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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Rich Rostrom

This is yet another case of the contradictions in voting. The bad may be the indirect ally of the good. For instance, consider the French election where Chirac was re-elected. He won the second round with 80% because his opponent was Le Pen, who had edged out all the left candidates in the first round. A Chirac supporter might have voted for Le Pen in the first round just to create that situation.

Contrariwise, the good may be the enemy of the better. Suppose there is a "party primary", where a 90% conservative and a 70% conservative compete to meet a 90% liberal, in a district that leans conservative. The 70% conservative would when the general election easily; but the 90%er would win too, and be a more reliable conservative representative. Hard conservatives would therefore go all-out against Mr. 70%

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