Right, so, cards on the table: I think Colm is great, a highly esteemed dude in my view of the world.

And one reason I’m sharing this is because I think his emphasizing his lived experience of Irish elections is particularly useful; all of these discussions feel a little risky to Americans because it’s All So New here, but that doesn’t mean this hasn’t been stable plenty of places.

But… Elections. Hoo boy.

I wrote before about voting systems and how Nicky Case’s web toy thing had convinced me that approval voting was better than my previously favored RCV. Then hearing Colm talk about coalition-building – well, that’s a very important political value to me, so obviously my opinion wavers a bit.

But in 2022?

I can’t help feeling like the most important part is knowing which improvements, if more widely adopted, won’t manage to give an excuse to a bunch of walnuts to bring rifles to government buildings.

I don’t have a pithy opinion to answer that – approval voting seems simpler to explain without an iterated infographic, so if you believe simplicity is key then that’s no worse than first-past-the-post. But maybe the coalition-building aspects of RCV would be politically clarifying in a way that tones down the fringey-fringe.

Has anyone written about these systems in the Rather Important Context of “haha wow democracy isn’t looking too good guys”? I don’t think you can quantify voter satisfaction to talk about those kinds of risks – does anyone have more qualitative / speculative analysis?