Wed 11 Dec 2013 2:23AM

Would a 3rd party help US politics?

GR glen ropella Public Seen by 3

There's plenty of yammering about the chances for a 3rd party in the 2014 election. I've heard some argue that it's an ideal time for the Greens and the Libertarians to unite against the Demopublicans. But many claim our current system forces 2 parties. So, the only way a 3rd party would survive would be to replace one of the others. Unless we changed the way voting works, perhaps to approval or range voting.


Poll Created Wed 11 Dec 2013 2:29AM

Write an ABM to explore whether 3 competitive parties are sustainable wthout changing the voting system. Closed Sat 1 Feb 2014 2:07AM

Despite Arrow's theorem, one can imagine that a 3rd party might sustain if just the right historical accidents happen, or if the system were tuned in other ways (e.g. publicly funded campaigns) without changing the voting system. I propose we write a (family of) ABM(s) designed to test hypotheses for what circumstances must obtain in order for a 3rd party to be viable.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 1 SS
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 3 GR RA MD

1 of 4 people have participated (25%)


Steve Smith
Wed 11 Dec 2013 5:07AM

I have not thought it through yet but in principle I believe that there may be regions of stability where a third party can be viable. An ABM model might help illuminate those.


Russ Abbott Wed 11 Dec 2013 2:31AM

What's an ABM?


glen ropella Wed 11 Dec 2013 2:35AM

Agent Based Model. Of course, "agent" is ill-defined. What I usually mean by it is "actor", any software component that acts like an individual, given whatever scale is set for the model.


glen ropella Wed 11 Dec 2013 3:53PM

I wonder if etiquette would suggest the proposer abstain? I can see how the proposer might propose it as a straw man, or on behalf of someone with whom she disagreed already. But, for the most part, I'd expect most proposers to already "agree". And since you can change your position anytime, it seems best for the proposer to either not vote or abstain.


glen ropella Thu 12 Dec 2013 6:42PM

I also wonder if they've considered a "counter proposal" feature. I think it's safe to say that decisions are often made by tweaking proposals, which begs for a way to evolve (and track) versions of a proposal and "fork" them.


Steve Smith Fri 13 Dec 2013 10:07PM

what is the sound of one hand clapping...


Steve Smith Fri 13 Dec 2013 10:09PM

I think a proposer can choose to frame a question in a form where she does not implicitely agree... it can be framed in the negative. e.g. I could say "should we go to war?" and say 'no' myself rather than "should we NOT go to war?" and say 'yes' to it. These are subtly but importantly different things?


Steve Smith Fri 13 Dec 2013 10:11PM

Yes to the counter-proposal. I have often chosen to engage in developing a minority opinion in stead (instead) of refusing (or endorsing) an opinion as presented.