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Old 9th November 2017, 11:24 AM   #1
JoeBentley
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Types of Voting: Pros and Cons

Let's talk about voting and different voting systems. Not voter eligibility, not voting districts, campaign finance reform, not terms or term limits or that (those are all important, but another topic) but just the basic nuts and bolts as to how the voting works on a functional level.

Let's keep the following questions in the back of our heads.

1. Is it "better" if the majority of voters get their preferred candidate or the majority of voters get an acceptable candidate?
2. Do different "levels" of election (Federal, State, Local) have to operate the same way?

So let's look at some ways of voting.

1. Winner take all, first past the post.

Each eligible voter gets 1 and only 1 vote. At the end all the votes are counted and the person with the most votes wins.

Example: Bill and Ted run for President. Bill gets 48% of the vote and Ted gets 52% of the vote. Ted becomes President, Bill gets nothing.

Upside: The greatest number of people get their preferred choice. This is probably the easiest to administrator on a procedural level. (This is a bit of conjecture but I get the vague idea that this is the system that "feels" the fairest to most people.")

Downside: Inevitably leads to a two party system. Near impossible for third parties to get involved. Leads to election being determined mostly by people voting against a candidate instead of for one. Winning by a sliver is as good as a landslide. Third party candidates tend to siphon votes off of other candidates they are closer to so there is tendency to "split" elections for one political or ideological stripe.

2. The Alternative Vote / Ranked Voting.

Each voter can rank their preferred candidates in any order.

Example: Let's say there's a major election where there are 4 candidates with at least some chance of winning, two major party candidates and two third party candidates. The two major party candidates are pretty close in most polls, both the of the third party candidates are polling in the low single digits.

So most people cast a primary vote for one of the two major party candidates, maybe with secondary choices.

Most of the third party voters cast a primary vote for their preferred third party candidate but cast a secondary vote for whichever of the major party candidates they like better.

Come election night and, as predicted, neither of the two third party candidates received that many votes so the votes they got go to whichever major candidate the the voters put as their second choice.

This is why this type of voting is sometimes called "Instant Runoff."

Pros: People can vote their conscious instead of being forced to vote strategically. Major candidates cannot ignore third party voters. No fear of splitting a side and winning the election for "the other side."

3. The Electoral College.

Ehhhh each person casts a vote and then some behind the scenes magic happens and then a bunch of separate non-elected special people who we don't know actually are the ones who vote, aren't required to actually follow the popular vote, and often don't. Electoral College members are allowed to punch those normal plebeian voters in the dick and sleep with their wives on their wedding nights (I might have made that last part up.) Has a 7% failure rate.

Scenario: You go vote. Or not it doesn't really matter. You drink until the pain stops. If you don't live in about a half dozen states at most you literally don't matter on any level.

Upsides: Every four years the government has to pretend it cares about Ohio.

Downsides: It basically goes against the idea of democracy. It doesn't do any of the things that people think it does (protect small states, protect rural areas). It literally means that certain people's votes don't count as much as others. It's why Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida are the only states that decide elections. You could theoretically win the election without cheating with only 22% of the vote in a two candidate election. It's just awful.

4. Consolation Prize Voting.

The runners up in the election get other positions.

Scenario: Okay let's say in your country the three most powerful single elected positions are... Prime Minister, Vice Prime Minister, and Head of the Grand Committee (the Congress or Parliament or whatever).

Bill, Ted, and Steve are running for Prime Minister. Ted gets the most votes, Steve the second most, and Bill the thirst most. So Ted becomes Prime Minister, Steve becomes Vice Prime Minister, and Bill becomes Head of the Grand Committee.

This was, in a way, originally how the American Presidential Elections worked. Originally the Vice President was just the runner up in the Presidential election. This didn't work out and was changed in 1804 via Constitutional Amendment.

Upside: It would literally be impossible for a single party to gain control of the government unless it was pretty much the only popular party. You have to admit it would be fun to watch. A potentially good leader that a large percentage but not quite majority of people think would make a good leader doesn't get wasted.

Downside: Literally nothing would ever get done. The skills each of these three positions requires might not be the same.
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Old 9th November 2017, 02:23 PM   #2
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Additional member system? I like that one.
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Old 9th November 2017, 03:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Additional member system? I like that one.
That's another good one, especially suitable for electing a group like a Congress or Parliament since it tends more toward fair representation of demographics.
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Old 9th November 2017, 06:24 PM   #4
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Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) as used in New Zealand and in European countries seems to be the most democratic system available. It could be used for both the House of Representatives and the Electoral College and ensures that in each state, each party gets the same proportion of seats as they received in votes.

Unfortunately, it would require a constitutional change since no state would likely go it alone.
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Old 9th November 2017, 11:57 PM   #5
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I prefer the method that is used in the ACT and Tasmania. Each electorate elects a number of candidates (usually 5 or 7). Candidates are arranged on the ballot paper by party. Voters mark the ballot paper 1, 2, 3, 4, etc next to the candidates in order. In order to be elected the candidate must get a quota of votes. If no candidate gets a quota then the candidates with the smallest number of votes gets eliminated the preferences distributed. If a candidate gets more than a quota the excess is distributed via preferences and the candidate is declared elected. This process continues until all seats are filled.
One enhancement (Robson Rotation) is that the candidates are listed in different orders on different papers. This means that if a number of people do a donkey vote (vote 1,2,3,etc) down the party line this does not give any one candidate any advantage.

For more information about this system see http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1995-1/default.asp

The reason I like this system is that you can vote for your choice of people within the party you want to vote for. If you do not like the people who were elected last time, but still want to vote for the same party then you can do so. That means the dead wood can be kicked out of the parliament without kicking out the party.

Edit. It also means that it is the people who decide what type of people they want. Do they want the radicals or the moderates within the party of choice to be elected? It is not the party who decides that a safe seat can be filled by a loyal party member. They can put the person on the ballot paper but if the voters do not like that person they do not get elected. Others within the party will get elected instead.

Last edited by rjh01; 10th November 2017 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 10th November 2017, 12:02 AM   #6
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Instant run-off has the big advantage that people's votes count even in heavily partisan areas. I consider it the most "rewarding" system for the electorate and will cause greatest voter participation.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I prefer the method that is used in the ACT and Tasmania.
The "Hare-Clark" system (multi-member electorates with voting in each electorate counted using PR) is indeed an improvement on single member electorates. However it is not immune to gerrymandering and in states like California with its 57 EC votes it would be a nightmare. Filling out yard long ballot papers has always been a problem in Australia. MMP is totally gerrymander proof and still allows voters to vote for the candidate of their choice in individual electorates (who may be from a different party than the one that they vote for).

MMP could easily be adapted in the US for presidential elections (maybe just voting for the national candidate instead of a candidate/party vote). If you didn't want faceless people from an electoral college making the final determination then you could always do what they do in France - hold a runoff election if no candidate gets an absolute majority of EC votes.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
just the basic nuts and bolts as to how the voting works on a functional level.
Well, there is a voting booth with a desk, a pencil and a blank ballot. Then the voter comes in, and...

Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
1. Is it "better" if the majority of voters get their preferred candidate or the majority of voters get an acceptable candidate?
(...)
1. Winner take all, first past the post.
(...)
2. The Alternative Vote / Ranked Voting.
(...)
3. The Electoral College.
(...)
4. Consolation Prize Voting.
Oh. Aha. Okay then.

My preference is none of the above, but rather, multi-dimensional democracy. Autonomy of political parties. We count the votes, and then each party gets to control a geographical area, and a share of the total national funds, equal to its statistical share of the votes. No winners, no losers. Only larger and smaller political trends, which all run their own affairs.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
My preference is none of the above, but rather, multi-dimensional democracy. Autonomy of political parties. We count the votes, and then each party gets to control a geographical area, and a share of the total national funds, equal to its statistical share of the votes. No winners, no losers. Only larger and smaller political trends, which all run their own affairs.
I'm not particularly comfortable with this approach because it means that pretty much everybody will be living in an area where the ruling party doesn't have the support of the majority of the population. Let's say that an ultra-conservative party manages to get 15% of the vote nationally, this means that they get to exert absolute control over 15% of the country. Those poor ******** have to live in a place where abortion isn't an option, where the 10 commandments are literally applied, where Christianity is the only acceptable religion and where LBGTQ people have no rights whatsoever.

Who gets to decide which 15% of the country gets screwed over so completely ?
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The "Hare-Clark" system (multi-member electorates with voting in each electorate counted using PR) is indeed an improvement on single member electorates. However it is not immune to gerrymandering and in states like California with its 57 EC votes it would be a nightmare. Filling out yard long ballot papers has always been a problem in Australia. MMP is totally gerrymander proof and still allows voters to vote for the candidate of their choice in individual electorates (who may be from a different party than the one that they vote for).

MMP could easily be adapted in the US for presidential elections (maybe just voting for the national candidate instead of a candidate/party vote). If you didn't want faceless people from an electoral college making the final determination then you could always do what they do in France - hold a runoff election if no candidate gets an absolute majority of EC votes.
Any system can be a nightmare if it is not implemented well. MMP still elects "party hacks" who the voters do not want. You still have single member electorates where you might not like any electable candidate. Though it is a vast improvement on single electorate systems used by most of the world.

In the ACT and Tasmania the ballot papers are not that big. It works well as there is not a vast difference between different areas.

Of course you could combine the two systems.
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Old 10th November 2017, 07:09 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
My preference is none of the above, but rather, multi-dimensional democracy. Autonomy of political parties. We count the votes, and then each party gets to control a geographical area, and a share of the total national funds, equal to its statistical share of the votes. No winners, no losers. Only larger and smaller political trends, which all run their own affairs.
That sounds hellish. That's taking Gerrymandering to the extremes of full on political fiefdoms.
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Old 10th November 2017, 12:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Of course you could combine the two systems.
I have had some thoughts on this idea in the past. You could count a vote in two ways: one as a vote for a candidate in a single member electorate using preferential voting and then count the vote as part of a statewide vote where each candidate represents a party using proportional representation.

It doesn't stop the unwanted "party hacks" from getting elected but that is also a problem with the Hare-Clark system.
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Old 10th November 2017, 12:40 PM   #13
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In general I'm against mass voting for a party. We should be voting for people, not their membership in some club.

That being said the clustering of people in political demographics is somewhat inevitable.

Another interesting method of voting, not necessarily political voting but more off the cuff "A Group making a decision" style of voting is Approval Voting.

(I'm mostly straight copying this scenario from CGP Grey's "Voting for Normal People" lecture)

Let's say that everyday an office of... 10 people have to decide where to go to lunch and there are 3 restaurants close enough; Burger Barn, Veggie Shack, and Meat Hutt. Meat Hutt has amazing steaks but it's vegetarian options are pretty much ice cubes and croutons. Veggie Shack has a salad bar that would shame a jungle biome but no meat options. Burger Barn has a wide variety of decent burgers, including several fairly okay veggie options.

Asking people where they "prefer" to go using a standard "Who wants option 1, now option 2, now option 3?" style and there's a good chance either of the superior but exclusive meat or veggie options is going to win.

But if you ask people to list all of the options that are acceptable to them, that is allowing them to vote more than once, and pretty much everybody is going to be at least okay with the middle of the road option.

Now this form of "voting" doesn't really work in politics for many reasons; you sort of have to start with a smallish pool of reasonable choices and yeah this leads to the fewest people getting exactly what they want, but raises the probablity of the most popp

It is interesting, on a purely thought experiment level, to think what would have happened had the ballot in November of '16 just had four questions: "Are you okay with Trump being President? Are you okay with Clinton being President? Are you okay with Stein being President? Are you okay with Johnson being President?" and (let's just hit I believe and say everyone answers truthfully) what the results would have been if who ever the most people were "okay" with got the job.

All of this does sort come back to a question of the purpose of democracy; which is a "better" outcome; 55% of a population being really happy with the outcome but 45% of the population being angry or 90% of the population being just okay with the outcome?
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Old 10th November 2017, 12:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) as used in New Zealand and in European countries seems to be the most democratic system available. It could be used for both the House of Representatives and the Electoral College and ensures that in each state, each party gets the same proportion of seats as they received in votes.

This is only a reasonable system if there are a multiplicity of parties representing all sorts of political demographics. Otherwise, you're just handing a straight majority to one party and a minority to the other. Governments elected in this way should have plurality governments, which promotes inclusivity.
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Old 10th November 2017, 12:59 PM   #15
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Cage fight MMA style.

Local and state, one voter, one vote.

Unless the nation wants the most populous municipalities or regions to control the course for the nation as a whole, keep the electoral college, even when we get a two legged cluster **** like Trump it's better than the alternative.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
Unless the nation wants the most populous municipalities or regions to control the course for the nation as a whole, keep the electoral college, even when we get a two legged cluster **** like Trump it's better than the alternative.

That might have been a good reason for the EC in the past, but it isn't working that way anymore. There are few purely agrarian states. Many have large rural areas but are dominated by a few (or just one) single city.

Illinois was 54% urban in 1970 and 70% urban in 2010. By a somewhat different measure, the South was only 25.5% urban in 1910 but 75.8% a hundred years later.

The overall effect is that the Electoral College is no longer preserving rural voting strength because it only does so at the state level. You're going to have to break it down to regions or counties within each state to achieve that again.

And before you argue that the liberal east would have outsized influence, remember that Texas and Florida (Trump) each have higher populations than New York. Georgia and North Carolina each have higher populations than New Jersey. And Massachusetts, that bastion of liberalism, is 15th.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
Cage fight MMA style.

Local and state, one voter, one vote.

Unless the nation wants the most populous municipalities or regions to control the course for the nation as a whole, keep the electoral college, even when we get a two legged cluster **** like Trump it's better than the alternative.
The idea that the Electoral College "protects" rural areas or smaller states from... something is one of the most pervasive and dangerous myths in modern politics.

1. The Electoral College does not protect rural areas or prevent the candidates from focusing on only the big cities.

The pure demographics of how America is set up simply make it impossible. A candidate could win every single vote from every single citizen in the top 100 most populated cities in the US all the way from mighty New York City down to humble Spokane, Washington and they would have a grand total of... 19.4 percent of the vote. A big city focus is not going to win elections in the US.

The idea that without the Electoral Collage is the only thing to keep a candidate from jetting between New York, Chicago, and LA and ignoring all the breadbasket "Real American" blue collar flyover states just seems to be one that won't die.

2. Now on to the big state / small state argument. The Elecotoral College does not protect the "small states" from "the big states."

A candidate doesn't care about either the state or the people in them. They care about the Electoral Votes. That's why Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia are pretty much the only states that matter in election years. California, Texas, and New York aren't ignored because they Electoral Collage handicaps them... they are ignored because they are safe. They aren't close.

Florida (3rd in population), Pennsylvania (6th), Ohio (7th), North Carolina (9th) and Virginia (12th) are the states that get the most attention, money, and campaign visits in every election because they are the most populous states that aren't already overwhelmingly Democratic or Republican.

Here's how many official campaign stops each state got in 2016 between the official nominations of the two major parties candidates and election night.



And none of this changes the fact that real vote happens by unelected, legally unaccountable electors in December.


Edited by Loss Leader:  Edited image size as housekeeping. Please use "Imgw=" tags to resize pics. I suggest IMGW=500
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:05 PM   #18
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Range voting seems the best on paper. This page, despite looking wonky and having a clear slant, is quite thorough in going through the various issues we know about with voting systems.

But even small countries seem to want MMP because of the nature of having a person represent a district. But it can exacerbate certain problems in Westminster parliament models (e.g. the extremes have too much sway because they are king makers when forming a government).
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Old 10th November 2017, 05:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
Range voting seems the best on paper. This page, despite looking wonky and having a clear slant, is quite thorough in going through the various issues we know about with voting systems.

But even small countries seem to want MMP because of the nature of having a person represent a district. But it can exacerbate certain problems in Westminster parliament models (e.g. the extremes have too much sway because they are king makers when forming a government).
The last issue can be fixed by having a rule that says that you need a significant % (10+%) to get anyone elected. Then if a third party has the balance of power they have a significant % of the population behind them.
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Old 10th November 2017, 05:48 PM   #20
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OK - we dump the Electoral College.

How will going to the popular vote make for better outcomes?
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Old 10th November 2017, 05:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
That might have been a good reason for the EC in the past, but it isn't working that way anymore. There are few purely agrarian states. Many have large rural areas but are dominated by a few (or just one) single city.

Illinois was 54% urban in 1970 and 70% urban in 2010. By a somewhat different measure, the South was only 25.5% urban in 1910 but 75.8% a hundred years later.

The overall effect is that the Electoral College is no longer preserving rural voting strength because it only does so at the state level. You're going to have to break it down to regions or counties within each state to achieve that again.

And before you argue that the liberal east would have outsized influence, remember that Texas and Florida (Trump) each have higher populations than New York. Georgia and North Carolina each have higher populations than New Jersey. And Massachusetts, that bastion of liberalism, is 15th.
That isn't my concern.

My concern is that our local political mental defectives would endeavor in "Californicating" the rest of the Nation at a faster pace than they are as-is.
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Old 10th November 2017, 06:06 PM   #22
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"The elected official is acceptable to the most possible voters" is the only "better" outcome.

If a "bad person" gets elected because that's what the people wanted, that's not the election processes's fault.

Democracy is incompatible with the idea of protecting voters from their own bad decisions.

That's the beauty of democracy. Not that the people have "the power." That meaningless. The people always have the power in every political system from anarchy to totalitarianism. In democracy the people have the responsibility.

Right now the American people don't elect the President. Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina do.

Right now if you're a Republican living in California or a Democrat living in Texas you are not getting a vote in any functional level and that's just wrong. And it's just as wrong for the people who I disagree with their vote as it is for the people I do.

I don't want a system that games us into making the "right" decision. I want a system where we have to live with our bad decisions when we make them.

I think that's a rather distasteful common but unspoken subtext in a lot of discussions about voting, the vague idea that if we mess with the system too much a bunch of "wrong voters" are gonna tip the scales and I simply cannot groove on that wavelength.

5 times in this country's history a President has been elected with a minority popular vote because of the winner take all, win states not people methodology of the Electoral College.

And even in the other 53 elections the winning candidate was still playing the same game, just by pure chance the will of the people and the will of the electors happened to coincide. That's why I don't care (as much in this context) that Hillary won the popular vote and Trump lost it. They were both playing the same game and trying to win in the same fashion. The popular vote has always been a stake-less, meaningless popularity poll in America. Hillary was counting electoral votes same as Trump was.
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Old 10th November 2017, 06:07 PM   #23
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Interestingly, the US Constitution DID originally specify a consolation prize system, with the candidate receiving the second largest number of electoral votes becoming Vice President. That was quickly scrapped by the 12th Amendment.
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Old 10th November 2017, 06:09 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Interestingly, the US Constitution DID originally specify a consolation prize system, with the candidate receiving the second largest number of electoral votes becoming Vice President. That was quickly scrapped by the 12th Amendment.
That's because our Founding Fathers had this crazy idea that politicians would put the country ahead of partisanship.

That lasted all of one election.
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Old 10th November 2017, 07:44 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
This is only a reasonable system if there are a multiplicity of parties representing all sorts of political demographics. Otherwise, you're just handing a straight majority to one party and a minority to the other. Governments elected in this way should have plurality governments, which promotes inclusivity.
I think you have that backwards. It is FPTP that delivers straight majorities to one party - even when that party gets well below a majority of the vote. It promotes gerrymandering since it is so easy to manipulate boundaries. It also forces a 2 party system on the population since a vote for anybody else is a vote that is "thrown away".

It is only under MMP or multiple member electorates with PR that candidates from smaller parties have a chance to be elected so you can sure that there will be "a multiplicity of parties representing all sorts of political demographics" come election time.
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Old 10th November 2017, 07:59 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Originally Posted by Tsukasa Buddha View Post
But even small countries seem to want MMP because of the nature of having a person represent a district. But it can exacerbate certain problems in Westminster parliament models (e.g. the extremes have too much sway because they are king makers when forming a government).
The last issue can be fixed by having a rule that says that you need a significant % (10+%) to get anyone elected. Then if a third party has the balance of power they have a significant % of the population behind them.
Why should one party get a majority if the voters don't want them to?

(BTW in NZ the threshold is 5% though anybody getting less than the threshold is unlikely to win a seat anyhow).
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Old 10th November 2017, 08:13 PM   #27
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And again we have to go back and ask one of those basic questions, what rights should "Parties" have encoded in the system.
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Old 10th November 2017, 09:28 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
And again we have to go back and ask one of those basic questions, what rights should "Parties" have encoded in the system.
It's not about rights but realities. Most people don't vote for an individual. They vote for/against a party or for/against the president/prime minister. Try to take parties out of the system and you end up with elections where most people don't really know what the candidates stand for.
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Old 10th November 2017, 09:38 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The "Hare-Clark" system (multi-member electorates with voting in each electorate counted using PR) is indeed an improvement on single member electorates. However...
No voting system is perfect. It's not even clear what the definition of "perfect" would be. But we've got a pretty good system with Hare-Clark, and that's probably as good as we're going to get.
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Old 10th November 2017, 09:38 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It's not about rights but realities. Most people don't vote for an individual. They vote for/against a party or for/against the president/prime minister. Try to take parties out of the system and you end up with elections where most people don't really know what the candidates stand for.
And, to me at least, this isn't a "problem" that voting systems can solve.

If the electorate is too lazy to spend 30 minutes on Google glancing at a dozen or so candidates web page at some point in the buildup to election day we deserve whatever we get.

It's 2017. Every candidate is going to have a website and 99% of the voting population has a web capable device never more than an arm's length from them throughout pretty much their entire life. You could almost literally walk into a polling station on election day without even knowing the candidates names and learn the basics of where they stand on the popular issues while waiting in line to vote. Hell there's websites where you enter in your address and it will literally generate a cheat sheet for you.

If a society can support a year plus (as in does the election cycle in America ever really stop?) long election cycle (I don't think most Americans grasp how insane that is to other countries) with 24 hour news coverage we can stop pretending "We can't be bothered to actually learn anything about the candidates" is a demographic we should be concerned with.

Again we don't need a voting system that protects us from ourselves.
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Old 10th November 2017, 09:54 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
If a society can support a year plus (as in does the election cycle in America ever really stop?) long election cycle (I don't think most Americans grasp how insane that is to other countries) with 24 hour news coverage we can stop pretending "We can't be bothered to actually learn anything about the candidates" is a demographic we should be concerned with.

Again we don't need a voting system that protects us from ourselves.
- Do you know what speeches your congress representative has made in congress?
- Do you know what speeches your congress representative has made outside of congress?
- Do you know your congress representative's voting record in congress?
- Do you know who your congress representative is?
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Old 10th November 2017, 10:28 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
That isn't my concern.

My concern is that our local political mental defectives would endeavor in "Californicating" the rest of the Nation at a faster pace than they are as-is.

All I read this as is, "I don't like that the demographics of the nation are changing." If the population becomes more progressive, that's not something that should be fixed with weighted voting. That's something that should be fixed by getting rid of old voters.

Perhaps you mean that you don't want to see the nation led around by a few large cities, as most of California is dictated to by LA and SF. In that case, my point remains that the Electoral College isn't doing that effectively anymore.


Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I think you have that backwards. It is FPTP that delivers straight majorities to one party - even when that party gets well below a majority of the vote. It promotes gerrymandering since it is so easy to manipulate boundaries. It also forces a 2 party system on the population since a vote for anybody else is a vote that is "thrown away".

It is only under MMP or multiple member electorates with PR that candidates from smaller parties have a chance to be elected so you can sure that there will be "a multiplicity of parties representing all sorts of political demographics" come election time.

Fair enough. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 11th November 2017, 02:13 AM   #33
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I disagree that FPTP leads to a two party system inevitably. I think it's fairer to say it leads to at best two party contests but you can have a system where the results of those contests sums to three or four parties competing for overall control.

I think the larger problem with FPTP is when you get safe seats that render voting somewhat pointless.
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Old 11th November 2017, 02:17 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
And, to me at least, this isn't a "problem" that voting systems can solve.

If the electorate is too lazy to spend 30 minutes on Google glancing at a dozen or so candidates web page at some point in the buildup to election day we deserve whatever we get.

It's 2017. Every candidate is going to have a website and 99% of the voting population has a web capable device never more than an arm's length from them throughout pretty much their entire life. You could almost literally walk into a polling station on election day without even knowing the candidates names and learn the basics of where they stand on the popular issues while waiting in line to vote. Hell there's websites where you enter in your address and it will literally generate a cheat sheet for you.

If a society can support a year plus (as in does the election cycle in America ever really stop?) long election cycle (I don't think most Americans grasp how insane that is to other countries) with 24 hour news coverage we can stop pretending "We can't be bothered to actually learn anything about the candidates" is a demographic we should be concerned with.

Again we don't need a voting system that protects us from ourselves.
Define us? I'd certainly like a voting system that protects others from the decisions of the majority.
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Old 11th November 2017, 04:03 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Why should one party get a majority if the voters don't want them to?

<snip>
Nothing in my post addresses this issue. This question is rather strange. But a complex one. And a good one. If no party gets an absolute majority then things get interesting. One person told me that is when you get the most legislation past. Does anyone have any facts about this?



Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
- Do you know what speeches your congress representative has made in congress?
- Do you know what speeches your congress representative has made outside of congress?
- Do you know your congress representative's voting record in congress?
- Do you know who your congress representative is?
This is something people should be able to find out easily. And actually do. But if you elect one person per party what is the point? You want to vote for a certain party, so what does it matter how good they are? It is only when you have a choice of members within the party does this really matter and that system is rare in the world.
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Old 11th November 2017, 06:02 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
- Do you know what speeches your congress representative has made in congress?
- Do you know what speeches your congress representative has made outside of congress?
- Do you know your congress representative's voting record in congress?
- Do you know who your congress representative is?
Yes. And if I didn't I would only have myself, not the voting system, to blame.

Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Define us? I'd certainly like a voting system that protects others from the decisions of the majority.
Then what you want isn't democracy and outside the scope of this discussion.
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Old 11th November 2017, 06:19 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
But if you elect one person per party what is the point? You want to vote for a certain party, so what does it matter how good they are? It is only when you have a choice of members within the party does this really matter and that system is rare in the world.
Hell why even bother telling us who the candidates are? We can all just go into the election booths in November, vote for a Party, and the Party that wins can tell us who they picked to be President on election day. It can be a big ole' surprise.
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Old 11th November 2017, 08:04 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Nothing in my post addresses this issue.
You can't have it both ways. The problem that your post addressed was minority parties having the balance of power. You offered a solution that would reduce the probability of that happening.

If minorities don't have the balance of power then that means that means that one party has a majority in spite of the voters.
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Old 11th November 2017, 08:30 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Yes. And if I didn't I would only have myself, not the voting system, to blame.
If you really spend that much time getting to know your local member then you must be one in a million. Most people can be considered knowledgeable if they know which party controls their electorate and if they know the name of their local member then they can be considered geniuses.

Do you really think that we should have a voting system that allows a party to exploit this?
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Old 11th November 2017, 08:32 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
I disagree that FPTP leads to a two party system inevitably. I think it's fairer to say it leads to at best two party contests but you can have a system where the results of those contests sums to three or four parties competing for overall control.
Have you got a country in mind where this is the case? It certainly isn't the USA. Even in the UK the emergence of the SNP is a relatively recent phenomenon and only occurred because the Scottish demographic is unique.
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