Time to revisit Unity

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michelmanen
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Post by michelmanen »

How aboout this for the a possible STV system: 3 candidates for parties, but single individuals can run as independents? Next election we may well have 9 seats in parliament - if we move to STV but don't even require that parties have at least3 candidates we're going to end up with something like the Israeli Knesset - two or three larger parties and a range of one or two candidate parties or independents with one - or twwo-issue agendas, and every vote will risk becoming some kind of a horse trade.... I mean there must be a medium between the total party control of the electoral process we have now and a free-for-all extravaganza where individuals can basically run in a beauty contest...
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Post by Beathan »

Michel --

The Knesset issue is not avoided by forcing parties to field three candidates and destroying any party too small to do so. Rather, the Knesset problem is avoided by having a community of citizens with wide and omnivorous interests. If our community breaks into camps of fragmented interests -- such that citizens vote on single issues -- we have a Knesset problem whether we destroy small parties or not.

I see no reason to destroy small parties, which have a clear and good role to play in our community, to solve a problem unrelated to the existence of small parties.

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michelmanen
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Post by michelmanen »

Whos talking about destryoing small parties?? You find that having 3 candidates when there might be 9 seats to fill is a mass movment?
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Post by Flyingroc Chung »

We all do this in our spare time. Thus it is perfectly conceivable that there may be a party who have a coherent platform, and whose members are in unity, but can only field 1 or 2 candidates. Consider, for example, a party that attracted primarily people who have very busy RLs (this describes a lot of DPU members!)--maybe they can only field 1 or two members who actually have the time commitment to represent their faction. Surely they should be allowed to run?
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Post by Patroklus Murakami »

Beathan, FR

I think I would side with your arguments here. The '3 candidate' rule (as opposed to the 3 member rule) would appear to discriminate against small parties. The number is completely arbitrary; why not 4 candidates? or 7? We used to have a rule that factions had to field at least as many candidates as you would need to form a majority in the RA. We got rid of that restriction, so Michel's proposition would be a step back.

I can imagine a small group of people forming a party because they didn't feel their views were represented in the CDS but not being able to find three people willing to stand. Why should they be disenfranchised? It makes no sense. Why force people to stand 3 candidates if they only have a realistic chance of winning one seat?
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Post by Bromo Ivory »

Good discussion - though I find the treatment being given is rather superficial.

I am sure everyone who is posting here knows - the "N" candidates rule is a proof against being able to fill all seats won in an election. Creates a quandry with our system - and regardless of legality - reduces the [i:2b1w5phe]legitimacy[/i:2b1w5phe] of the factions caught in that trap as well as the system.

And, with our "elect the party" system - plus as ROC pointed out - done in spare time - one is faced with this issue always.

The current way we are doing it - leaves us exposed to undemocratic results.

I will use our favorite whipping boy, Michel. Lets say CARE won 5 seats in the RA - and we fielded 4 candidates. Then how would we sit the 5th? Perhaps we draft Michel. And one could argue that if Michel were in the running in this case, the vote might turn out differently. Conversely, let's say Michel is too busy to even consider it - so we sit 4 candidates ONLY. Now - the proportion that voters asked for was not delivered.

Both would be undemocratic results - and even if one were to shrug and accept it - you would then be accepting something other than the will of the people.

So ... the result should not be to argue how this system is fine anyway - but to fix it.

(And the trap one falls into is the "benevolent dictator trap" - meaning when you stray from democratic elections - you stray towards something other than a Democracy/Republic)

So ... there are a number of ways to avoid this weakness - one is to "go back" to mandated party list size. Pat indicated he wouldn't want to do that - since it might penalize small parties that have great ideas - but didn't really offer any solutions in his post since "small" parties may not be able to fill the seats they win creating an undemocratic result given our system.

There might be a solution in the "elect the folks directly" proposals currently kicking about - which could get around this. BUT, you wouldn't want a result where you have N factions and N people serving the RA (otherwise why would you regulate the size of the parties EVER as we do?). I know some European countries have minimum vote requirements to avoid this situation.

Since factions are designed to elect candidates of their ideology first and foremost - and that is the stated purpose of most - one could argue the effective size of a faction is the number of folks willing to serve - though it seems lots of folks would beg to differ with that.
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Post by Beathan »

Bromo --

Under the current system, the Constitution provides for the answer. The Party comes up with one or more new candidates and has a run-off vote to fill the empty seat. This would also happen in the event s RA representative leaves office early and there were no other candidates in the last election.

I agree that there is a problem if the Party cannot find anyone willing to fill the empty seat. I'm not sure what we would do in such case -- but I think we would hold a special election in which the faction with the highest vote in the special election would fill the seat. I have a problem with this last process -- as it would predictably overprivilege the most popular party.

That said, if we move to an STV system in which voters vote for individuals -- then the problem goes away. As long as we have enough candidates over all to fill the RA, it does not matter if a party provides one or twenty candidates. The same would be true of special elections.

The only reason to have a "three candidate" rule is to disenfranchise parties that, for some reason, cannot field three candidates in an election. This limits electoral choice. CARE's proposals, in the name of "electoral freedom", consistently provide for just the opposite. I have always considered CARE's name to be ironic -- and I find myself doing so more and more.

That said, I have to note that this discussion is running far afield from the internal Simplicity Party discussion over whether we should conceive of the CDS as a singular and unified state or as a Federal state with local subparts.

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Post by Flyingroc Chung »

[quote="Bromo Ivory":1kgga93v]
Lets say CARE won 5 seats in the RA - and we fielded 4 candidates. Then how would we sit the 5th? Perhaps we draft Michel. And one could argue that if Michel were in the running in this case, the vote might turn out differently.
[/quote:1kgga93v]
Actually, the voter should be aware that Michel is in CARE, and that he *could* be drafted to fill a seat. The voter then factors in the desirability/undesirability of that in his ranking. I fail to see why this is undemocratic.

[quote:1kgga93v]
Conversely, let's say Michel is too busy to even consider it - so we sit 4 candidates ONLY. Now - the proportion that voters asked for was not delivered.
[/quote:1kgga93v]
Ideally, the voter *also* factors in the inability of the faction to fill all seats in his ranking. The STV as far as I understand it, will also not preserve proportionality of faction representation. Neither will fielding 3 candidates, since it is entirely possible (under the current system) for a faction to win more than 3 seats.

[quote:1kgga93v]
So ... the result should not be to argue how this system is fine anyway - but to fix it.[/quote:1kgga93v]
Unfortunately, I remain unconvinced that the current system is undesirable; neither am I convinced that the proposed alternatives are any better than the current one.
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Post by michelmanen »

My proposal would apply to an eventual STV system, not for te current one.

As explained, the reason I picked three is because we already have the 3 member rule -which in our current system means de facto that even if a party delcares only onee candidate, if it gets enough votes for 3 seats the non-declarred members will end up being offered seats in the RA anyway. So I thought it would be totally uncontroversial. In addition, the number 3 is the smallest possible number required for an actual group discussion (neither one or two qualifies as a group in my books). Finally it would help prevent the election for turning into beauty pageants, as well as the rise of one-issue candidates.

Most jurisdictions have rules about how many candidates must be fielded in an election to be considered a 'party".

Having a 3 candidate rules actually requires people to get together, discuss issues, create platforms, seek out new candidates and mebmers - in short, it favors an active process of deliberation and decision-making between prospective candidates before going to the public adn asking citizens to entrust them vith their votes. This is much less so for 2 candidates, never mind one.

Fielding 3 candidates in a 9 seat RA is, i think, en entirely reasonable requirement for a political party.

If to that we add Beathan's propsal to allow individuals to run as independents, all this rule does is to declare that individuals running as sole candidates should be called independents and not as one-candidate parties. If a party would have two candidates, they could also run as independents and present their ideas - they just wouldn't have the official status of "party".

This solution might well constitue a happy medium between a strict 3 candidate rule and a free-for all popularity contest.

Something tells me not to hold my breath, though... :P
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Post by Flyingroc Chung »

If factions can still field 1 or 2 candidates simply by calling them "independent," what's the point of having a 3-candidate rule?
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Post by Beathan »

Michel --

Actually, most jurisdictions do not have a rule concerning number of candidates to be considered a "Party". Rather, most have a rule concerning number of voters -- either in an initial demonstration through signatures or through votes in previous elections.

It would be impossible to determine Parties by number of candidates. We would run into a chicken and egg problem. For a candidate to qualify, he or she must belong to a Party; but for a Party to qualify, it must have a set number of candidates.

This proposal is not only a bad idea -- it is absurd. It won't happen. Let's move on.

Beathan
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Bromo Ivory

Post by Bromo Ivory »

[quote="Beathan":2wtkrw0c]

It would be impossible to determine Parties by number of candidates. We would run into a chicken and egg problem. For a candidate to qualify, he or she must belong to a Party; but for a Party to qualify, it must have a set number of candidates.[/quote:2wtkrw0c]

I may have lost part of the thread - but there IS NO chicken or egg the way I see it:

#1 You form or join a party with a certain number of people. Why 3? Probably the group rule - but it may be a happy number by itself.

#2 In order to be able to run in an election - it is reasonable to require that N number need to apply - esp. with the current "elect a party" rules where you, in theory, could win ALL seats and be unable to fill them.
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