Thursday, November 26, 2009

Range Voting

I have already blogged about one idea to change the way in which we vote, and here is another. It's called range voting, and I like it because it gives the voter to express an opinion about all candidates, rather than going all in on one candidate. It's certainly not new (it's what is used in beauty contests, the Olympics, etc.), but it is not used in voting for political candidates.

It seems like after 200+ years of this republic, we could make some improvements to the process. I wish ideas like this would get more traction. Sadly, they won't.


broken ladder said...

Well, if you want it to gain traction, help out. ;)

Anonymous said...

While you don't strike me as naive, the belief that our voting setup would change for the greater good is a naive belief. It's this way by design.

Cursory research on the National Debate Commission shows that it excludes third parties very deliberately. The press jumps right on board by ridiculing the likes of Nader and Perot which is quite unfortunately taken in by readers and viewers.

Voting day its self couldn't be farther away from April 15 (tax day), and a very powerful union has the advantage of a holiday for every member on voting day.

This is entirely by design. Unless we vote out incumbents and vote in service oriented individuals, nothing will change. Grassroots groundswell for changing each and every issue is completely overwhelming in the face of referendum denial and insane selective application of law. Voting is stacked against service oriented people, and in favor of those backed by the powerful and the moneyed.

The solution is in using the internet to promote non-incumbent candidates directly to voters, and follow up with polls to demonstrate to the ivory tower press that alternative candidates are serious contenders.

Freemarket said...

I like ideas like the one I blogged about in this post, but I am not arguing that it would fix everything that is wrong.

Anon, it is a mistake to assume, as you have, that the problem is the evil incumbents who currently occupy office and things would be better if we could vote in a different set of individuals. This point of view completely overlooks other problems of democracy like rational ignorance. Many of the current incumbents, which I despise in many ways, are basically well intentioned people who happen to be doing harm by pursuing popular policies. The problem is the system, not the specific individuals. If you give a monkey a gun and the monkey shoots someone, you don't blame the monkey.

The solution is to have competitive governments which allow people to vote with their feet. This country is far too large and the people far too diverse to be governed by a strong federal government. Local governments are better than state, state governments are better than the feds. Unfortunately, this power structure is completely upside down. How many Wall Street firms would have been bailed out, or how many mortgages would have been essentially guaranteed by the taxpayers, if the people of NY were paying the bill?

Anonymous said...

Excellent point about the bailouts. And very entertaining analogy between incumbents with rule making authority and a monkey with a gun.

You're suggesting that people be allowed to vote more on local issues, but you've come out against referenda which are equal to giving the people the right to vote locally on local issues.

Get it together, FM. You're just wrong on the referendum issue.

Freemarket said...

It's true that I don't support the CB58 referendum and I think the 5,000 signature threshold should be raised (I also believe there was misrepresentation on behalf of some grocery store unions who worked to collect signatures), but that does not mean that I don't support the right for citizens to have a referendum. In fact, I would agree that the way in which the signatures were invalidated was not cool.

PZGURU said...

Here's am idea that WOULD really have an impact on votng and candidates and how they campaign. Get rid of party affiliation registration. Get rid of "D", "R", and "I". If this was done, then (1) candidates wouldn't be able to just run on a generic "party" platform and (2) people couldn't just vote along "party" lines. How great would that be!!!!!!!!! Candidates would actually have to state their positions and voters would actually have to look at the candidates positions (or maybe they'd just vote blindly, who knows). This would help to get those viable "3rd" party candidates into the mix because the media couldn't just discount them.