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How is it splitting hairs to correct the (implicit, through use of the phrase "The Spoiler Effect") blaming of third party candidates when it wasn't a third party candidate who was at fault whatsoever? In fact that's the central point of this ballot proposition: so that we can vote for better candidates than the Democrats are willing to put up without fear of your blame if we don't reach enough to defeat the other side.

Even worse, your post is just factually wrong. By placing the fact that a 3rd party candidate split the vote once in a sentence where you mentioned the governor failed to reach a majority twice, you conflated the two in a manner that almost looks willful.

And yes, I was referring to the 2010 election because the plurality for LePage was much less convincing then.

I'm a co-founder of the Center for Election Science. This was the spoiler effect. It doesn't really matter which candidate was the spoiler. It matters that the wrong candidate won. We did some analysis on this election here.


tanderson92's point was that by implying that the independent candidate was the spoiler, it is tacitly supporting the two-party system.

I don't think that was the implication. The original post just said that the democrats and independents split the vote (spoiler effect). There was no implication as to which was the spoiler.

It was the implication present in the original post before it was edited to remove that implication (after much of this discussion had occurred). See: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12951169, and the edit note in the edited-edited-original post.

You can't really say "spoiler effect" without implying it. A "spoiler" is a minor candidate that is substantially similar to one of the major candidates. Just because the Democratic candidate lost to the spoiler doesn't make the spoiler less of a spoiler; the Democratic candidate would have been more likely to win if they weren't there.

It's not a "spoiler effect"; maybe a split constituency is a better term. Spoiler implies that somebody has something, and someone else steps in and ruins it. These are all equal people running for the same office.

This IMO gets it completely wrong. An independent candidate who comes within 2% of a plurality and victory and performs >15% better than the Democrat does not deserve to be called a spoiler. Why does the Democrat deserve the win regardless of what voters evidently want?

If anyone is a spoiler, it must be the Democratic candidate.

Your reasoning may be well-intentioned, but it is yet more 3rd-party-blaming.

Of course it was the spoiler effect! I never claimed otherwise! I only said that if you are going to use that language then in 2010 it is clear that the Democrats were the spoilers and the independent deserves none of the blame assigned by kevlar1818 in the original wording of the post.

Look, I agree with you. I am thrilled that RCV was voted-for by the people of Maine. It's a step away from the two-party system, and that's great.

The Spoiler Effect happened one way or another. I was not intentionally trying to bash any of the candidates who were involved in the Spoiler Effect, and I think it's petty and inflammatory to assign blame either way. I'll update my post to be more clear in this regard.

You're reading a lot into Kevlar1818's posts that isn't necessarily there. It's possible to blame a phenomenon (the Spoiler Effect) without blaming its players (Democrats & third party candidates).

In his/her defense, I edited my comment to show I did not mean to blame anyone.

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