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
main reply
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
main reply
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
main reply
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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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

Your explanation only works in relation to FPTP voting. Range voting would allow you to vote heavily in favor of several parties, and heavily against several others. This means that any one voter could vote for several people which have similar but slightly differing views, which tends to minimize or negate this effect.

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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

At the end of the voting session however there will still only be one person who can fill the seat. After a few elections the strong and well liked parties will gather up all of the politicians they can and absorb the smaller parties. Range voting gives voters an outlet to express which politicians best represent their views but eventually the winning votes will go to the strong parties which the people think will win.

Imagine if the US today. Nobody votes for minority parties because they are usually narrowly focused, and have much less experience, among other reasons. If we switched the voting style(to ranged) there wouldn't be a group of representatives picked from a range of the voters wants, instead there would still be one guy(per district) whom everyone had to agree on. To get all voters to agree on one guy doesn't demand that they express their many preferences but that they compromise on a strong party, which is where the two big parties come in.

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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

Nobody votes for minority parties because they have no chance of winning. Range Voting allows anyone to be a viable candidate if they can get people to hear about them. Sure large parties will absorb some people, but when anyone can potentially run and win, there's as many parties as there are voters.

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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

There are lots of people that vote in that fashion. There are also no minority parties that have a clear and universal declaration of all political positions they hold, unlike the two strong parties. Greater publication of the representatives in range voting only does so on the ballot itself. They wont have the campaigning power of the large parties and suffer from the exact same problems that current minority parties do. You seem to be stressing the fact that minority parties can't get publicized or get on the ballot, neither of which are solved by range voting and neither of which have an influence on the number of parties in power. To really get rid of a two party system(which may not be desirable) you need to be able to elect many people from one district so that they get their true proportions represented, and maybe have more equal campaign finance laws.

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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

The advantage of range voting I'm trying to stress is that while it is true minority parties will still have trouble spreading their message, people who like and want to support them can do so without cutting support from the major parties. I totally expect the big two would continue to win most elections, at least at the beginning, because they would have the most consistently high votes. Over time, though, politics could diversify.

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0
0 votes,
Apr 9, 2015

But minority parties are still on ballots. If range voting were implemented then they would get some recognition in the form of a lower preference as opposed to nothing at all, but the large parties will still win by the same means they have always won by. The lower preference of the minor parties will still continue to get them zero seats, and if they somehow have a revolutionary new goal for the country that a lot of people like, then a dominant party with a broader agenda will absorb those goals in to its ever developing agenda (similar to the environmentalists in the early 90's). A preferential system like range voting gives recognition to those who are lower on the lists but in the end the single seat always goes to the strong parties. Having multiple seats per district would allow them to gain a percentage of those seats instead of a failed minority vote.

Edited for spelling

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