Voting - Which method do you like? (24)

1 Name: Citizen : 2008-04-08 23:00 ID:B5ut2QH8

Voting - Which method do you like best?

Here's a topic I have nobody around who's enough of a politico to discuss. What voting system do you like best and why?


Here in the US we have a plurality voting system, first to the majority of electoral votes wins. This system is simple but encourages the dismissal of all parties except the two that dominate. For those who choose to vote in any third party, their vote is essentially wasted. For example, abriged results from the 2000 Presidential Election:

Republican: 47.9%
Democratic: 48.4%
Green: 02.7%
Reform: 00.4%
Libertarian: 00.4%
Other: 00.3%

According to this data, 3.8% of votes (or 3,953,222 voters) were unable to have a say in the winner between two very close candidates. Also, a certain unknown number of voters who may have preferred a third party chose instead to vote for one of the two dominating parties to avoid this.


I personally like the idea of instant-runoff voting (wiki here > In this type of voting, choices are ranked first to last. Once the votes are counted, if there is not a clear majority, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated. If your top candidate is eliminated, your vote still counts for your second favorite, the votes are retallied for a majority, until all votes are distilled into a major candidate and one wins.

This sounds great in general but it has a suite of problems not the least of which is failing the Cordorcet criterion, put very succinctly on its own page:
Consider, for example, the following vote count of preferences with three candidates {A,B,C}:

35: A>B>C
34: C>B>A
31: B>C>A

In this case, B is preferred to A by 65 votes to 35, and B is preferred to C by 66 to 34, hence B is strongly preferred to both A and C. B must then win according to the Condorcet criterion. Using the rules of IRV, B is ranked first by the fewest voters and is eliminated, and then C wins with the transferred votes from B.[/i]

Kinda unlikely, but still a quandry. Is there a system that combines the preference system but avoids this fault?

2 Name: Citizen : 2008-04-09 08:08 ID:65fWE6q5

As much as a leftist I tend to be, I like the system used by corporations. Basically, a corporation is ruled by a board. Each stock holder has a vote for each member of the board. However, the twist is you can instead pool all of your votes into single member. The point being that minority shareholders can control at least one member of the board if they pool their votes wisely. Ramped up to a parliamentary system, this would be extremely complicated, but at least it would allow representation of minority opinions at the national level. It would also end up tossing out a lot of votes, but I'm sure this could be worked out with the addition of a run-off system. In the end, elections would take six months and cost billions of dollars, but everyone gets their say, right?

I was thinking the ballot (which would be like sixty pages long) would allow you to pool your votes according to a party line, allow you to vote the party line less a certain number of votes set aside for specific candidates, or all votes behind a single candidate. It's totally unreasonable, but like I said, it would result in minority opinions getting their say at the national level even if it's just one member of the parliament.

3 Name: Citizen : 2008-04-09 20:57 ID:sZUoFCX/

Representative democracy!

4 Name: Citizen : 2008-04-09 22:02 ID:Heaven

first past the post is a failure in representative democracy, crazy alternative voting schemes are much more effective in ensuring that people are represented.

5 Name: Citizen : 2008-04-10 09:00 ID:65fWE6q5

Why not just vote for parties? Every person votes for their party of choice and the party fills in people as it sees fit to represent the areas where it received the greatest support. There could also be several "members at large" whose sole purpose is to represent minority opinions on the national level (Green, Communist, Cocaine & Machine Guns Party, etc).

The districts would be drawn by the parties instead of by the state so they could be overlapping since some areas are heavily split down the middle anyway. This would do well at the national level, but locally it would still be representative, I guess.

6 Name: Kristen Jones : 2008-04-10 23:29 ID:oxwPPANT

Whoever "citizen" is, they need to go back to school and learn something. Yeah, let's give all the power to parties rather than the people!

Kristen Jones

7 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E : 2008-04-11 01:20 ID:Heaven

Parties are a major bane of current politics. You'd think that a party whip is an obvious sign that something is wrong...

As for OP's question, I'm in favour of anything better than first past the post. If it's simple, includes ranking and (perhaps) meets the Condorcet criterion, all the better.

8 Name: Citizen : 2008-04-11 03:23 ID:xK7s3/Y1

The Swiss system seems to work the best, most efficiently, and with the least corruption in comparison to the majority of the world electoral process. The fact that the USA and most of Europe has just been batting Two parties over and over again for the last Century shows just how far off politics has gotten from the views and needs of The People.

from wiki:
Voting in Switzerland is the process by which Swiss citizens make decisions about governance and elect officials. Voting takes place over the week-end, with emphasis being put on the Sunday. At noon on that day ("Abstimmungssonntag" in German), voting ends.

Switzerland's voting system is unique among modern democratic nations in that Switzerland practices direct democracy (also called half-direct democracy), in which any citizen may challenge any law at any time. In addition, in most cantons all votes are cast using paper ballots that are manually counted.

Approximately four times a year, voting occurs over various issues; these include both referendums, where policies are directly voted on by people, and elections, where the populace votes for officials. These votes take place during the weekend. Federal, cantonal and municipal issues are polled simultaneously, and the majority of people cast their votes by mail.

from wiki:

Switzerland elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung/Assemblée fédérale/Asamblea Federale/Assemblea Federala) has two chambers. The National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale/Cussegl Naziunal) has 200 members, elected for a four year term by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies, the cantons. The Council of States (Ständerat/Conseil des Etats/Consiglio degli Stati/Cussegl dals Stadis) has 46 members, elected for four years in 20 multi-seat and 6 single-seat constituencies which are equal to the 26 cantons and half-cantons. The president is elected for a year term by the parliament out of the ministers. Switzerland has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.

9 Name: Citizen : 2008-04-11 03:56 ID:lTjGHavg


What good is an individual against the government? Or hell, against Exxon-Mobil, for that matter. You pretty much have to gang up to win. Besides, left to the individuals, nothing would get accomplished. See, for instance, I as an individual want an eight ball of coke and a machine gun. Do you really trust me with the government?

10 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E : 2008-04-11 17:25 ID:Heaven


> What good is an individual against the government?

The government consists of individuals, doesn't it? What part of individual representatives voting prevents a majority vote to pass a bill? It's either aye or nay.

> Or hell, against Exxon-Mobil, for that matter.

A single monolithic entity (a party) is easier to corrupt than an army of individuals. You can pull that off with the army as well, but it's more likely to come to light than if Exxon need cater only to the select few who drive a party agenda.

> See, for instance, I as an individual want an eight ball of coke and a machine gun.

I wouldn't vote for you. What's the issue?

11 Name: Citizen : 2008-04-12 09:16 ID:lTjGHavg

OK. My only problem with representative democracy, at least American-style is the Senate. The Senate is required to pass bills. Every state gets two senators. It's cheaper to buy less populace states and control the entire government that way.

Why bother even trying to run your bullshit candidate in California (with 36,000,000 people) when even $.50/voter is a major outlay of cash when you can get Wyoming (with 493,000 people) for next to nothing. I mean, you could spend $10 on each voter and still come out ahead. This is why Republicans control these bullshit states. Their interests are probably more accurately represented by Libertarians or some sort of cattle/mining-centric party.

13 Name: Citizen : 2008-04-17 12:35 ID:65fWE6q5

BOLOGNA. The same states, like Wyoming, have only one Representative anyway. That still costs nothing to buy off.

14 Name: Rounin : 2008-06-12 21:03 ID:FOoE7DUd

For single-winner elections, and the simpler is what I'd prefer above anything else.

Basically, they allow each voter to vote for more than one candidate, in case more than one candidate is acceptable to them. Each voter can be given multiple votes because in a single-winner election, only votes for the winning candidate counts.

The benefit of these methods is that they allow voters to vote for very unlikely candidates without wasting their votes (as they can also vote for other, more likely candidates), so they reduce the need for tactical voting.

They also allow each voter to choose between the old style plurality voting (by giving their favourite candidate the top score and all the other candidates the bottom score) or consensus voting (by voting for candidates that aren't their favourite, but can still accept). If all the voters use plurality voting, the candidate ranked as #1 by most will win, whereas if they all vote for multiple candidates, the candidate best liked overall will win.

15 Name: Rounin : 2008-06-12 21:18 ID:FOoE7DUd

Incidentally, they achieve more or less the same thing as Instant Runoff Voting without the aforementioned problem.

One noteworthy difference from IRV, though, is that a candidate can win the election by being acceptable to the highest number of voters, even though another candiate is ranked #1 by more people. However, it's up to each voter whether to vote for more than one candidate or just their favourite candidate, so old-style plurality voting is still available to those who feel that it's fairer or simply prefer that.

16 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2008-12-06 19:52 ID:ZIQY7FdH

Bipartidism systems are dooooooomed.

17 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2008-12-16 18:05 ID:O/QfoxNG

I like the video at

18 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-01-20 12:10 ID:E96M0SWh

Voting is useless.

It dosent matter who you vote for, governments operate on a national scale, world banks operate on a global scale.

Voting is a way to appease the majority, letting them control some superficial laws. We chose the icing on the cake, but its still a victoria sponge.

19 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-02-01 03:24 ID:WOfe2p/5

communism>absolute democracy>representative democracy

20 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-02-02 02:43 ID:Heaven

Communism is an economic structure, dumbass.

21 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-02-02 03:19 ID:PPhI3fuM

absolute democracy is a logistical clusterfuck once your population exceeds five digits

22 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-02-03 02:26 ID:Heaven

Not really, technology makes up for that, however people can't trust technology.

23 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-02-04 14:55 ID:dnKRete9

Agreed, but we still need some time to see that really appliable (higher security standards, more than 90% of the population internet-aware, etc). As of now it's still not possible.

For a representative democracy, there is still a mode of vote that is good, it's the Proportional Elections. In France we should (and could have) use it for some things, but we don't because some dumbheads don't want to give even one seat to extreme right parties, so they fuck up the whole system. As much as I don't like extreme right, I still think these people's voice count, and fucking up the whole system just for a certain form of censorship denotes a high level of corruption of the system.

The concept is simple, you have a fixed number of representatives; seats are alloted proportionally to the number of votes.

For example, for OP's example, with 100 seats to vote for:
Republican: 47.9% - 47 seats
Democratic: 48.4% - 48 seats
Green: 02.7% - 2 seats
Reform: 00.4% - 1 seat
Libertarian: 00.4% - 1 seat
Other: 00.3% - 1 seat

I toyed with the numbers so that everyone is represented, though I think under a certain % the votes still would get the cut; however as OP remarked, some people don't vote for third-parties because of the fact others would be "wasted votes", which wouldn't be the case with Proportionals.

24 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2012-10-09 14:28 ID:Heaven


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