18 March 2016

What if US elections actually worked?

The Blog

In a recent short post, Garrison Center director Thomas Knapp suggests a way of revising US presidential elections so the outcome would be more satisfactory to voters.

Available at the Garrison Center and Medium, the post tempts readers with a better alternative to "one person, one vote" by asking:
What if you could vote for ALL the candidates you like, instead of just one, secure in the knowledge that your vote(s) would not be “wasted” on a loser, or “spoil” the chances of one of your preferred candidates, resulting in election of the “greater evil?”
That better alternative is Approval Voting, in which, "You vote for as few or as many candidates as you like. All the votes are counted. The candidate with the most votes wins. Yes, it’s really that simple." A US voter might, for example, be able to use three votes - one for your favorite independent who deserves a chance to win but is unlikely, the second for the best candidate in the party of your choosing, and a third for the candidate most likely to win in the party of your choosing.

Knapp justifies this kind of revision on the basis that most Americans end up voting for the lesser evil rather than the candidate their heart is really with. In the present US election race, many voters are likely to vote (e.g. for Hillary Clinton) more for a desire to keep Donald Trump out of power than because Clinton deserves power.

The widespread public view of Clinton is deeply negative due to her poor role as Secretary of State and track record of lying to to the public, but even she seems harmless compared to Trump in terms of her public statements. A sizable number of Americans polled have indicated that they may leave the United States if the divisive and bigoted Donald Trump is elected to power.

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