Whorled View

February 6, 2008

Repair the Primaries: The Multi-vote Plan

Filed under: Politics,Sociology — lullabyman @ 6:07 am

We saw it with the republicans – the conservatives split down the middle so we nominated someone who doesn’t electrify the bulk of the republicans. It’s worse when it happens in a general election, but it happens all the time.

4 years ago it happened among the Democrats where the moderate democrats beat themselves up while John Kerry as an extreme liberal sailed in as the uncontested liberal candidate, who then couldn’t get elected despite the fact that Bush was so unpopular. In 2000 Ralph Nader split the democrat vote, handing the election to Bush despite the fact that Gore got the popular vote. In 1992 it was Ross Perot who split the Republican vote giving Clinton the victory even though Perot didn’t win any electoral votes (you don’t have to win the electoral vote to steal pre-electoral votes in a tight race).

My solution would be very easy to do using electronic voting machines: everyone is allowed up to 4 votes to divide among the candidates any way they want, but each candidate can get a maximum of only two votes. You can for example choose to give your first choice 2 votes, your second choice 1 vote, and then not cast the 4th vote. You could also give your 2 top candidates the maximum of 2 votes each, or you can give one candidate 2 votes and not cast the other 2 votes. You could, if you wanted to, spread the 4 votes among the 4 candidates who are against or for a particular issue, 1 vote each.

At a minimum it should be practiced on a Primary level. It would probably not even be necessary at the general election if done that the primary level because we’d end up with more viable candidates so splitting the party at the general would be less likely to happen.

This method will greatly increase the likelihood that at least the best platform gets nominated (assuming that democracy works: what’s best is what’s most popular).

It would also increase the likelihood that more moderates would get nominated, and elected. Why? Because there are more moderates than extremists, so it’s the moderates that generally knock each other out while the extremists go uncontested. The nomination of John Kerry was the perfect example of this.

Then again, if you like Iraqgate or Lewinsky gate – both products of Presidents elected via the spit-vote phenomenon in either the primary or general election, and if you’d like to see more of that kind of thing then lets stick with the existing system. If you always think what you’ve always thought, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.


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