Does the Alternative Vote lead to STV?

I don’t think so. The logics of adoption are different. Yet the story of Cleveland (just below) suggests that it is possible… while rare.

AV finds favor where the majority can’t agree on the candidate it wants — but can agree on the one it doesn’t. AV is an agreement to passively form coalitions in elections. I say “passively” because the vote-transfer process does the work, likely with help from elite cues.

STV finds favor where the coalition is to be worked out actively, in a legislature. STV also preserves freedom to break the coalition between elections.

Continue reading “Does the Alternative Vote lead to STV?”

Op-ed: RCV and minority representation

I have an op-ed today in the New York Daily News. It opens:

It was a strange coalition that opposed ranked-choice voting in New York City last week: conservative Republicans and black elected officials. Even stranger was that both groups made the same sorts of arguments, claiming RCV would fuel voter confusion and depressed turnout, especially in minority communities.

Since that sort of coalition its likely to appear elsewhere, we may want to unpack its logic. Doing so means learning about two kinds of ranked-choice voting. And understanding that as long as people keep pushing the single-winner form, Republicans and voting-rights groups are likely to keep fighting it.

This was a difficult piece to write, and if you know me, you know why.

I also want to thank those people whose ideas appear at various points. If you are reading, thank you.