Asch-Colla concluded

Joseph Asch ’79 responds to Stan Colla’s latest letter in The Valley News. Below is what appears to be the last installation in the AschColla debates.

VALLEY NEWS – 7/30/2007

Alumni Elections Misunderstood

Letter to the Editor By Joseph Asch

To the Editor:

Dartmouth Elections Misunderstood

Poor Stan Colla. His latest letter about Dartmouth elections
(Forum, July 22) contains even more contortions and convoluted reasoning as
he seeks, yet again, to explain to us why candidates supported by the
Dartmouth establishment have lost six (yes, six!) consecutive alumni votes
since 2004.

No Stan, the problem is not with approval voting, a method regarded
by scholars to be much superior to plurality voting in determining an
electorate’s preferences. But don’t trust me on this: Dartmouth’s own
expert in such matters, Professor Robert Norman, carefully detailed current
research about voting systems in columns in The Dartmouth on October 17,
2005 and March 27, 2007.

And no, the problem isn’t the lack of one-on-one elections either.
After all, in a yes/no referendum last year on a revised alumni
constitution – a document supported publicly by no less than President
Wright, the unanimous Alumni Council, and every single one of the
non-petition trustees – 52% of alumni voted “no” in the highest turnout
election in memory. That figure was very close to the 55% of alumni who
voted for petition candidate Stephen Smith Œ88 in this spring’s trustee
election.

By now it should be clear to any impartial observer that
Dartmouth’s insiders will lose elections as long as the College is run by a
mediocre, insular administration that doesn’t come close to equaling the
quality of its faculty and extraordinary students. That Mr. Colla,
Dartmouth’s previous Vice-President of Alumni Relations, can’t see what is
obvious to so many thousands of alumni voters only proves this point
further.

Joseph Asch

Dartmouth Class of 1979

Hanover, N.H.