A first-past-the-post (abbreviated FPTP or FPP) election is one that is won by the candidate receiving more votes than any other(s). It is a common, but not universal, feature of electoral systems with single-member legislative districts, and generally results over time in a two-party competition. More: en.wikipedia.org.

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50
2 votes
Apr 9, 2015

Range voting works like Olympic voting, with each voter giving a rating out of 10 (or any number), and the contestant with the highest average wins. This means that in politics we are able to express a range of attitudes towards candidates. We can also vote highly for multiple candidates, which allows the current two-party system to diversify into any number of parties that can be very similar but still successful. I believe this would be very advantageous to the future of America.

EDIT:
Another good alternative is Approval Voting. In this system, each voter can approve (or not) of each candidate individually. Each approval counts as a 'point' in favor of that candidate, and the candidate with most points wins. Some people may feel this violates the 'one person, one vote' principle, but really that idea is that no person should have more impact than any other. With this, it's impossible for anyone to give more than one point to any candidate, so the impact of each person on each candidate is equal.

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100
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1 vote,
Apr 9, 2015

This would in effect give more than one vote to people. A straight republican or straight democrat would have more say in politics than someone who is conflicted or a middle of the road person. One person; one vote is a core idea to our democracy and should not be abandoned. I am all for breaking up the two party system; the current congress proves how it doesn't work well. We need compromise and with only two parties there is less chance of that happening. This system seems to promote compromise when actually it just muddies the voting and gives the election to the extreme elements of the two primary parties.

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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

It's not quite multiple votes, it's more like multiple ratings. The best comparison I've ever seen is olympic voting. If the judges only got to say "This person is best", it would be much harder to determine who really deserves to win. Why shouldn't we get to rate every candidate, then decide who wins by who everyone agrees is pretty good (has the best average rating)?

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100
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1 vote,
Apr 9, 2015

I agree with putting the opinions out there for consideration. I feel even a radical point of view could have some merit even if on the whole has diminished values. The direction is but a small calculation that keeps opinion going to a valuable goal and not off the tracks. Keeping an opinion open for discussion has value. As the votes show how the whole of the discussion is moving forward and coming to fruition.

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100
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1 vote,
Apr 9, 2015

I'm all for exploring alternatives to our current voting system, but while single-member districts still exist, which they will under range voting, then a two party system will still prevail. In order to have a legislative system that has multiple parties the districts of representation need to have multiple members representing them, unlike the current House setup. The Senate allows for a little more room with independents but even it is heavily pushed in the two party direction.

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100
1 vote,
Apr 9, 2015

Could you explain why there must be more than one representative to have more than one option when electing representatives?

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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

It's kind of a blend of a few things. A party that gets 35% of the vote across the country might not have any seats in the legislature. Since there is only one seat to win many smaller parties form in to bigger and stronger parties. People abandon small parties as they are seen as weak or extremist. I won't go into the benefits and disadvantages of a two party system but it does promote a degree of stability when the extremist parties are not voted in to office.

This page does a lot better job of explaining it.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger%27s_Law

Technically the UK is a two party system as well because they also have single seat districts, but they have a third party that fit in to a large niche that the other parties left open. A larger analysis of recent British history could give more details on the formation of the three parties, it's pretty interesting/complicated.

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50
2 votes
Apr 9, 2015

No. This comes down to the question of who do you want your Congressman to represent, a Party or the district? For example, a candidate is on the ticket of a Party that wants to eliminate certain Government Departments. However, that Department employs a large number of people in your district. Most people are not going to be altruistic and want to eliminate their jobs.

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0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

How about them representing those who voted for them? Currently in the US they represent a party, because each party can only effectively have one candidate. This is an effect of the First-Past-the-Post system. If you don't want them to represent a party, that needs to be abolished.

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0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

I'm not sure I understand you. Are you saying that people would vote for the candidate that is promising to cut local jobs?

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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

Let's say its a Republican candidate whose Party wants to eliminate the EPA, which has a large facility in his district. Suppose further, it is a heavily dominated Republican district. They would be in favor of every other Republican Party issue, except that one. The candidate would thus downplay that issue and promise the constituents the jobs won't be lost. Thus, he represents the district, not the Party.

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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

Ok, that makes sense. It sounds exactly like democracy is supposed to work, with the politicians representing the people, whether or not they're part of a larger party.

Wouldn't that still happen, no matter the voting system we use? It just seems to me that range voting or another alternate system more easily allows more options.

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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

He would downplay the issue yes. But would he work to change it? Would they have a real option of voting for someone they agree with, when they in practice will vote for whomever the republican party chooses as a candidate?

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