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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Open primaries, "top two" primaries, and other ballot reforms

Last month I made a post in which I indicated my objections to "top two" primaries, as well as to the more traditional type of "open" primary used in states like Virginia. In this, I differ from Solomon Kleinsmith, who likes open primaries, though agreeing with me about "top two" primaries. Now again I see a posting — by Dale Sheldon-Hess — which points out the problems with "top two" primaries, a point with which I concur, but makes other suggestions I cannot endorse.

Dale Sheldon-Hess makes one point of terminology that needs making: open primaries are not necessarily top two, though some people seem to conflate them. And one of his suggested reforms in his post is one I like as well: score voting. But in the same sentence in which he proposes score voting as a way to improve our voting methods, he groups with it approval voting — a system that can be viewed as a simplified version of score voting, but without its good points and with some serious bad points. (I'll get on to my objections to approval voting in another post.)

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