College of Political Knowledge
Recently I did a post, well several on the necessity of voting or not….some of the titles were Political Obligation, Voter beware, to mention only a few….these seem to get the most play from my readers most of it was unflattering, to say the least…..it has been that way since I started pointing out the inconsistencies in the American voting process…..
I posted my article on Political Obligation on a political discussion forum, I had stayed away from them for several years because few have people that want to have a discussion….it was all about bashing on party or the other…….and after I posted the usual occurrence happened….someone took my words personally….they immediately went on the attack…..another reason that I quit trying to have a substantive conversation on a concept….few people cannot move past their personal filter and look at the concept in broader terms….anyway my exchange got me to thinking more about the institution we call…..voting……..
What has anyone’s voting done to solve the problems with the country and its economy?
A great question when the general election of 2012 is quickly approaching and we will picking our next president, either a new one or a continuation of the one we have now….what to do?
If I take the pragmatic approach, I will look and find something in one of the two American major parties that I can vote for….but then I become a single issue voter…and that does little to help the country….if I stand by my principles then I have NO one to vote for, most of the time, because neither party is serious about fixing the problems in this country, IMO….or I can just stay home and bitch……
As the voting is today in American…it is only a reinforcement of the status quo…..either I vote for someone I do not like or I do not vote….in essence I would have to vote for the lesser of two idiots…..that is NOT what voting should be about…..
For one, I dislike the idea that only 2 parties are capable of representing the population and when you have that mindset then we are to the point of tweedle dee or tweedle-dum…..
But there is an answer, at least in my opinion……and it is called IRV (instant run-off voting)! As defined by fairvote.org…..
IRV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference (i.e. first, second, third, fourth and so on). Voters have the option to rank as many or as few candidates as they wish, but can vote without fear that ranking less favored candidates will harm the chances of their most preferred candidates. First choices are then tabulated, and if a candidate receives a majority of first choices, he or she is elected. If nobody has a clear majority of votes on the first count, a series of runoffs are simulated, using each voter’s preferences indicated on the ballot. The candidate who received the fewest first place choices is eliminated. All ballots are then retabulated, with each ballot counting as one vote for each voter’s highest ranked candidate who has not been eliminated. Specifically, voters who chose the now-eliminated candidate will now have their ballots counted for their second ranked candidate — just as if they were voting in a traditional two-round runoff election — but all other voters get to continue supporting their top candidate. The weakest candidates are successively eliminated and their voters’ ballots are redistributed to next choices until a candidate earns a majority of votes.Instant runoff voting allows for better voter choice and wider voter participation by accommodating multiple candidates in single seat races and alleviating the “spoiler effect,” which can result in undemocratic outcomes. IRV allows all voters to vote for their favorite candidate, while avoiding the fear of helping elect their least favorite candidate. It ensures that the winner enjoys support from a majority, using the same basic logic as traditional runoff elections. Plurality voting, as used in most American elections, does not meet these basic requirements for a fair election system that promotes cost-saving elections with wider participation.
IMO, it is the two party voting process that has turn any election into a beauty contest and not a contest for proper governance…..we need election reform NOW…and IRV could be a brilliant start…