Why third parties should stay away from IRV (Instant Runoff Voting)
IRV (Instant Runoff Voting)
leads to locked-in
2-party domination, just like the old
plurality voting system.
So if third parties think IRV will solve their problems, they are wrong.
Why should they expend a great deal of effort trying to enact IRV, when it'll only
gain them in the end... nothing?
IRV cannot be done on old-fashioned plurality-style voting machines,
but range voting
That means, if you try to enact IRV you are going to have more trouble
with transitioning than if you try to enact Range Voting.
Why take a more difficult course when you can take an easier course?
A very natural and logical place to start serious voting reform
would be the Iowa 2008 Presidential caucuses.
If you try to enact IRV there, then that will be hard because there will be some
major downsides for the Democrat and Republican party officials considering this change:
(1) IRV increases the risk of tied-election nightmares like in Florida 2000
(whereas range decreases that risk);
(2) IRV leads to great logistical problems and time-delays as in
San Francisco; Range is simple and far superior for
hand calculation statewide done in precincts;
(3) IRV leads to less winner-quality on average than Range.
In contrast, Range voting exhibits no downside risks from the point of view
of those decision makers. Why try to push a worse system on decision makers
who'll want it less?
Range has been proven by
experiment to lead to far greater third party vote counts.
That means it can realistically expect to get unified third party support.
That unity leads to a far greater chance of making it happen. Don't you
want unity and a greater chance of making it happen?
If you enact IRV, that reform is highly likely (based on past history)
in which case you'll just get plurality back again.
With Range voting: we are unaware of any organization which has adopted range
and then backslid. Ever. In fact it would seem massively plainly ludicrous
for such organizations (the Olympics, internet
movie rating services, etc) to do so.
In IRV countries, third parties recognize the fact that IRV leads to 2-party domination, and
want to get rid of it and replace it
with Proportional Representation (PR). Some IRV advocates have the idea
that IRV is a good "stepping stone" to PR (although historically,
that "step" doesn't seem t happen). But in fact, PR might be
unconstitutional in which case the USA cannot adopt it without a constitutional amendment –
which either major party can and will singlehandedly block forever.
(Actually, it probably is constitutional, but the major parties can and will block it.)
Since IRV leads to 2-party domination, it cannot be a good stepping stone to PR –
it will prevent PR.
Range voting is far more likely to break 2-party domination
and therefore is a far superior stepping stone to PR. Also, reweighted range voting
paper #78 here)
is a simpler and better PR voting method than Hare/Droop STV, and Range voting is a good
stepping stone to RRV.