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Author Topic: Changing the Voting System  (Read 4558 times)

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Offline AndyZTopic starter

Changing the Voting System
« on: January 08, 2012, 04:32:40 AM »
I personally believe that a large problem with America today is that we have a singular vote, which forces us into a two-party system.  Unless you're a Democrat or a Republican, you may as well be throwing your vote away, leaving you to either vote for the person you 20% agree with, try to vote for a third party knowing it'll never happen as things are now, or not vote at all.  This is nothing new.

I've been thinking about this for years, and the obvious solution is to change the voting system.  I doubt it'd ever happen (both Democrats and Republicans have a firm interest in seeing that it doesn't) but they say that if enough people support an idea, it can happen.  Let's see if that's true.

I'll ask that comments remain constructive.  I realize it's unlikely to happen, but I'd like to know if there any possible fixes to the idea as I envision it.  If I've horribly goofed in some way, I'd appreciate having it explained.



Offer a voting possibility of N-1 votes (assuming N candidates), going by 1, 2, 3, and so on.  Count up all the 1s, and see who has the least votes.  Remove that person from the record, and anyone who voted for that person can move down to the next one on their list.

For example, let's say that the candidates are Jack Meoff, Amanda Hugandkiss, Hugh Jazz, Isabelle Ringing and Harry Geezer.  I vote according to the following:

1.) Jack Meoff
2.) Amanda Hugandkiss
3.) Hugh Jazz
4.) Isabelle Ringing

The first person eliminated is Amanda Hugandkiss, with 10% of the vote.  Anyone who had her as #1 moves down to their #2.  After that, Jack Meoff is the least favored, so he's eliminated.  My vote now stands for Hugh Jazz, who may not be an awesome candidate but at least is better than Harry Geezer.

I think this would work a lot better than what we have now.  I would appreciate feedback.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 07:54:15 AM »
I don't vote like that and neither do most people if I vote its on key issues and who is holding what offices, in the upcoming election I am not a fan of Obama but will vote for him to protect the health care reform and to counter a likely Republican gain in the two houses of Congress. I wouldn't choose anyone else.

Other vote based on their party, anger, who looks nicer, faith of the person or gender and/or race. My uncle wouldn't ever vote for a woman or a racial minority and sticks to white, male, protestants of the Republican Party. He didn't vote last time because Palin was on the ticket.

If one takes visceral emotions and people like me that vote on things they want and certain guidelines this cannot work as you mentioned what if everyone would do what I would do and not pick anyone else just the one candidate on the ticket you wanted?

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 09:55:28 AM »
I don't see this scheme working any better than the current one.

And FYI Ruby.. those type voters are called 'Yellowdog <insert party affiliation>' as they will vote for a 'yellowdog' if it was the right party. It's a symptom of the problem with the system. Too little attempts at voter self-education.

Offline Caela

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 10:52:31 AM »
I think the biggest problem with the system is that we've only got two parties to choose from really. Now and then a third party or an independent crops up but it's unlikely that they'll make much impact on a national scare, the other two parties have too much money and power.

Personally I vote for whichever candidate is in agreement with my values on the most issues not just on one or two. Being conservative this mostly leaves me with republican schmucks but if you gave me a fiscally conservative democrat I'd be all for him/her.

Sadly neither party actually lives up to the ideals they espouse any longer and "We the People" let them get away with their shenanigans by a) not voting at all or b) not voting their butts out of office when they don't do their job to our satisfaction. A good chunk of the responsibility for the current mess is really our own fault. Yes too many politicians seem to be in the pocket of special interests, but how long would that really last if the threat of losing their job held any sway over them? It's not something most career politicians really worry about because voter apathy is just too damned likely to keep them in office.

Offline Oniya

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 11:13:19 AM »
Personally, I think that maybe the Electoral College thing has outlived its usefulness.  Right now, with only two exceptions (Maine and Nebraska), if a candidate wins 51% of the state's popular vote, they get all of that state's electoral votes, instead of the votes being distributed proportionately between two candidates.  It's possible for a candidate to win the popular vote, and still not get a majority of the votes in the Electoral college.

We have the technology now to seriously re-vamp this.

Offline Caela

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 11:17:03 AM »
Personally, I think that maybe the Electoral College thing has outlived its usefulness.  Right now, with only two exceptions (Maine and Nebraska), if a candidate wins 51% of the state's popular vote, they get all of that state's electoral votes, instead of the votes being distributed proportionately between two candidates.  It's possible for a candidate to win the popular vote, and still not get a majority of the votes in the Electoral college.

We have the technology now to seriously re-vamp this.

I would like to see the EC revamped. Perhaps something more like Maine does so that a candidate can carry a district but not necessarily the whole state. I think it would be helpful in places like CA where sentiment can swing so wildly between the northern and southern halves of the state and it would break up the chokehold that the larger states have on presidential elections as well because then every electoral district would matter as opposed to just the big cities in the big states.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 11:24:00 AM »
Personally, I think that maybe the Electoral College thing has outlived its usefulness.  Right now, with only two exceptions (Maine and Nebraska), if a candidate wins 51% of the state's popular vote, they get all of that state's electoral votes, instead of the votes being distributed proportionately between two candidates.  It's possible for a candidate to win the popular vote, and still not get a majority of the votes in the Electoral college.

We have the technology now to seriously re-vamp this.

States decide how to use the electors and all but 4% decided to make it winner take all, that is left up in the constitution to the states. A popular vote would demand a constitutional amendment and that would hurt the politicians in the Washington and they could do a Constitutional Convention again if enough states opted in. I don't see that happening. The most Florida ,my state, could do is make it a state constitutional change to split the electors based on percentages and that would demand a ballot referendum and that being won by 60% or more of the voters.

Or the state could pass a law doing the same thing rather unlikely.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 04:48:43 PM »
I am not convinced it is the two party system that is the true root of the problem.  I am leaning towards it being the Golden Rule that is the true root of the problem.  I do not think it matters how many choices we have as long as our corporate masters determine which choices are available.

Offline Caela

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 05:14:37 PM »
I am not convinced it is the two party system that is the true root of the problem.  I am leaning towards it being the Golden Rule that is the true root of the problem.  I do not think it matters how many choices we have as long as our corporate masters determine which choices are available.

I agree somewhat. There is far too much corporate and special interest money involved in politics, however if the voters weren't so apathetic and would vote out these bozos instead of electing them term after term ad infinitum it would become a much riskier investment to continue paying them off. If corporations watched their money being flushed down the drain, cycle after cycle by a voting public that finally got off it's apathetic ass and used the power the Constitution gives us, a lot of that money would, eventually, dry up until a politician had proven he had some staying power...which would mean he'd have to do his job for US first and the corporations second.

Corporations count on voter apathy as much as politicians do. It's a great investment to get a man elected and know he'll be there to vote the way you want him to for 20 years. Not so much when you have to buy a new Congress Critter every 2-4 years.

Offline Serephino

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2012, 07:53:20 PM »
The two party system is definitely getting in the way of things.  It's gotten to the point that each party wants it their way or nothing.  Part of why we're in this mess is they refuse to compromise, or at least the Republicans have been digging their heals in the dirt.  I'm not saying the Democrats are angels, just that's what's going on at the moment.  Republicans have a lot of power, and as usual, they're doing whatever they damn well please; screw the consequences.  This wasn't how it was meant to be.  They need to let go of party loyalty and actually do what's best for the country.

I agree the Electoral College is outdated.  It was originally set up because the Constitution's authors felt the common man wasn't informed enough to elect the President.  The common man was just supposed to elect who they wanted to send to vote for them.  Since we can tell who won the popular vote, then that is who should win. 

I remember from high school Civics that voter turnout is made up mostly of people over 50.  I don't remember the exact percentage, but it was pretty high.  My teacher said that was one of the major problems with the system; the minority is deciding for everyone.  That's why career politicians don't fear being thrown out on their asses.  They gained the loyalty of the older generation, and then they got comfortable.

A very good example of this is my former Rep John Murtha.  In 2008 he was up for re-election.  His opponent smeared him good.  He even got a recording of Rep Murtha saying he didn't think Obama would win PA because we were too racist. 

Murtha was silent until about a month before the election.  He hardly did any campaigning.  I saw a handful of ads.  He won by a landslide.  It's my understanding he was the District 12 Rep since before I was born.  So, he had the loyalty of those that do get off their butts and vote.  The only reason he isn't in office now was because he died.  A guy that worked for him now holds the seat.

My boyfriend and I always vote.  It's one of the few things we can do.  I encourage others to vote too because sitting on your ass an complaining won't do anything.  My teacher used to say if you didn't vote you gave up your right to bitch.  I agree.     

Offline consortium11

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2012, 08:17:53 PM »
With regards to the voting system itself, there's basically three separate options:

1) First past the post. It's the system the UK, the US and a large number of other countries use for a large number of elections. Essentially it's a winner takes all system; whoever wins the most votes in a given area at a given election wins the lot. In the UK an MP can have one more vote than their rival and still command the whole constituency... I believe the system is the same with the electoral college in the US.

2) Proportional representation. While almost all have some form of caveat the basic principle is that if you get 16% of the votes you get 16% of the power. This is often done via a "list" system... you list your candidates and if 16% of the votes = 20 seats, then your top 20 candidates get the role.

3) Hybrids. These are systems that try to combine the best of both, allowing for the fairness of PR with the strictness of FPTP. Perhaps the most well known is single transferable vote, which operates roughly as described in the opening post, but there's dozens of different systems out there.

Each has their benefits and drawbacks.

FPTP tends to inflate the vote of the larger parties while minimising that of the smaller parties, leading to a lot of "wasted" votes. To take the most recent UK election as an example the Conservatives gained 47.1% of the seats on 36.1% of the overall votes, Labour 39.7% from 29% and the Liberal Democrats 8.8% fro 23%. It can be even more stark when you compared the tiny parties that are well organised to those that aren't: the Green party gained one MP on 265,000 votes countrywide... UKIP had no MP's despite getting 919,000 votes. In many ways this seems completely unfair. On the other hand it normally leads to a strong government who are actually in a position to deliver their mandate (even if the issue of a mandate is tricky considering it is unlikely that 50% of the popular vote went to them).

PR has the opposite problem. If dealt with fundamentally (and the only state I know of that has something similar is Israel) it leads to no party having a majority and in many cases the balance of power lying with fringe parties. This has two effects which can be somewhat contradictory; first of it allows parties with a very small proportion of the vote to act as king makers and thus get gain concessions that their voting strength doesn't support and can remain in government virtually in perpetuity. In contrast because of the requirement to form coalitions a lot of the more radical policies will be junked... a party could get 38% of the vote and be the single largest party running on a platform of say hiking taxes on the rich and offering a much wider and more generous set of welfare benefits but in the efforts to thrash out a coalition ends up having to give most of them up. Restrictions on the percentage one must get to take any seats (say 5% or 10%) remove some of the fringe parties but also lead to the problem of fairness arising much like it does under FPTP.

Standard Transferable Vote seems to be the best of both worlds; you get a strong election winner but because votes are much less likely to be wasted (you can vote for who you really want to win first and then give your second preference to the person likely to win who you like the most etc) it seems fairer. The issue here is that far too often the winner is not the candidate who the voters like most... it's the one they object to least. People, especially by the end, are voting negatively and tactically which seems to me a little against the spirit of elections. Moreover, the question of fairness arises once again... if 47% want someone to be their first choice representative is it fair that they are beaten by someone who only 13% of people really wanted and had their vote propped up by people who actually wanted someone else but will just about make do with this guy... especially to keep the 47% candidate out.

Of course, the whole debate is a lot deeper then that but it's a worthy starting point.

I'd also like to point out that actually the US, in having open primaries, has something that I would absolutely love to happen and a genuine positive step-ahead in democracy, even if it does lead to things you may consider ill-advised such as the Tea Party "revolution".

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2012, 10:01:26 PM »
Quote from: consortium11 link=topic=128807.msg5697474#msg5697474
Perhaps the most well known is single transferable vote, which operates roughly as described in the opening post

Heh, someone already came up with my idea?  Thanks, good to know.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 02:50:30 AM by AndyZ »

Offline Joffy

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2012, 09:33:42 AM »
I'm from the UK, and I study politics (just started American politics!) here in the UK we had a referendum on reforming the voting system, and in my opinion the new system that was proposed (AV) was a very good alternative.
But it was voted against... In my opinion it was because people didn't really understand it. Most people thought that it would let party's such as BNP get more power, actually this would be quite the opposite.
FPTP has lots of negatives... I think it was 2005 that Labour were elected, despite the fact that they gained less votes than the Conservatives.
Voting systems seem to all have negatives as well as positives.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2012, 11:32:49 AM »
 If I understand it right, I don't understand the reasoning behind having an open primary convention. It doesn't make sense to let those who aren't in your party have a choice in deciding who that party will decide who will lead it.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2012, 11:27:19 PM »
Personally, I don't believe that we should have parties at all.  Perhaps some people can be so easily clumped into groups that they perfectly match the opinions of everyone else, but most people are capable of forming their own opinions.  The parties tend to just be whoever has enough money to strike up ads and sway public opinion, or get enough people to just go along with whatever.

The implication with our current system is that either Obama or whoever wins the Republican nomination is the best person to be president.  Does anyone really believe that?  How many people who vote are just trying to get the lesser of two evils? 

It doesn't take much effort on here to see how much people despise Obama's efforts, but they're too afraid of a Republican winning not to vote for Obama again, and Republicans will vote for anyone who wins the nomination just to get the Democrat out of office.

I'm personally closer to Libertarian than anything else, but even I don't fully believe with everything that the Libertarian party stands for.  I know that many others don't fully believe what the Democrats or the Republicans believe.  Why should these be our only two options?  There has to be a better way.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 06:53:00 PM »
I can make a bold change, people should all vote for somebody that would be a good start forgeting changing the system we have a decent one if people opt to use it. Why not do that before you bitch about the system maybe its the people in it that are the problem.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2012, 07:08:54 PM »
I am not a fan of Obama but will vote for him

Based on your earlier post, Ruby, are you happy with having a system where your only options are people you don't like?

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 07:16:59 PM »
There are several minor parties if the non-voters picked one and went with it then it would no longer be a MINOR party but a player at least where it counts legislatures and other offices where they can demand a say. You take out 30% of Congress and you will force the two parties to either work together or come to the table and negotiate since that 30% can almost pass anything they want.

Is it my fault you and others don't get that the vote is a legal way to destroy one government and put in another and give the poor their say you hold the elected people to their duty or vote them out for other people.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2012, 07:24:48 PM »
It amuses me that you say that it's my fault for not realizing it, but you yourself say that you won't be voting for a minor party this election, but will vote for Obama, even though you're not a fan of him.  Would you perhaps like to explain why?

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2012, 09:09:37 AM »
One issue the Health Care Reform Law if he gets in modest gains in the Congress by the other party would be nullified, but I find nothing wrong with a major party the issue is people not voting in their best interests if poor and not being educated on the issues. But if your not happy with a major party and don't vote you can choose a minor party with enough people it could no longer be a minor party.

But if I don't vote for him its not in MY best interests as a poor person the Republicans want to kill the law and if they take both the Congress and Presidency they can do that.

Offline Oniya

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2012, 09:21:41 AM »
I think what AndyZ was saying is that

  • You recommend that people vote for a minor party if they aren't satisfied with either of the major parties, so that 'with enough people it could no longer be a minor party'.
  • You have said you are not a fan of the Democratic candidate (i.e., Obama).
  • You have said it is not in your best interests to vote Republican (understandably).
  • Therefore, you are not satisfied with either of the major parties.
  • Therefore, by your own arguments, it would be logical for you to vote for a minor party, so that 'with enough people it could no longer be a minor party'.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2012, 09:25:24 AM »
Thank you, Oniya.  I was trying to help her realize that on her own, but I'm not always very good at that.

I always get confused when someone tells me that I just don't get something that they themselves aren't doing.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2012, 02:44:03 PM »
One of my problems with the way the system is working NOW is that incumbency is wildly out of control. It's around 85% likely to get reelected once you get reelected to the house of representatives. You got people who have been in the same office for FORTY plus years. (John Dingell-D Michigan, 56 years is the longest LIVING rep in unbroken succession of office)

I propose that we make these people WORK for their office again. And get rid of lame duck presidents as well. A simple 2 terms in office then a mandatory term out (or more) before they can get in again. You cycle people in and out, break the long term machines in place (because once you've served, would you step aside for your 'buddy' to take office again?)

We have officials that do what is right for their voters (fewer every year though) and we need to show that we are encouraging folks to step up and serve..not live decades on the voter.

I started thinking about it after my brother lost out on the office he was running for, to a person who was 'johnny come lately' and had next to NONE of the recognition of the candidates that were running till then. But the party backed him, and he won by a narrow margin, though it was easily seen that no one outside the party was going to vote for him.

After that awful event, what did the party ask my brother? They wanted him to run against a woman who has held the same office for FIFTY years in the legislature (state) in a district that she has all but OWNED for even longer. (the only way she would lose an election is if she was struck by lightning while filing for her next run). And would he kindly pay his own way doing it?

Incumbents are the problem. Even sitting a cycle out would make a LOT of them work for their dinner and make it less profitable for special interests to buy politicians.

Of course the other thing is a total revamp of election laws, disclosure laws and putting teeth to any agency that investigates allegations of election fraud.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2012, 04:52:54 PM »

Ever heard of gerrymandering?

Basically, Democrat and Republican governors set up voting districts so that rather than an even split of democrats and republicans, multiple areas have a higher number of their favored party, leaving one area that's nearly entirely the other party.  It lets that particular party have a larger control of Congress.

I included a picture of Dingell's district so you can see how they warp the borders, cherry-picking the areas where the voters will want him to stay in.

Now, I'm all for fixing this, but it's something that you'll probably want to know about if you're hoping to inform others of this problem.  Just please don't start saying it's only a Republican corruption.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2012, 05:12:47 PM »

Ever heard of gerrymandering?

Basically, Democrat and Republican governors set up voting districts so that rather than an even split of democrats and republicans, multiple areas have a higher number of their favored party, leaving one area that's nearly entirely the other party.  It lets that particular party have a larger control of Congress.

I included a picture of Dingell's district so you can see how they warp the borders, cherry-picking the areas where the voters will want him to stay in.

Now, I'm all for fixing this, but it's something that you'll probably want to know about if you're hoping to inform others of this problem.  Just please don't start saying it's only a Republican corruption.

Yeah I have. Problem is with ALL the special interests kicking up a fuss I don't see any solution working easily.  Back home there was a district that was basically a 5 mile border on I85 for like 20 miles with a knob on the end.  Just ensure that one guy stayed elected.

Problem is, people have come up with programs to neutrally draw it out only to have the farm, inner city! Hispanic, gay and so on special interests kick up a fuss. Everyone wants clear districting as long as they come out on top.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2012, 05:32:02 PM »
Yeah I have. Problem is with ALL the special interests kicking up a fuss I don't see any solution working easily.  Back home there was a district that was basically a 5 mile border on I85 for like 20 miles with a knob on the end.  Just ensure that one guy stayed elected.

Problem is, people have come up with programs to neutrally draw it out only to have the farm, inner city! Hispanic, gay and so on special interests kick up a fuss. Everyone wants clear districting as long as they come out on top.

I remember when if you wanted special rights and privileges from the government, people would laugh and tell you to be fair to everyone else.  Of course, when you give some people special treatment, everyone else wants theirs.

Perhaps the best way to get back to sanity is to stop giving anyone special treatment.  However, I doubt any politician beyond maybe Chris Christie (not that I agree with everything he says) has the gall to stand up to these groups.

Alternatively, if we can get the special interests to fight against each other.  It's sad how the National Organization of Women never goes after the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, even if the latter shows that animals should be respected and women should be treated as objects.

Offline SilentScreams

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2012, 05:27:40 PM »
I don't think the problem is in the way we vote but is rather in the nature of democracies (or constitutional-republic). As it is any one person's vote does not count. Candidates win in the aggregate. That is where the votes count. Who votes for who on an individual basis isn't important because they don't count the votes one at a time. Votes are counted in blocks. The only way around this is the old hand count which is pretty much impossible now because of the spread of the nefarious electronic voting machines (interestingly, the main company associated with these machines -not sure if I can say the name on the board- purchased -American voting machine company- back in January. The result is one international company which is privately held now controls voting in twenty nations.)
As a democracy we are functioning more or less exactly how democracies are supposed to function, we are destroying ourselves and our community by being split into what are essentially warring factions. Monarchy, the non-constitutional sort, makes more sense.

Before laughing and ignoring me, think about it. Democracies go to war for ideas, as such there are black and white winners and losers which leads to much wonton destruction and disruption. Monarchies go to war for tangible goals which results in campaigns generally limited scope with clearly defined goals. In addition, monarchies that are hereditary compel the ruler to leave the country in a better state then it was when he took office for his heir. If the ruler doesn't do that any ambitious family may try for the throne. Even if that happens, the conflict is limited in scope because the family attempting the coup doesn't want to rebuild the entire nation, just the royal palace.

Finally, look at how tax codes are generally propagated under a monarchy. Monarchies, those that aren't corrupted by legislatures, generally want to keep their people happy and recognize that there is a difference between ownership and profit. Take property, we don't own anything in this nation. We have a piece of paper that says it's ours but what happens when you don't pay your taxes? Whatever was yours is stripped from you by the government. We rent from the government in this nation. Property taxes should only be charged at the moment of purchase and then in the future only if you make a profit off of your land.

Voting is the least of our problems.

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2012, 04:20:10 PM »
Silentscreams, I'll agree that a monarchy could be better than our current system if and only if you can avoid any sort of corruption.  However, if we can't avoid corruption, monarchies are far worse than our current system.  Unfortunately, however, once you have a monarchy, the only way to get rid of them is violent revolution if they do end up corrupted, because they just stop the voting process.


This is a bit off topic from my original topic, but for those reading, maybe you can give me thoughts on this.

There's talk during the primaries about how people will go out and vote for a person who isn't as likely to win.  Nowadays, it's people voting for Santorum who really want Obama, but four years ago, it was people voting for Clinton who really wanted McCain.  This is nothing new, but I had an idea for a possible solution.

What about if, when you vote in one of these primaries and your candidate comes up as a winner, your vote is locked in on that person?  Thus, people who vote for Santorum/Clinton in the election, if that candidate wins, will have their vote automatically go to that person.  It would keep people from trying to sway things in alternate parties because it proves that they really want that person.

To better explain, because it's probably not very clear.  I'll use current figures just to make it easier, but if really necessary, I'll use fake names or last election's people.

Let's say that someone really wants Obama to get re-elected, believes that Romney might beat Obama but Santorum has no chance.  That person goes to the primary and votes for Santorum, not actually wanting Santorum to win, but just wanting to lock out Romney from having the chance.  Under my proposal, if Santorum won the primary, their general election vote would automatically be given to Santorum, meaning that they won't just vote for him to try to sway the election, because even if they succeed, they can't vote for Obama.


Offline SilentScreams

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2012, 06:12:29 PM »
The easiest way to fix the problem would be the state parties to ban cross party voting. I live in a state where cross party primary voting is not allowed. A primary is supposed to be used for one party to pick their candidate for an election. It makes no sense to me why cross party primary voting is allowed. It seems that the whole purpose is to subvert the primary process.

Do not equate monarchies with constitutional monarchies. Monarchies tend to do much better then constitutional monarchies on the corruption issue. For a much more eloquent explanation of this view I would refer you to Hans-Herman Hopp's book Democracy: The God that Failed

Offline AndyZTopic starter

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2012, 06:15:30 PM »
Simply banning it, though, lets a lot of people fall through the cracks.  I'm neither Democrat nor Republican, so I don't get to vote in primaries whatsoever.  If you simply ban it, it gives a lot more power to those parties, because the voices of people outside those groups aren't heard as much.

Offline SilentScreams

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2012, 06:18:58 PM »
Yes it is imperfect, however that's the price you pay for not being in a party. We have a (essentially) two party system. I'm a Libertarian so I will get to vote in a primary, but I'll have to write in Ron Paul because he is not the libertarian candidate, nor is he on the ticket because he's a Republican running for the republican nomination. Party primaries are not designed to be inclusive. They are designed to be exclusive. In order to vote you have to be a member. I don't see anything wrong with that. If you want to vote in a primary join a party.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2012, 11:15:27 PM »
The easiest way to fix the problem would be the state parties to ban cross party voting. I live in a state where cross party primary voting is not allowed. A primary is supposed to be used for one party to pick their candidate for an election. It makes no sense to me why cross party primary voting is allowed. It seems that the whole purpose is to subvert the primary process.

Do not equate monarchies with constitutional monarchies. Monarchies tend to do much better then constitutional monarchies on the corruption issue. For a much more eloquent explanation of this view I would refer you to Hans-Herman Hopp's book Democracy: The God that Failed

 Monarchies.. What this country fought a war against.  The Founding Fathers would turn over in their graves and all of the dead since then joining them. Monarchies are not good and I cannot see why you are pushing them. On the corruption scale, they can be a lot worse because in a democracy, there is at least a chance of change. With a monarchy (and you seem to want one what isn't bound by a constitutional one), you are stuck with that king/queen until the old bastard either dies, steps down from the throne (Hah!) or is overthrown.

 Why are you saying they are  better for people than a democracy?

Offline SilentScreams

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2012, 03:16:34 PM »
It's all about checks and balances. In a monarchy, if you have one monarch who is insane, the titled nobility would have an interest in removing him or her from power and deposing the family, thus becoming top dog. These wars need not be destructive outside of the aristocracy, see the War of the Roses. That threat of removal acts as a check against their power. In addition, a monarch has a personal interest in advancing the interests of the nation during her rule so that her heir inherits something better then what she got when she inherited. To that end, a free, educated people is a benefit to the monarch because they provide wealth and power to the nation.

Are you familiar with the tragedy of the commons? In colonial America each town would set aside a portion of land for a community grazing area. No one owned it, no one, therefore, invested in it or took care of it. The animals would, within a few generations, destroy it because no one person was in charge of it.

In our current system a President is in office for, at most, eight years. There is no incentive to make the nation better. For decades this wasn't much of a problem because there was the idea of serving something greater then the self but as we entered the post-modern age this idea has lost merit and now people sek out office not to enrich the nation as a whole but to enrich themselves. Everyone raids the kitty while not addressing the very real problems that face us. Everyone enters office and does what they want knowing that in, at most, eight years the problems they are refusing to address will be somebody else's problem.

As to spinning in their graves do you think that this nonsense we have now is what the Founders wanted? They fought a war over a tax that was a tenth of one percent. What's the percentage you pay in taxes? I guarantee it's more then that. Thomas Jefferson was a radical revolutionary. He never expected the Constitution to last this long, nor did he want it to, he was a firm believer in a little rebellion every few years being good for society because unless you are willing to die for it you don't posses it.

Look at it like this, the so called American Hero is always portrayed as an agent of the state, whether its a police man or a soldier the American Hero is always a tool of the government. Yet the histories of the people who signed the Deceleration of Independence reveal litany of pirates, black marketeers, speculators, and general malcontents. John Hancock, the famous importer in the popular histories, who signed his name the largest on the Declaration and who provided casks of wine to the rebels after they looted the governors house, made his fortune through the partial, and then outright, ownership of pirate ships that preyed upon British, French, and Spanish shipping in the Caribbean. Sam Adams, who is more or less ignored now, and who was the man most responsible for our independence would be classified as a terrorist today. Henry Lee, revolutionary general and father to Robert E. Lee, was a professional gambler and black marketeer. Paul Revere, when he wasn't involved in the silver trade, ran a counterfeit business on the side. The list is endless. The control, waste, and manipulation that is visited daily upon the American people is not something that the Founders would have liked. They would have fought against it.

They were not unified in their opposition to Monarchy, either. They were opposed to an absentee Hessian King (George the Third didn't speak English and was a German noble until he married onto the throne of England) who let his decisions concerning the colonies be influenced by the East India Trading Company, the Hudson Bay Trading Company, and those politicians that the trading companies purchased in Parliament, including the architect of the Stamp Act and the Townsend Act, Lord North.

As far as voting goes, the founders clearly did not believe tat the people could be trusted since senators were appointed and the electoral college was put in place to stop the country from making a mistake in who they elected. In the Federalist Papers there is a long essay about the electoral college. It was not supposed to be a rubber stamp but was a final check to ensure that the right person was elected. Thomas Jefferson famously distrusted the people to do what was in their best interest. In his private correspondence he often lamented the fact that people had been given the right to vote because they were too quick to vote emotionally rather then intellectually.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2012, 05:25:09 PM »
Personally I think there needs to be some deep and PAINFUL reforms put in. Some of these include.

-A new limit on terms. Not outright banning after X number of terms but a 'time out period' for ALL elected offices. You do two terms and then you have to sit out a term.
-MASSIVE changes in the way campaign funds are accounted for and reported. Citizen's United have put us in a spot where the average American is less important than the people funding the elections. You've got a dozen people putting 80% or more of the funds into a campaign (directly/indirectly), how can John Q. Public working on a budget make an effect on the candidates? Already.. in 2 months of this year, more money has been put into the Republican primaries than was put into the ENTIRE 2000 presidential elections.
-Lobbyists and Special Interests run the show. That MUST change. They are SETTING policy rather than offering information.
-Gerrymandering must be addressed. Good luck on that one. I honestly can't think of a way to do it that won't offend one or more groups. Even if you just dropped the population data into a computer program and it put out perfectly unbiased districts, you'd have problems. The demand for representation for every possible interest group, ethnicity and/or whatever else you can think of has made redistricting after each census a literal nightmare.


Offline Zakharra

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2012, 06:32:33 PM »
It's all about checks and balances. In a monarchy, if you have one monarch who is insane, the titled nobility would have an interest in removing him or her from power and deposing the family, thus becoming top dog. These wars need not be destructive outside of the aristocracy, see the War of the Roses. That threat of removal acts as a check against their power. In addition, a monarch has a personal interest in advancing the interests of the nation during her rule so that her heir inherits something better then what she got when she inherited. To that end, a free, educated people is a benefit to the monarch because they provide wealth and power to the nation.

 Uuumm.. No. The nobility are often just as corrupt and bad as the monarch and almost ALL of them are scheming to get on the throne. Also, since they would be titled nobility/royalty what incentive is there for them to even pay attention to the commoners?  You said you don't like the constitutional monarchies. That leaves the one where the nobles and king have all the power.  With that in play, again I ask, what incentive is there for them to run the country for the peoples benefit and not to enhance their own power?  Remember monarchs in that situation control the military. It would take a messy civil war to replace the king and frankly, if a monarchy system was set up in the US, I would get my gun and start shooting every royal supporter I could. A monarchy like what you suggest is not a free and open place.
 
Quote
Are you familiar with the tragedy of the commons? In colonial America each town would set aside a portion of land for a community grazing area. No one owned it, no one, therefore, invested in it or took care of it. The animals would, within a few generations, destroy it because no one person was in charge of it.

 Yeah. A communist style of arrangement,m It doesn't work.

Quote
In our current system a President is in office for, at most, eight years. There is no incentive to make the nation better. For decades this wasn't much of a problem because there was the idea of serving something greater then the self but as we entered the post-modern age this idea has lost merit and now people sek out office not to enrich the nation as a whole but to enrich themselves. Everyone raids the kitty while not addressing the very real problems that face us. Everyone enters office and does what they want knowing that in, at most, eight years the problems they are refusing to address will be somebody else's problem.

 At least with this, we CAN change who is in office. They aren't there for 20-30-40 years as President/King. Which is the one big problem with a monarchy. Right now, 8 years max and they are out.  I wish the Congress had term limits too. 2 terms for the Senate and 6 for the House. That's 12 years at each House of Congress.

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As to spinning in their graves do you think that this nonsense we have now is what the Founders wanted? They fought a war over a tax that was a tenth of one percent. What's the percentage you pay in taxes? I guarantee it's more then that. Thomas Jefferson was a radical revolutionary. He never expected the Constitution to last this long, nor did he want it to, he was a firm believer in a little rebellion every few years being good for society because unless you are willing to die for it you don't posses it.

Look at it like this, the so called American Hero is always portrayed as an agent of the state, whether its a police man or a soldier the American Hero is always a tool of the government. Yet the histories of the people who signed the Deceleration of Independence reveal litany of pirates, black marketeers, speculators, and general malcontents. John Hancock, the famous importer in the popular histories, who signed his name the largest on the Declaration and who provided casks of wine to the rebels after they looted the governors house, made his fortune through the partial, and then outright, ownership of pirate ships that preyed upon British, French, and Spanish shipping in the Caribbean. Sam Adams, who is more or less ignored now, and who was the man most responsible for our independence would be classified as a terrorist today. Henry Lee, revolutionary general and father to Robert E. Lee, was a professional gambler and black marketeer. Paul Revere, when he wasn't involved in the silver trade, ran a counterfeit business on the side. The list is endless. The control, waste, and manipulation that is visited daily upon the American people is not something that the Founders would have liked. They would have fought against it.

They were not unified in their opposition to Monarchy, either. They were opposed to an absentee Hessian King (George the Third didn't speak English and was a German noble until he married onto the throne of England) who let his decisions concerning the colonies be influenced by the East India Trading Company, the Hudson Bay Trading Company, and those politicians that the trading companies purchased in Parliament, including the architect of the Stamp Act and the Townsend Act, Lord North.

As far as voting goes, the founders clearly did not believe tat the people could be trusted since senators were appointed and the electoral college was put in place to stop the country from making a mistake in who they elected. In the Federalist Papers there is a long essay about the electoral college. It was not supposed to be a rubber stamp but was a final check to ensure that the right person was elected. Thomas Jefferson famously distrusted the people to do what was in their best interest. In his private correspondence he often lamented the fact that people had been given the right to vote because they were too quick to vote emotionally rather then intellectually.

 They would be spinning in their graves because one thing they did NOT want, was to set up a monarchy. They had just gotten an example of the stupidity of monarchs and the system and at least tried to set something up that was supposed to hold the Congress and Presidency accountable to the people. A monarchy isn't accountable to the people, but to the nobility and themselves.

Offline SilentScreams

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2012, 09:32:41 PM »
Yes, the tragedy of the commons may be communist (but it's really not) however it did happen in this country and continues to happen every election cycle. The point that it doesn't work was my point in arguing against elections.

The point that are scheming to get on the throne keeps the monarch honest. Also, monarchies don't have standing armies as we know them, each family is expected to contribute x number of professional soldiers to the national army if and when a need for those soldiers arises. To augment that force monarchies have traditionally used what is called the fyrd. That's basically a voluntary call up of armed citizens who rally to the national colors to protect their homes and localities in times of invasion.

Nobles do have a vested interest in the happiness and success of their people, it's how they become richer, how the nation becomes richer and how the nation becomes more powerful. For nobles, or a monarch to oppress their people serves no interest for the good of their families, or the nation as whole.

And they did try to set up a monarchy. Congress tried to install Washington as the king, he refused. It wasn't the office of king that they had issue with, it was one very specific king and one very specific parliament.

Offline Oniya

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2012, 11:19:26 PM »
I'd put up the situation prior to the demise of Louis XVI as an counter-example to the nobility having a vested interest in the people.  The court at Versailles was seen as being isolated from and indifferent to the conditions of poverty and hunger that afflicted the lower class (even if Marie never did say 'Let them eat cake'.)

Offline SilentScreams

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2012, 01:01:09 AM »
The absolute monarchy of Louis XIV had given way under his ineffectual great grandson Louis XV to an informal council and parliament made up of clergy, ministers, and nobility that greatly detracted from the power of the monarchy.

However, more important then the political machinations of the French church was that France had bankrupted itself by losing wars for the fifty years prior to the revolution. Europe, at the time, had no true economies. The German principalities and the Italian city states did the most as far as trading was concerned. France had, since the time of Louis XIV, supported itself through winning wars. The French monarchy was doomed with the loss of the colonies in the Seven Years War. Without the support of her North American colonies France could no longer feed her people and the few things that they had produced were no longer needed, as they had been almost exclusively for the New World colonies. The money that France drained from it's North American possessions was used to buy things that they did not produce domestically, such as English cloth- thus weakening themselves while making England stronger.

The failure of the French Monarchy had more to do with a failure to diversify their economy and losing wars to Spain, France, Austria, Sweden, and England. Their decision to back America in our revolution, really done to get back at England for the defeat in the Seven Years War, helped to bankrupt an already failing state. The wars that France lost which led to their dire situation were not started by France. Every major power in Europe was attacking the French possessions because, after seventy years of French dominance on the continent, the rest of Europe was capitalizing on France's weak economic state which was not the monarchies fault but was the natural pains of turning an essentially agrarian, rural, feudal economy into a fledgling industrial economy as the Age of Enlightenment gave way to the Age of Sail.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2012, 11:09:09 AM »
Yes, the tragedy of the commons may be communist (but it's really not) however it did happen in this country and continues to happen every election cycle. The point that it doesn't work was my point in arguing against elections.

The point that are scheming to get on the throne keeps the monarch honest. Also, monarchies don't have standing armies as we know them, each family is expected to contribute x number of professional soldiers to the national army if and when a need for those soldiers arises. To augment that force monarchies have traditionally used what is called the fyrd. That's basically a voluntary call up of armed citizens who rally to the national colors to protect their homes and localities in times of invasion.

Nobles do have a vested interest in the happiness and success of their people, it's how they become richer, how the nation becomes richer and how the nation becomes more powerful. For nobles, or a monarch to oppress their people serves no interest for the good of their families, or the nation as whole.

 I had to laugh at the bolded part. That is definitely NOT true. If anything, it makes them more corrupt. The nobility and royalty are almost never invested in helping the common man. Most of what they want will be geared towards increasing their own power and influence.  Think of the capitalists of the 1800s. Those would be the nobility you would end up with. Especially if this monarchy you want ended up in power. They would put in people who would cater to their needs. To their businesses. Giving them tax breaks while levying taxes on the middle and lower class and start a whole new type of class warfare.

 You are assuming that the nobles would be mostly altruistic in nature, when human nature has proven the exact opposite. Give them complete and total control and you will see them caring less and less for the 'common man'. The common man wouldn't have any voice in the say or functioning of government, of what laws are passed (gun control would happen real quick. The nobility hates an armed populace), what taxes are levied and what quality of goods are made, and very importantly, what religion is worshiped in the nation.  Monarchies were very tied in with religion.

 As for standing armies, the British had large standing armies and a huge navvy and with that, they conquered about a quarter of the world. If you think we're in wars now, what a monarchy would get us into would likely be far worse.  Monarchies are far more flawed than democracies

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And they did try to set up a monarchy. Congress tried to install Washington as the king, he refused. It wasn't the office of king that they had issue with, it was one very specific king and one very specific parliament.

 Thankfully Washington refused and 10 years later, the US Constitution was created. A monarchy would have been a terrible thing indeed. And even if they had put one ion, it would have been a constitutional one. The type you are against.

Offline SilentScreams

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2012, 06:58:00 PM »
Britain's standing army was relatively small. What allowed them to conquer a quarter of the globe were the corporate armies (The East India Trading Company, for example, had a private standing army that fought all over the world) which they were allowed to do through an act of Parliament opposed by the king.  Historically, monarchies fight limited wars for tangible gains. The doctrine of Total War was unknown to monarchies, it made no sense because it was an expenditure of money and resources without any gain.

Interestingly, I do believe that our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are, or were prior to the withdrawal, hugely augmented by corporate soldiers. Oh, I'm sorry, we call them "contractors" now.

I do not think they would be altruistic, I think they would be selfish and that would work as a control. They want power and wealth well that comes from the people but in order for it to work the people have to free and happy.The more selfish they are the better, the nobles, or governors, or whatever of each state would work to increase the value of their state unlike the current system where mediocrity is prized above excellence.

Also, historically most monarchies have taken a very liberal view of private ownership of weapons. It isn't until you had dictators, or congress, or parliament screaming that something needed to be done about "violence" that weapons began to be banned. Australia is a democracy, very strict gun ownership regulations, likewise France, Britain (which is essentially a democracy since the royals do nothing) Germany, Spain, Venezuelan, the list continues. Strangely, the major nation that, after it's election this weekend, seems to be headed towards a proto-monarchy has very liberal gun ownership laws. I'm talking about Russia.

Other democracies where guns are extremely regulated and almost impossible to own include S. Korea, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden....so how does democracy protect your right to gun ownership? Democracies seem to be up there with countries such as Cuba, China, and N. Korea.

Countries that, under monarchies, had extremely lax gun ownership laws were Britain prior to the opening of the House of Lords to general elections, Germany before Hitler, Russia before Lenin, France before DeGaul, Spain before Franco....should I continue?

And we don't have class warfare already? Prohibitively high tax rates? An entitlement sub-class and an elitist class squeezing the middle class?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2012, 07:17:10 PM »
 SilentScreams, the monarchy you are wanting doesn't exist. Human nature will overcome it and if the nobles aren't beholden to anyone but themselves (I'm sorry, but;
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I do not think they would be altruistic, I think they would be selfish and that would work as a control. They want power and wealth well that comes from the people but in order for it to work the people have to free and happy.The more selfish they are the better, the nobles, or governors, or whatever of each state would work to increase the value of their state unlike the current system where mediocrity is prized above excellence.
  doesn't exactly work. You have been pushing for a -unconstitutional- monarchy. The system the British have is a constitutional one, so using that as an example for your monarchy doesn't work.

 For that, you need to use a absolute monarchy (France was one) as an example and I believe it was until recently, after their revolutions, that the peasantry were allowed to have more than basic weapons.  Others include Czarist and Soviet Russia, N. Korea, Libya and other despotic regimes that have been handed down from father to son (hereditary line of succession eh?)

 You're trying to show that a noble class and royalty, with no ties, connection or need to listen to the common people would actually listen to the unwashed masses? They already have their power, why should they really care what the common people think when they can use house hold troops to arrest any agitators and put down any popular uprising by shooting anyone that resists. 

 I'd think under the regime you want (absolute monarchy) you would have restricted gun control (can't have the populace able to overthrow the king now can we?), governmental control over the economy and governmental control over the media and internet.  After you can't have the plebes thinking they can do a better job than their betters can you?   What you want would, in my opinion, end up in a cesspool a lot quicker than a democracy and with the people having far less power since there's nothing to rein in the actions of the king/queen and nobility.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Changing the Voting System
« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2012, 08:08:38 PM »
  Something else occurred to me as I was feeding the animals. Corporations. You would very likely see the corporate board members of corporations either buying patents of nobility, marrying into the noble houses or offering sweet stock options for nobility to take seats on the board of directors and stockholders. Which means in a generation or less you would see corporations being able to set policies even more than they can now. How do you think labor laws would fair under that? Wages? Unions?