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Re: [RangeVoting] Iraq vote manipulation, latest twist in their "democracy"

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  • Abd ulRahman Lomax
    ... I don t think this analysis is accurate. ... There are two rules here. Both of them must be satisfied for the constitution to pass. The basic rule is the
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 3, 2005
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      At 09:11 PM 10/3/2005, warren_d_smith31 wrote:
      >Sunnis Question Move to Ease Iraqi Charter Approval
      >By REUTERS
      >Published: October 3, 2005, New York Times
      >
      >---
      >
      >Iraq's parliament, which set electoral rules making it far simpler
      >for the draft constitution
      >to pass than for it to be defeated by Sunni opponents.

      I don't think this analysis is accurate.

      >THE NEW RULE:
      >For it to pass, a majority of those who turn out to vote have to say
      >``Yes,'' while for it to
      >be defeated, two-thirds of registered voters in three or more
      >provinces have to say ``No.''
      >
      >THE OLD RULE:
      >What the interim constitution actually says is: ``The general
      >referendum will be successful
      >and the draft constitution ratified if a majority of the voters in
      >Iraq approve and if two
      >-thirds of the voters in three or more governorates do not reject it.''

      There are two rules here. Both of them must be satisfied for the
      constitution to pass. The basic rule is the first one: the
      constitution passes if a majority approves it. Then an additional
      rule was apparently added as a sop to the Sunnis, an *additional*
      criterion which must be satisfied or the constitution will fail. It
      is this additional criterion which has been weakened. That criterion
      allowed a minority concentrated in three provinces to reject the
      constitution. It is now more difficult for that special criterion to fail.

      But this is hardly a drastic weakening of democracy, over the simple
      one of majority rule. Which is indeed weaker democratically than
      supermajority, but is hardly unusual.... we have the same basic rules
      here. You can amend the constitution in the U.S. by a simple majority
      if it is distributed widely, i.e, if it exists in 3/4 of the states....

      >The interim constitution's wording suggests ``voters'' means those
      >who turn out to vote
      >in both cases, not registered voters, which is a much higher
      >benchmark. In elections in
      >January, less than 60 percent of Iraqis who registered actually voted.

      It can be hazardous to your life to vote in Iraq. 60% is quite good
      turnout; but what percentage of the population is registered? It may
      also be hazardous to register....

      Yes, if the original intent was a majority of votes cast, this is a
      weakening from the interim constitution of the ratification
      requirement; but what is mysterious, actually, is not that weakening,
      but the existence of that requirment in the first place.

      >A slight but highly effective unconstitutional
      >rule change! US analogy would be like
      >saying Bush wins if 51% of voters vote for him, but
      >Kerry can only win if 51% of ALL REGISTERED voters vote for him.
      >The former is what usually happens in US presidential elections.
      >The latter threshold has never happened in any US presidential
      >election. But 2/3 of all registered voters
      >would be an even higher threshold...

      This has been misunderstood. The constitution is defeated if a
      majority of voters reject it. The analogy is not at all correct.

      A better analogy would be if there was a special rule that a
      candidate could not be elected President unless (1) a majority of
      voters voted for him, and (2) two-thirds of voters in Texas did not
      vote against him. Weird rule, eh?

      Not if you are trying to appease the Texans.

      The rule would apply to any draft constitution, so, in the analogy,
      it would apply to any candidate. If the election fails to elect under
      the rules, nobody is elected. This is not a case of bias against one
      candidate, nor is it a bias for ratification; actually, it adds an
      additional rejection path, so it is a slight bias against ratification.

      Delegable Proxy (first level assignment by Secret Ballot) or Asset
      Voting would be great for Iraq....
      Range Voting would be awful unless it were normalized.
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