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Voting Systems

rockwater
Posts: 273
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1/27/2014 5:38:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What voting system is best, regardless of the country? Second, what voting system would be best for the United States?

I'm thinking the US would be better off with either instant-runoff voting (with single-member districts) or single transferrable vote (with multiple member districts). The Senate is different so let's just talk about the House of Representatives here. To prevent there being hundreds of candidates to rank in order, there can be a first round where people just vote for their top choice and anyone who gets less than 5% is eliminated. The second round would then allow people to rank their choices. I think people should be able to stop ranking after there top 3 or so choices if they do not know anything about the other candidates or if there are certain candidates that they do not want their vote going towards no matter what - I am no expert in the math of voting systems so please correct me if this is not possible. Finally, I think that political parties should not be able to place their own preferences on the ballot, as happens in Australia (where you can vote for the Nationals, for instance, and just check a box where all the other parties are ranked in a way that the Nationals think would work out best for them in terms of the math).

There also is the possibility that representatives could be elected directly for districts but that extra members could be allotted to the House from Party lists in order to provide representation for each party based on its share of votes. There could be a minimum percentage of the national vote in order for a party to be able to get seats from their lists. Of course the huge problem with this is that the party lists are drawn up by the parties and not by the voters. I have heard, though, about "open lists" where voters get to choose who is on the list for each party and in what order. How does this work and is it too complicated to be practical? Even with open lists, there is still the problem that any kind of proportional representation for parties weakens the representation of any independent candidates elected to the House (correct me if I am wrong), since they do not get any extra seats from lists even if 30% of all votes nationwide go to independent candidates.
rockwater
Posts: 273
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1/29/2014 5:44:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Does no one think that any other voting system is better than the one the US currently has (first past the post)?
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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1/30/2014 12:39:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Any system which maximises the amount of approval that has to be gained is a good thing, in my mind. One would presume that in an ideal democracy nothing could pass without absolute approval / consent...

I don't believe in having leaders, anyway. Representatives should be individuals who serve and reflect the consensus, rather than individuals who obtain approval to rule as they wish. They should not be vested with any power, but merely serve to efficiently relay the views of a community.