Dec. 09, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

Pundits and political consultants hate RCV because they can't determine who's winning, and it's one less election for them to get a paycheck. But RCV seems to work pretty well for the rest of us, and saves the city money. Elsbernd's attempt to ram this trhough in a June election when "nobody's looking" (i.e. low turnout of conservative voters) is shameful and transparent. Keep RCV.

Posted by John E. Palmer on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

Agreed - both the unpredictability of IRV election and the loss of potential income for these strategists feeds one class of the detractors of IRV.

Posted by WhoSez on Dec. 14, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

I like Tom Ammiano, but he needs to understand that arguing against December runoffs is not a substitute for defending RCV. From what I hear, the June initiative (which still hasn't been finalized yet) may allow for a general election in June or Sept., with a runoff in November. That should assuage Ammiano's concerns regarding December elections and low turnouts.

RCV hasn't done anything tangible for progressives at all. It denied Avalos a chance to take on Ed Lee, and it has served more as an incumbency protection program and a vehicle for raw ethnic politics (remember Ed Jew's election in D4?) than anything else.

And I hate to break it to Ammiano, but I doubt that there are many progressive activists in SF who are going to actively campaign to protect a flawed system that gave us Malia Cohen! Let's dump RCV and move on, perhaps to approval voting.

Posted by Common Sense SF on Dec. 11, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

It was lost because progressives have failed to deal with developers and other corporations buying off most of the community groups, nonprofits, laborers and churches in that district; thereby guaranteeing them election and City Hall hearing turnout.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 11, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

A June primary still has the statistically proven effect of having a significantly lower voter turnout. Insufficient data yields an inaccurate reflection of the people's needs.

Posted by WhoSez on Dec. 14, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

Common Sense SF

Please get in touch with me. I like Approval Voting, and I think it may be our only chance to prevent a repeal back to Plurality+Runoff.

Here's another proposal, for a simplified Score Voting.

http://brokenliving.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-if-we-used-score-voting-in...

Posted by Clay Shentrup on Feb. 22, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

It should be clear that Instant Runoff Voting (IRV, aka Ranked Choice Voting, aka RCV) has nothing to do with turnout increases or cost savings. These are alleged effects of eliminating runoffs, which can be done without adopting IRV. You could literally just get rid of runoff elections and use Plurality Voting. Or Approval Voting. Or hundreds of other systems. It is simply incorrect to say that cost savings or turnout increases are a benefit of having IRV.

And it actually turns out that turnout went DOWN since SF got IRV, even including the benefit of having eliminated those "costly low-turnout runoffs".

IRV was also sold as a system that would let voters vote their conscience, rather than have to think strategically. That's also utterly false. For instance, in the 2009 mayoral race in Burlington, the Progressive won. But a group of voters who preferred Republican over Democrat over Progressive could have gotten the Democrat instead of the Progressive (an improvement from their point of view) by strategically ranking the Democrat before the Republican. This strategy of burying candidates who have little hope of winning in the final round is widely used in Australia, where they've been using IRV in their House of Representatives since 1919. I know this because I've actually called up Australian political party offices and asked them. One Green Party associate pointed out to me that one of the most common calls they get is, "why should I waste my vote on the Green Party if they're not going to win anyway?" A lot of these voters are just exaggerating naively, because they don't understand the underlying math. But the point is, they're still strategizing, and it actually happens that their strategy is accidentally correct enough to be advantageous.

Hence it's no surprise that only ONE third party candidate has won in the last 600 seats elected to the AU House of Representatives. Whereas (ironically) most of the 27 or so countries that use ordinary delayed Top-Two Runoff have escaped two-party domination, even in their single-winner elections.

Yet minor parties are the ones leading the charge to replace TTR with IRV in cities like San Francisco. If only these "progressives" would learn about the underlying math and psychology (game theory) of election systems, they'd accomplish so much more.

Posted by Clay Shentrup on Dec. 18, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

Turnout has not gone down under IRV, it has gone up.

More voters have voted, and more voters voted for the final wining candidates in IRV elections, rather than under traditional run offs (with the Cohen race in D-10 being the sole exception).

And your statement:

"IRV was also sold as a system that would let voters vote their conscience, rather than have to think strategically."

is simply absurd.

The first phrase is quite correct and is also quite true. But the second? No one to my knowledge ever claimed that IRV would eliminate the need to think and vote strategically.

As to outcomes, clearly Avalos, running as a radical, gained a powerful boost from IRV. And Green Party candidates certainly would not have a chance in hell without IRV.

If the dynamic you describe in Australia is true, there must be other factors causing it besides IRV.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 18, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

>Turnout has not gone down under IRV, it has gone up.

I co-founded a group called The Center for Election Science, and I have devoted 5 1/2 years to studying electoral systems. The head of my group is a Princeton math Ph.D. is one of the top few experts in voting systems. He looked over the last 40 years of election turnout data and found that turnout since getting IRV had gone down, albeit by a statistically insignificant amount. He then redid the calculation using the most generous reasonable assumptions for IRV, and then turnout went up with IRV, but still by a statistically insignificant amount.
http://www.electology.org/irv-turnout-sf

> More voters have voted, and more voters voted for the final wining candidates in IRV elections, rather than under traditional run offs (with the Cohen race in D-10 being the sole exception).

No, not the sole exception. Two obvious examples would be the mayoral races we've had with IRV, compared to the turnout in the Newsom-Gonzalez general election and runoff.

>And your statement:
>> "IRV was also sold as a system that would let voters vote their conscience, rather than have to think strategically."
>is simply absurd.
>The first phrase is quite correct and is also quite true. But the second? No one to >my knowledge ever claimed that IRV would eliminate the need to think and vote >strategically.

No it is NOT correct. E.g. in the 2009 mayoral race in Burlington, Vermont, a group of Republican voters got a worse result for ranking the Republican in first place. They would have gotten a better result had they insincerely/tactically ranked the Democrat in first place.
http://www.electology.org/irv-plurality

And how can you be so completely unaware of the IRV talking points? NUMEROUS IRV advocates have made this claim. The primary site in favor of getting IRV in Oakland said this very thing: "With IRV, there are no 'spoilers' — voters are free to choose as they wish without concern for strategizing or supporting only 'electable' candidates."
http://archive.fairvote.org/oaklandirv/webarchive/

"As to outcomes, clearly Avalos, running as a radical, gained a powerful boost from IRV."

What is your evidence that he did better with IRV than he would have in a runoff election vs. Ed Lee?? Look how much better Matt Gonzalez did in the runoff against Newsom than he did in the first round.

"And Green Party candidates certainly would not have a chance in hell without IRV."

Green Party candidates don't have a chance WITH IRV. The Australian House of Representatives has used IRV since 1919. With 150 seats, there has been precisely 1 third party candidate (a Green) elected out of the past 4 elections comprising 600 seats. Whereas most of the 27 or so countries that have ordinary _delayed_ runoff elections (like SF used to have) have three or more parties.
http://ScoreVoting.net/TTRvIRVstats.html

"If the dynamic you describe in Australia is true, there must be other factors causing it besides IRV."

No, there don't HAVE to be any other factors to account for it. The properties of IRV alone are sufficient, since IRV fails the Favorite Betrayal Criterion. Voting for a third party candidate with IRV is more likely to hurt you (by acting as a spoiler) than help you.
http://www.electology.org/irv-plurality

Whereas Score Voting and Approval Voting can NEVER punish you for supporting your favorite candidate, and so presumably they would be much better for third parties. We also have a huge amount of experimental evidence (e.g. from exit polls) which supports this.

Posted by Clay Shentrup on Feb. 22, 2012 @ 11:46 pm

>Turnout has not gone down under IRV, it has gone up.

I co-founded a group called The Center for Election Science, and I have devoted 5 1/2 years to studying electoral systems. The head of my group is a Princeton math Ph.D. is one of the top few experts in voting systems. He looked over the last 40 years of election turnout data and found that turnout since getting IRV had gone down, albeit by a statistically insignificant amount. He then redid the calculation using the most generous reasonable assumptions for IRV, and then turnout went up with IRV, but still by a statistically insignificant amount.
http://www.electology.org/irv-turnout-sf

> More voters have voted, and more voters voted for the final wining candidates in IRV elections, rather than under traditional run offs (with the Cohen race in D-10 being the sole exception).

No, not the sole exception. Two obvious examples would be the mayoral races we've had with IRV, compared to the turnout in the Newsom-Gonzalez general election and runoff.

>And your statement:
>> "IRV was also sold as a system that would let voters vote their conscience, rather than have to think strategically."
>is simply absurd.
>The first phrase is quite correct and is also quite true. But the second? No one to >my knowledge ever claimed that IRV would eliminate the need to think and vote >strategically.

No it is NOT correct. E.g. in the 2009 mayoral race in Burlington, Vermont, a group of Republican voters got a worse result for ranking the Republican in first place. They would have gotten a better result had they insincerely/tactically ranked the Democrat in first place.
http://www.electology.org/irv-plurality

And how can you be so completely unaware of the IRV talking points? NUMEROUS IRV advocates have made this claim. The primary site in favor of getting IRV in Oakland said this very thing: "With IRV, there are no 'spoilers' — voters are free to choose as they wish without concern for strategizing or supporting only 'electable' candidates."
http://archive.fairvote.org/oaklandirv/webarchive/

"As to outcomes, clearly Avalos, running as a radical, gained a powerful boost from IRV."

What is your evidence that he did better with IRV than he would have in a runoff election vs. Ed Lee?? Look how much better Matt Gonzalez did in the runoff against Newsom than he did in the first round.

"And Green Party candidates certainly would not have a chance in hell without IRV."

Green Party candidates don't have a chance WITH IRV. The Australian House of Representatives has used IRV since 1919. With 150 seats, there has been precisely 1 third party candidate (a Green) elected out of the past 4 elections comprising 600 seats. Whereas most of the 27 or so countries that have ordinary _delayed_ runoff elections (like SF used to have) have three or more parties.
http://ScoreVoting.net/TTRvIRVstats.html

"If the dynamic you describe in Australia is true, there must be other factors causing it besides IRV."

No, there don't HAVE to be any other factors to account for it. The properties of IRV alone are sufficient, since IRV fails the Favorite Betrayal Criterion. Voting for a third party candidate with IRV is more likely to hurt you (by acting as a spoiler) than help you.
http://www.electology.org/irv-plurality

Whereas Score Voting and Approval Voting can NEVER punish you for supporting your favorite candidate, and so presumably they would be much better for third parties. We also have a huge amount of experimental evidence (e.g. from exit polls) which supports this.

Posted by Clay Shentrup on Feb. 22, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

>Turnout has not gone down under IRV, it has gone up.

I co-founded a group called The Center for Election Science, and I have devoted 5 1/2 years to studying electoral systems. The head of my group is a Princeton math Ph.D. is one of the top few experts in voting systems. He looked over the last 40 years of election turnout data and found that turnout since getting IRV had gone down, albeit by a statistically insignificant amount. He then redid the calculation using the most generous reasonable assumptions for IRV, and then turnout went up with IRV, but still by a statistically insignificant amount.
http://www.electology.org/irv-turnout-sf

Posted by Clay Shentrup on Feb. 22, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

They had no chance with IRV either. What did the hopeless Baum get in November? 1,000 votes? A monkey could have gotten that many.

What we need to avoid is the kind of nonsense they have in Europe where tiny parties get one or two seats, with the results that you have Nazi's sitting in some parliaments and councils. IRV isn't that bad, fortunately, but it is something to worry about.

The purpose of IRV is not to try and shoehorn in a fringe candidiate who otherwise would have "no chance" - that's a gross distortion of it's intent. IRV should produce the same result we would have gotten anyway, but without the expense of a runoff.

I agree that IRV flattered Avalo's numbers, and he would have done much less well under a normal system. But a bigger reason for "the Avalos distortion" was that there was no competition on the left, while the center was crowded. I wouldn't read more into his freakishly high numbers than that.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2011 @ 5:52 am

you dropped a cheese puff...

let me give you a hint troll

when you lead your comment with preteen chat room style idiot acronyms like 'LOL' we don't have to worry about anyone taking your comment seriously because none of the readers over 12 years old are reading it...

and given that your joke of a brain (molded almost entirely by video games and SpongeBob cartoons) is literally incapable of forming type-written comments in any other way, you will laughably *keep* doing it, even though I've specifically and directly indicated to you how pathetic it is...

and that makes you even *more* pathetic and hilarious

you are your own comment filter

and you are comic relief

and that is all you are

literally the butt of your own childish ridicule

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2011 @ 8:46 am

and so decided to launch a personal attack instead? Why am I not surprised?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2011 @ 11:05 am

i'm just sick of your bullshit and want to let you know what fool you make of yourself in hope that someday, maybe you'll gain some intelligence and stop

as I am sure all have seen from my many comments on these blogs, I almost always debate real arguments with sharp details, often with citiations

in your case there is no need

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2011 @ 11:31 am

i'm just sick of your bullshit and want to let you know a what fool you make of yourself in hope that someday, maybe you'll gain some intelligence and personal dignity and stop

as I am sure all have seen from my many comments on these blogs, I almost always debate real arguments with sharp details, often with citations

in your case there is no need

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2011 @ 11:33 am

Maybe you should take a vacation from posting if you can't debate in a civil matter. Or at all, evidently.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

i was addressing stupid trolls

anger suits me just fine

with the world as fucked up as it is

we need a lot more anger, not less

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

But yes, only someone riddled with anger would throw labels out at anyone who holds a different political opinion. And dismiss as a "troll" anyone who doesn't toe the (fringe, left-wing) party line.

So if I make you angry, good. I imagine you feel right at home with such self-destructive, futile mental states.

While when you decide you want to actually debate an issue instead of engaging in name-calling, I'll still be here to refute you.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

give a fuck what you think, what possible reason do you have for making the comment you just made, which essentially does exactly what you just accused me of doing - demonizing without debating an issue

if you don't like people expressing anger at others who they consider to be irritating morons, then why have you just done exactly the same thing

can you spell

hypocrite ?

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 19, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

at all. But I'm content to allow you to reveal to readers that you can't express a coherent opinion, nor can post without throwing out bile.

QED.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

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