2 votes

Alternative Voting Explained

This would be a great long term solution to the duopoly we currently face.


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Garan's picture

Alt voting is ok, Scaled/Weighted voting is more representative

Alt voting still has elements of all-or-nothing voting, since you only vote up or down (vote or no vote).
Ranking candidates in order of preference limits people to an ordered list, which is a limited way of expressing opinion; creating a misrepresentation of how a person feels about all the candidates.

Weighted (or scaled) voting allows for better representation of people's opinions and avoids multiple-counting of votes (run-off voting).

With a 4-value weight/scale (no vote, 1, 2, & 3) you can vote for a number of candidates (A,B,C...), by considering each candidate on a scale from 1 to 3 (or no vote).

On a ballot, people may see a choice like this:
Bill Boyer: [][][]
..with the right-most check-box representing the most favor, or:
Bill Boyer: []
..where people write-in 1,2,3 or nothing.

The following examples show how weighted voting can be more expressive.
For brevity, votes are represented as: : .

A:3, B:2, C:1 (A is first choice, B second, C third)
A:3, B:3, C:0 (voter likes candidates A & B, but not C)
A:3, B:0, C:1, D:1 (voter likes A, not B, gives support to C&D)
A:2, B:2, C:1 (voter mostly likes A&B, C is their next bet)
A:0, B:0, C:3, D3 (voter wants anyone except the two major parties)

Simply tally the totals, and you have a winner.
In this case: A:10, B:7, C:6 (..and the third party gets attention)

In a scenario where two popular candidates polarize the people, yet most people feel pretty good about a 3rd or 4th party, votes might look like this (we'll use 'dem', 'rep', 'lib', as three parties):

dem:3, rep:0, lib:0 (a democrat)
dem:0, rep:3, lib:0 (a republican)
dem:0, rep:0, lib:3 (a libertarian)
dem:3, rep:0, lib:2 (a democrat who is o.k. with a libertarian)
dem:0, rep:3, lib:2 (a republican who is o.k. with a libertarian)

Vote count is: dem:6, rep:6, lib:7

So, a non-front-runner (lib) wins, only because they have more over-all support.

Run-off and Alternate voting both might have eliminated the libertarians in the first round, even though the libertarians may have more overall support (when voters can represent their opinion on a scale).

With how long it takes to change the voting system, wouldn't it be better to promote a more ideal voting system (scaled voting), than one that that is only better (Run-off or Alternative voting) than our current all-or-nothing system (one vote for one candidate)?