Jeremy Wood- must we really resort to these tactics?

As a member of Jeremy Wood’s facebook support group (and please note: I support everyone in the elections if they have a facebook group and invite me to join it), I have received a message with the following excerpt in my facebook inbox:

Just a note: I’ve heard a lot of you saying that after me you would put Johannes Rebane as a second choice. Given the new condorcet system of ranked voting this is a dangerous choice! Johannes has a lot of his own support and unless you guys put him as your 4th preference, you’ll only be helping him out.

Now, I understand that this is an election, and that it’s being run somewhat differently. However, I fully do not support these sorts of statements. Dubbing someone a ‘dangerous choice’ simply because you don’t believe in his ideas is a bit extreme. It also makes his seem afraid of a the candidate, which I feel is a weakness- I want someone who won’t resort to these kinds of tactics in an election. For shame. Yes, there may be strategic voting involved, but what happens if you put someone competent fourth just because you’re afraid they’re your biggest competition? Biggest competition often (although not always) means that they’re a competent, capable candidate- and putting them fourth only messes up the system. Not that I think it will matter in this race.

Also, this is coming from a candidate who pulled out of the race to then come back in. I know that Kerry was a flip-flopper, but even he didn’t go to these lengths. It doesn’t say too many good things about a candidate’s motivation if they only re-enter a race because their friends/supporters told him to- it means, despite what he may say, that he lost the will to do the job and had to be encourage by people who were ideologically aligned with him to convince him to go back. I think it means that he wasn’t that firm in his stance, and that he wasn’t doing it to improve the system or represent students. If a candidate is dedicated to his/her cause, it means that they want to change the system, and their ideas are important to them, even if they’re not important to others. Someone who can’t hold his own and relies on others to persuade him to continue to run makes me worried about how he’ll react if everyone else is opposed to his ideas if he is elected- in this case, I’d be worried that he’d give up on his plans. And by “he”, I don’t necessarily mean Jeremy- I mean any candidate who is elected into a position. But it applies in this case as well.


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  1. Part of the point of Condorcet is that strategic voting is basically impossible!

    Posted by Willem | January 29, 2009, 1:13 am
  2. So does this mean Jeremy is conceding defeat yet again? It doesn’t matter where other candidates are if you’re already the Condorcet winner.

    Posted by radicalbeer | January 29, 2009, 4:52 am
  3. I’m glad this was addressed here. I received his mass message and had the following brief conversation with him:

    Me: Doesn’t it kind of defeat the purpose of condorcet voting if you tell people not to use it properly?

    Jeremy: I was only sending that message out for any group members committed to my winning who don’t fully understand the strategic element of condorcet voting.
    I hope I wasnt offensive to your voting autonomy.

    Me: I’m not personally offended, I’m just concerned about a potential executive trying to undermine a system that was brought into place to help choose the best possible candidate. If Johannes is the second choice, that is how they should list him, lest an even less desirable candidate than either of you win the election.

    In his defense, I think it should be noted that this is politics, and this is what politicans do. He has broken no rules and was perfectly within his rights to tell people to do this for him, but I imagine it would be a bit disappointing for those peope who worked so hard to get the Condorcet method into the elections based on the concept that it will the most preferred candidate and reduce the necessity of strategic voting.

    Posted by Bowinn | January 29, 2009, 12:19 pm
  4. I think people are misinterpreting this. From my reading, this is not at all a selfish move, but rather he’s telling his supporters that if he doesn’t win it’d be really bad if another candidate did. He’s disendorsing Johannes. This is pretty consistent with what he said when he temporarily withdrew from the race.

    Posted by Mike Thicke | January 29, 2009, 10:43 pm
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