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.

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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.

Newspaper positions on #YesOn1 (RCV in NYC)

Next month, New York City voters will decide on Question 1. This would establish the Alternative Vote for party primaries and special elections to the offices of Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President, and City Council. It also would mandate that Council redistricting be completed by the time that candidates can begin collecting signatures. Finally, it would extend the period for early voting.

There has not been much visible opposition. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle has a good, short summary of the charter review process.

Historically, the local media have been important in such matters. Therefore, it is useful to compile newspapers’ positions on the measure. This is not a systematic survey — just the result of an hour’s Google search. I may update the post as new information appears.

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