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Cosmic Variance

Election Day

6 Nov 2012, 15:49 UTC
Election Day
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Here’s an entertaining explanation of why winner-take-all voting procedures generally evolve into two-party systems, typically forcing most voters to support candidates they don’t always agree with.

But vote anyway! You never know when you might cast the deciding ballot.
I have to go figure out the jillion (okay, eleven) ballot initiatives we have to deal with in the barely-functional direct democracy called California. One of them — Prop 37, which requires labels on certain genetically modified foods — poses an interesting dilemma. On the one hand, the science seems to indicate that genetic modification doesn’t introduce any special health risks. (At least not to individuals; there may be deleterious effects on the diversity of food sources, but that’s a different issue.) On the other hand, giving consumers more true information is generally a good idea. Is it a weird kind of reverse-paternalism to not give people correct information because they might take the wrong message from it?

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