The United States Should Adopt a Ranked-Choice Voting System
Debate Rounds (4)
The Ranked Choice voting system (also called transferable vote, instant-runoff vote, and preferential vote), is a voting system where the voters rank the candidates in order of preference rather than only voting for one candidate. The process works as follows: The first place votes for all of the candidates are counted as normal. If no one candidate has the majority of votes, however, the candidate with the least number of first-place votes is eliminated, and those votes are redistributed to whoever that voter's second choice was. This flowchart explains the process clearly: https://en.wikipedia.org...
I will take the position that adopting a Ranked Choice voting system would be benifical to the United States. My opponent's position should be that either the current first past the post voting system or another voting system would be better. The first round will be an acceptance of the challenge.
Note: I would like to clarify that this is referring to ALL ELECTIONS involving more than one candidate.
There are many reasons why a ranked-choice voting system should be adopted. First, consider the scenario of the U.S. Republican primary. In the beggining of the primary season, the majority of the electorate was against Trump. However, since he had the plurality of support, he won most of the early states. Although the majority of the people were against Trump, he started to win. Only after he emerged as likely nominee did he begin to win more support, and even now a large percent of the Republican party is still unhappy about how the election turned out. Now, consider the same scenario with a ranked-choice system instead of the traditional first past the post system. If given the option to rank candidates, I am sure that many voters, as seen with the 'Never Trump' movement, would have ranked Trump as their last choice. Then, as the ballots were counted, the votes would eventually be allocated to a candidate that was the second, third, etc. choice of the voters. Therefore, the votes would eventually be allocated to someone that is slightly pleasing to a large number of voters, rather than the votes being spread out amongst candidates that are very pleasing to small numbers of people. If a ranked-choice system was used in the Republican primaries, it is very likely that a different candidate may have emerged as the nominee. What the traditional voting system often does with a large field of candidates is produce a candidate that is very appealing to a small group of people, but turns off the majority, in the case of Donald Trump. That candidate only wins because his small group is larger than his rivals' small groups. On the contrary, the ranked-choice system produces a candidate that is moderately pleasing to the majority. Therefore, the ranked-choice system results in a better representation of the people. Therefore, it should always be used whenever possible.
One of the main reasons, among a few others, that drive people to not vote, is they don't like either of the two main candidates. Over the last two decades, politics in the U.S. have become more and more polarized, with the Democratic and Republican parties shifting more and more to the left and right, respectively. This results in a large percentage of the populace not voting because neither candidate appeals to them. This is the direct result of the traditional voting system. This video explains very well how a first-past-the-post voting method brings about a two-party system: https://www.youtube.com...;(Watch from 1:40 to 3:50)
The result of this system is that many voters are frusterated with both parties, and hence are much less likely to vote. The ranked-choice voting system, however, is different. It brings in more voters, because voters can vote for their favorite candidate without the fear of their disliked candidate winning because of the spoiler effect. Consider the same scenario explained in the video. After the first election, snake's voters and turtle's voters would not have to worry about the spoiler effect under the ranked-choice system. Snake's voters and turtle's voters would simply mark their least preferred candidate as such, to ensure that their votes will be transferred as they would want. This makes people much more likely to vote, because they would be able to vote without fear for a candidate that appeals to them. Con's argues that we should solve this issue of no voters first; however, the ranked-choice system is the solution.
https://www.youtube.com...), is still just as corrupt as the first past the post system. Voter's still vote strategically, they just put it all in one ballot. Over time, as the less favored candidates get knocked out, the secondary candidates, who would be voted for strategically in the next election under first past the post, now get the votes immediately. This means that the spoiler effect will happen just as much, but it will be disguised as a democratic system. People will still back out of their future campaigns after the first or second failure, which will lead to an ever decreasing number of candidates. The problems presented remain the same, but they occur faster.
I will admit that the Ranked-Choice system is not a perfect system, for no voting system can be flawless. However, I am arguing that it is still better than our current first-past-the-post system. It actually does not produce the spoiler effect because such an effect would be impossible under the ranked-choice system. When I use the term spoiler effect, I am referring to the splitting of the vote between two candidates of similar ideology, resulting in the candidate of the other ideology winning. This cannot happen with a Ranked-Choice system because the voters voting for each of the two candidates of similar ideology would just rank the other candidate of that ideology as their second choice. Hence, the spoiler effect is eliminated. It may be true that the ranked-choice system may lead to a two-party system, but it is not as hard for a third-party candidate to make an election bid under the ranked-choice system. I will now present another example of how the ranked-choice system would benefit us. In the months of april and march, Michael Bloomberg was considering mounting a presidential bid. However, he decided not to do so because he feared being a spoiler that would lead to the victory of Donald Trump. Bloomberg would have been able to run under a ranked-choice system without fear of the spoiler affect. Although the ranked-choice system is perfect, it is better than our current system and we would benefit from adopting it.
Grovenshar forfeited this round.
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