New Voting System

Discussion in 'Politics' started by MJDuncan1982, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. MJDuncan1982
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    MJDuncan1982 Member

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    Can we agree what when there is an election, simple majority when the electorate is split (49-50, 45-55) is not a very good way to represent the people? Pretty much half of a voting population is discarded in simple majority systems. I think it's time to think about updating the way we vote.

    Take State X that is holding elections to send Representatives to the Federal House. Assume State X has 3 districts, divided into equal population centers of 1000 each.

    District 1: Republicans get 55% (550)
    Democrats get 45% (450)

    District 2: Republicans get 60% (600)
    Democrats get 40% (400)

    District 3: Republicans get 65% (650)
    Democrats get 35% (350)

    If each District was to send a Representative based on simple majority, there would be 3 Republicans and 0 Democrats in the Federal House.

    However, look at the numbers. There are 1200 votes for Democrats and 1800 votes for Republicans.

    As a percentage, the Democrats make up 40% of the populace and the Republicans make up 60% of the populace.

    Simple majority has ignored the voice of 40% of the population. The representation is not appropriate.

    Now, if the Representatives to the Federal House were sent based on the general vote and done as a proportion:

    40% of 3 is 1.2
    60% of 3 is 1.8

    Round accordingly and then 2 Republicans are sent and 1 Democrat. Now 30% of the House is Democrat and 40% of the population is which is better than 0% of the House and 40% of the population.

    I am seriously considering the merits of such a system. Any and all feedback regarding flaws is greatly appreciated and asked for.
     
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  2. nakedemperor
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    nakedemperor Senior Member

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    I'm with you all the way on this one, MJ. According to the latest slate electoral college map, Kerry trails Bush by 2 votes; good news in and of itself, but that doesn't take into account the potential legislation in Colorado that would allot its electors by percentage, meaning Kerry could take as many as 4 of Colorado's 9 votes even if he doesn't win there, giving him the Presidency.
     
  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    That's why we live in a representative republic.

    That's also why we have the Electoral College.

    But if that's how you want to elect people, you should work to change the laws in your state. I doubt it woudl ever happen though.
     
  4. MJDuncan1982
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    MJDuncan1982 Member

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    What I'm saying though is that with a simple majority, there is the very real and quite common occurrence where no representation occurs for a large section of the population. It just doesn't seem like a very effective republic.

    And the Electoral College is only for the Presidential election. I'm discussing more how the members of the Senate and House are elected.

    I'm not sure if this is how I want to elect people. This is why I posted here for everyone to look at it and see errors that I have missed. I haven't given this an incredible amount of thought. Airing it out is the best way, it seems, to test it out.

    And I would love to change it in my state. Maine and Oregon (I believe) and a few other states are beginning to adopt this type of measure.

    It just seems to make more sense to me if we are trying to have a government that represents the people.

    I'd appreciate it if everyone could read it and comment on its faults.

    :usa:
     
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  5. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    Problem 1:

    Let's assume that all three districts have two candidates running for election. One from each party. Also assume that the Republican won in each case. How will you select the Democrat when the people in each district elected the Republican?

    Problem 2:

    Let's change the math a bit:

    District 1 elects a Republican with a vote of 510 to 490

    District 2 elects a Republican with a vote of 530 to 470

    District 3 elects a Democrat with a vote of 890 to 110.

    Total vote for Republicans = 1150
    Total vote for Democrats = 1850

    Democrats garner 60+ percent of the vote. Will you unseat one Republican and replace him with a Democrat?

    Problem 3:

    In order to implement the type system you suggest, the voters would have to first vote for a panel of candidates. Then they would have to vote either Democrat or Republican. Then the candidates of the panel would be selected based on the overall percentage of Democrat or Republican votes. The sequence of selection would be based on the number of votes for each individual candidate.

    Problem 4:

    What do you do when there are multiple parties, not just two? If you have candidates running from the Green party, the Constitutionalists, the Independents, the Republicans, the Democrats, the Communists, the . . . well, you get the picture.

    No matter what scheme you devise, there are going to be people who voted for the losing candidate. Now that doesn't mean they don't get represented as you suggested - it just means they don't get the candidate of their choice. But any politician worth beans is going to try to build as broad a constituency as possible. If he does a good enough job, many who voted for his opponent in the first election will support him in the next.

    I'd go on, but this is making me dizzy. Bottom line is that in an election someone wins and someone loses. Those that lose just need to suck it up and wait till next time.
     
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  6. fubar
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    fubar Member

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    I am a conservative who lives in the Boston area. I know what it means to be unrepresented.

    I support candidates in out of state elections through donations, I support our radical anti Democrat political party ( it isn't the Republicans, they can't even field candidates for Kerry/kennedy re election bids ) - the Libertarians.

    All major purchases are bought across our state line in New hampshire, The majority of our recreation dollars are spend in N.H. or Maine. to resist the absurb taxes we pay at home.

    And although I have spent 35 years in my families ancestral home for the past 300 years, in a few years we're probably going to leave.

    But what you are talking about is either a Constitutional ammendment, or back door reform.the first is unlikely to happen, the second is the tactic of those I disagree with too much to participate in..
     
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  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    If a person ONLY participates in the election portion and the candidate that they support loses, it doesn't mean that the minorty goes unrepresented. There are numerous other ways for a citizen to participate in government and a coalition of minorities can create quite a formidable oppostion bloc to the majority. There are numerous checks and balances in the system that make if very difficult for one party to totally dominate.
    My problem with the system now is that 2 parties CAN dominate government and they join together to squelch other parties abilities to compete.
     

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