Programming note for 2010

There will be a few changes around here. First of all, I am about to hand over the keys to the potting shed to several propagators. That is, there will be others aside from me who will be allowed to post.

I will let them introduce themselves on their own terms.

This decision is prompted largely by the fact that I will be away from the San Diego area for an extended period this year. I have been awarded a Lady Davis Foundation Fellowship to be a Visiting Professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition to this extended gig, I will be traveling in the U.K. and Germany, in connection with my NSF-funded research on Party Personnel Strategies. I also plan to make a “side trip” to Estonia to give a seminar in Rein Taagepera‘s Logical Models Program at the University of Tartu.

During my absence, from early April till some time in August, I do not plan to be blogging much (if at all). Moreover, as my extended time off-line in December and early January showed, moving and settling into a new house and finca can be time-consuming, on top of one’s regular responsibilities.

Starting the multiple-planters model well before going on sabbatical will allow me to continue contributing with the new team and to assess how things are going, before heading off.

At some point in the coming weeks, I hope to adjust the template just a bit to make the blog appear a bit less as a personal website, which it still will be, but obviously to a lesser extent.

6 thoughts on “Programming note for 2010

  1. P.S. Initially I have invited just 4 new team members. However, I do plan to invite a few more in the very near future.

    The main criterion for being invited is that you have contributed already, via comments. Of course, I won’t invite everyone who has posted multiple comments, as I want to keep the team size manageable, at least in this preliminary phase. But I have 3-4 others in mind, and you can probably guess who you are!

  2. Using my time-zone advantage, I’ll step up first… I am a lecturer in law at Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. I have been involved for 20+ years in the Proportional Representation Society of Australia. I favour STV-PR but hold a few heretical views on the details (eg, that surplus transfer should begin with the first-preference votes cast for the candidate, not with the most recent batch s/he received, so as to remove a possible disincentive to “waste” 1-99% of one’s vote on a candidate who is “home and hosed” anyway…). In US terms, my politics would probably make me a lightish-blue-dog Democrat, but I try not to be blinded by partisanship. [Sits down, bows to applause]

  3. I live in NSW but I’m a timezone behind Tom, which just proves his point about the frequent irrationality of state borders in federations. Early retired bureaucrat, literary ambitions, inveterate opponent of Tom’s foolish and insouciant STV heresies. I would probably vote Democrat but grumpily in light of their passion for not doing anything, indeed I’m repeatedly amazed to read about the dangerous leftist polices of the Democrats when I see so little evidence of them.

  4. In the U.S Liberal is a Center-Left term, (and maybe even in Canada, can Canadians comment on that?) Everywhere else in the world, it is a Center-Right term. Unfortunately Liberalism and Socialism get confused and conflated in the minds of many Americans when both ideologies are radically different and far apart.

    The thing I can’t understand is if Universal Healthcare is so bad in other countries, it is condemned by Conservatives in the U.S that it is crap and no good because it is nearly free or low cost even though it is paid through by taxes. I don’t hear anyone wanting to repeal it or get rid of it anywhere else where people have it.

    Many Libertarians like John Stossel say that our medical is the best in the world and rich foreigners come here for treatment and nowhere else because of our “so called free market” health care system which is really a patchwork quilt Frankenstein system. I think the problem with Universal Healthcare is the asymmetrical knowledge system. You only get procedures that the doctor recommends and he knows a lot more than what the customer/patient knows. It is not akin to shopping at a supermarket.

  5. Matt – Best of luck with the travels and I’ll miss checking to the blog de vez en cuando, it has been a great source of continued engagement with the themes of both of your wonderful courses at IRPS! Of course, I’ll continue to follow Latin American politics closely as we observe shifting political currents and/or coalitions (PRD-PAN, say what?).

    I’m sure the halls of the Robinson complex are sad to see you go.


    Matthew Maher

  6. Hailing from the District of Columbia, I’ve been a F&V reader since 2005, when I became involved in the U.S. movements for proportional representation, instant runoff voting, direct presidential elections, and other sensible changes to American political institutions. I’ve since been to graduate school and begun a career in overseas election assistance. You may know me from The Democratic Piece.

    Electoral systems are my main independent variable of interest. They are increasingly a dependent variable of interest. Nonetheless, my first post here is more about “macro” constitutional design than electoral systems.

    Like Tom and Alan, I favor STV. I actually thank Alan for my first exposure to that system in what one might now call a former life. Lately, though, I’m wondering whether the all-around simplicity of SNTV might make it a better reform option in the U.S.

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