The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Why three parties can't work here

Sometimes, it's actually one of the two national major parties that looks like it's third. In the 23rd Congressional District of New York State last year, Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava saw herself as third, and essentially withdrew from the election, giving her support to the Democrat in order to defeat a Conservative candidate she abhorred. Perhaps something similar is happening in Florida currently, though in this case a centrist candidate will be the beneficiary. In fact this looks like a mirror image of the election in Connecticut in 2006. When an extreme left-wing candidate, Ned Lamont, won the Democratic primary in Connecticut, Joe Lieberman ran as an independent (well, really as a third-party candidate, but the "party" was a sham created because of Connecticut's ballot access laws) and won, mostly by getting Republicans to abandon their own candidate, Alan Schlesinger, and vote for him to prevent Lamont from winning.

Now fast-forward to 2010 in Florida. Interchange "left" and "right," and also "Democrat" and "Republican." We have the same picture. An extreme right-wing candidate, Marco Rubio, won the Republican primary in Florida. Charlie Crist chose to run as an independent. So will Democrats abandon Kendrick Meek, their candidate, as Republicans abandoned Schlesinger? There does seem to be a possibility! It hasn't happened yet, but people are talking about it. The post I am linking to speaks of Florida black Democrats; since Meek is himself black, this would be a major surprise, but if they really want to prevent Rubio's election, that's about the only way to do it.

Let us see. But this shows why three-party elections don't work well in plurality electoral systems.

No comments: