Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I'm very proud of my state. We also voted to legalize marijuana.

RCV was especially relevant to Maine because our Republican governor, Paul LePage, won his seat -- twice -- with around 35%-45% of the vote, primarily due to votes being split between the Democratic and Independent candidates (a.k.a The Spoiler Effect).

To me, LePage and his path to election and re-election closely mirrors Trump and his campaign. He ran on "telling it like it is", "being a businessman, not a politician", and "draining the swamp". He has said some really horrible things about minorities and his fellow politicians, he's vetoed a record number of bills, and he's held very controversial policy stances.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/30/us/controversial-gov-paul-...

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/10/06/samantha_bee_...

Edit: I never meant to imply blame of any candidate in creating the Spoiler Effect, and as such I modified my comment to reflect this.




The Democratic candidate came in 3rd place with only 19%. I believe that makes the Democrats the "spoiler" in that election. To not recognize it as such is to prop up the 2-party system.


While that may be true, either of the two could've been the actual winner if real ranked voting was used.

People usually flock to the candidate who has the best mix of "likely to win" and "shares my values". Preferably, only the latter should count.

It's also important to note that First-Past-The-Vote forces candidates to try to differentiate themselves as much as possible from each other, and that also includes popular 3rd parties. They will say more extreme things that they often don't really believe in. So that too would skew the results.

All in all, ranked voting will completely change how the whole process happens.


Yes, I fully believe the FPTP voting system is what has led to the incredibly toxic and extremely partisan political system in the US, to the detriment of all logic. It has created an extreme "us vs them" situation.

Studies also show a correlation (and possibly causation) between FPTP countries and income inequality. Whatever "benefits" FPTP may have, they pale in comparison to all the disadvantages.


> PTP voting system is what has led to the incredibly toxic and extremely partisan political system in the US

Perhaps, but Australia uses Instant-Runoff Voting [1], and we are also following the toxic partisan Us vs Them situation too.

I suspect there's more than one factor at play here.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting


While the Liberals (conversatives in Australia) have the lower house, they don't have the majority in the upper house, making it more of a house of review than a rubber stamp.

The PM is elected by the parliament, and often disposed of when they're seen as not doing the job. More turmoil, but avoids a lame duck at the top.


Perhaps, but I'm talking more about that voting methods are not necessarily to blame for the levels of partisanship in US politics.

There have been a lot of eerie similarities in Australian politics in terms of partisanship.

Turnbull was ousted from his first turn at Liberal Party leadership precisely because he was seen as 'cooperating' with the Labor government at the time, when he was willing to negotiate and compromise on certain positions.


By "either of the two" do you mean the Democrat and the independent? It looks to me like (assuming voters voted for the candidates that would have got their first preferences under RCV) the Democrat could not have won under RCV in 2010 and the independent could not have won under RCV in 2014.

RCV should be used for gubernatorial elections, to address vote splitting but in the last two such elections in Maine, the candidate placed third on first preferences could not have won under RCV.


I'm wondering why doesn't the US implement a system like "Two-round system" as a part of electoral reforms because as I see it the current system in place is not fair for the electorate or even the candidates themselves.


Washington kind of has this for federal offices (other than president) and state offices. The top two winners of the primary make it to the final election, regardless of party affiliation. We had one state race between a Democrat and a Libertarian, and my congressional district had a choice between two Democrats (though one was 'normal' and the other was a self-proclaimed socialist).


For basically all offices but POTUS that's what California effectively has. Except it is implemented badly as a "top-two primary" system. This virtually guarantees that most partisan elections will exclude anyone outside the two biggest parties. It is not very healthy.


Or outside the one biggest party. Jerry Brown recently vetoed an STV elections bill, calling it "too confusing for voters". Having met some actual voters, I'm growing more inclined to agree with him, but STV has worked very well in my university's elections for more than a decade.


I don't much like STV either; not because it isn't fair, but because it's almost impossible to do without using computers.

We need to keep computers out of elections.


STV has been around since the 19th century, and in use in Australia and Ireland since 1918 and 1921 respectively. At no point have computers been involved.

Although it is simple to perform manually, the iterative nature of counting the votes, eliminating the least popular candidate and distributing their preferences can add extra time to arrive at a result in a tight race. In general, though, the margin between candidates and preference flows are predictable enough that it's rarely significant.


Doesn't STV have the problem of nonmonotonicity, where gaining votes can make a candidate lose?


The algorithm to run an STV election is not that hard to implement. If the government is willing to release the ballot files, then there's no reason that you couldn't conduct your own count. But let's not pretend that we could do massive amounts of tallying without any kind of computer.


If anyone wants to try their hand at implementing the count for a multi-member electorate by PR-STV, the 'formal preferences' files for the Australian 2016 Federal Senate Elections are available here: http://results.aec.gov.au/20499/Website/SenateDownloadsMenu-... (scroll down to "Formal Preferences").

Single-member STV elections are considerably simpler to count.


There's no need to use computers to conduct an STV count. The single-winner variant (variously called "Instant Runoff Voting" "Majority-Preferential Voting", etc.) is especially easy to count by hand. Counting votes in a proportional election under STV is slightly complicated by the transferring of surplus votes, but it can still be done by hand.


Two-round system would be an improvement as well to the FPTP system. It would also fix the spoiler effect and the lack of majority support for winner problems. It's also simpler than RCV.

However, I don't think it reduces negative campaigns like RCV does (though it might improve on the "blue or red" campaigns that exist with FPTP). Another objective may be that the election "costs too much" (basically double or more), although I don't think this is a real objective. Democracy costs money. Deal with it. But I could see the objection gaining traction with some politicians, for the same reason the removal of voting polls gained traction in states with budget deficits.

I'd be content with either RCV or two-round system.


California actually now has a two round system for many legislative (state and federal) and other elections, with the "primary" being the open-field first round and the "general election" being the final vote between the top two.

I've seen lots of complaints that it "eliminates choice", because you have elections where the "general election" options are both Democrats (most notably, this year's U.S. Senate race.)


RCV is better than the Two-Round system, which is an expensive and time-consuming way of doing Supplementary Vote. Supplementary Vote is a system we use in the UK to elect mayors and Police & Crime Commissioners, and is a form of RCV in which voters are limited to only two preferences.


Not certain. http://scorevoting.net/Honest Runoff.html


The address should be http://scorevoting.net/HonestRunoff.html (without the space)

Perhaps not certain, and I do agree that there's far more to be gained by replacing plurality voting by either, but I think that page has some mistakes.

> IRV leads to stifling 2-party domination

I suspect that's because of poor voter information. You can't address every political problem effectively with a choice of voting system.

> with IRV, that one round is more complicated and it cannot be done on ordinary "dumb totalizing" voting machines ... > IRV is more complicated for both voters and talliers.

I find IRV simpler as a voter because of the reduced need for tactical voting in the first round.

IRV isn't complicated to count by hand. (In my country, vested interests said we couldn't afford the necessary voting machines, but we already conduct hand counts suitable for IRV.) You simply separate the ballot papers by candidate and count each candidate's vote, as we do under plurality voting. If no candidate has a majority, eliminate the last candidate, redistribute that candidate's votes to the highest ranked candidate (as marked on each ballot paper) still in the race, count only the redistributed votes and add them to the total from the previous round. Keep going until a candidate has a majority.

> we certainly cannot argue that one system is better than the other under all circumstances.

You have to choose an electoral system before you can know the exact circumstances of an election, but the he main thing is to avoid plurality voting.


A big part of the problem is that the people who are going to approve changing the election system are also often the people who are elected due to the flaws in this system, and would like to hang onto the power these positions give them.

It's as if if the power to accept patches on an OS belonged to people who were profiting from a bunch of zero-day exploits in it, and kept on DMCAing attempts to set up a new repo free of their influence.


But there also hasn't been (as far as I can tell) a significant popular outcry against plurality voting. It seems unfair to blame politicians for resisting a movement that doesn't exist.


There's a chicken-and-egg problem there -- most people don't know there could be any other way to vote.


Two-round systems are actually quite gameable in their naive form.

One version I rather like is a Condorcet election with an optional runoff inside the Smith set, if nontrivial


I agree about the current system, but not about the Two-Round system. It would be more efficient for voters to go to the polls once and choose a first and second preference. Voters could be allowed as many preferences as candidates, which is what RCV does.


As long as the same ballot will be used not just for the runoff but also for the initial election, people have an incentive not to write down their true preferences (this is implied by the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbard%E2%80%93Satterthwaite_... (approximately) which says that as long as there are >2 candidates, tactical voting is incentivized).

The advantage of actually going to the polls twice is that you eliminate tactical voting in the final runoff; people no longer have any incentive to lie about their preferences.


You get to honestly veto the candidate you dislike the most (or back the candidate you want if s/he actually makes the final ballot) in the runoff.

But if anything, the first vote becomes even more tactical potentially in bizarre ways such as aiming to ensure that a candidate sure to make the final ballot runs against the most odious fringe candidate on the final ballot.


Maybe, but I get the impression that overall the addition of a true runoff tends to make things better. For example, this guy compared a number of voting methods using his preferred metric, Bayesian regret; note that when a method and a variant with a runoff added to it are compared, the runoff tends to do slightly better: http://rangevoting.org/StratHonMix.html

In addition, I have no data for this but I expect that a runoff would increase the perception of legitimacy of an electoral result, because while the initial voting procedure that narrows the field to only 2 candidates will occasionally be impacted by counterintuitive results such as spoilers, at least the runoff can always be interpreted in a straightforward manner as "we were choosing between A and B, and most voters preferred A over B".


> Maybe, but I get the impression that overall the addition of a true runoff tends to make things better. For example, this guy compared a number of voting methods using his preferred metric, Bayesian regret; note that when a method and a variant with a runoff added to it are compared, the runoff tends to do slightly better

I suspect that result is caused by voters being misinformed about how IRV works. It would be interesting to see IRV compared to Exhaustive Ballot, which is like the Two-Round system, but with up to n-1 rounds for n candidates. The last-placed candidate is eliminated each round until there are a majority of votes for one candidate, just like IRV.


In practice it rather works the other way: the fact that your ballot will also be used for the final runoff reduces the incentive to tactically vote, because there's a greater chance your vote will backfire.


Sure, the Democrat was the spoiler there. But your characterization of kevlar1818's comment doesn't make sense.

Advocating RCV is the exact opposite of propping up the two party system. And the terminology itself is neutral -- it's only because the American democracy has suffered under (or, as some would now say, outright failed due to) the two party system that you associate "the spoiler effect" with a third party candidate.


No, my characterization did make sense because at the time I commented (kevlar1818 has since edited -- read the whole thread), kevlar1818 explicitly blamed an independent candidate for splitting the Democrats' votes, as if they owned them.


Once again, any blame was not intentional. I don't know why you are insisting that I'm an opponent of third parties in elections.


Fair enough, but I think you're kind of splitting hairs. You're referring to the 2010 election, I think. The 2014 election has the Democratic candidate take ~43% if I'm correct.


How is it splitting hairs to correct the (implicit, through use of the phrase "The Spoiler Effect") blaming of third party candidates when it wasn't a third party candidate who was at fault whatsoever? In fact that's the central point of this ballot proposition: so that we can vote for better candidates than the Democrats are willing to put up without fear of your blame if we don't reach enough to defeat the other side.

Even worse, your post is just factually wrong. By placing the fact that a 3rd party candidate split the vote once in a sentence where you mentioned the governor failed to reach a majority twice, you conflated the two in a manner that almost looks willful.

And yes, I was referring to the 2010 election because the plurality for LePage was much less convincing then.


I'm a co-founder of the Center for Election Science. This was the spoiler effect. It doesn't really matter which candidate was the spoiler. It matters that the wrong candidate won. We did some analysis on this election here.

http://scorevoting.net/Maine2014Exit.html


tanderson92's point was that by implying that the independent candidate was the spoiler, it is tacitly supporting the two-party system.


I don't think that was the implication. The original post just said that the democrats and independents split the vote (spoiler effect). There was no implication as to which was the spoiler.


It was the implication present in the original post before it was edited to remove that implication (after much of this discussion had occurred). See: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12951169, and the edit note in the edited-edited-original post.


You can't really say "spoiler effect" without implying it. A "spoiler" is a minor candidate that is substantially similar to one of the major candidates. Just because the Democratic candidate lost to the spoiler doesn't make the spoiler less of a spoiler; the Democratic candidate would have been more likely to win if they weren't there.

It's not a "spoiler effect"; maybe a split constituency is a better term. Spoiler implies that somebody has something, and someone else steps in and ruins it. These are all equal people running for the same office.


This IMO gets it completely wrong. An independent candidate who comes within 2% of a plurality and victory and performs >15% better than the Democrat does not deserve to be called a spoiler. Why does the Democrat deserve the win regardless of what voters evidently want?

If anyone is a spoiler, it must be the Democratic candidate.

Your reasoning may be well-intentioned, but it is yet more 3rd-party-blaming.


Of course it was the spoiler effect! I never claimed otherwise! I only said that if you are going to use that language then in 2010 it is clear that the Democrats were the spoilers and the independent deserves none of the blame assigned by kevlar1818 in the original wording of the post.


Look, I agree with you. I am thrilled that RCV was voted-for by the people of Maine. It's a step away from the two-party system, and that's great.

The Spoiler Effect happened one way or another. I was not intentionally trying to bash any of the candidates who were involved in the Spoiler Effect, and I think it's petty and inflammatory to assign blame either way. I'll update my post to be more clear in this regard.


You're reading a lot into Kevlar1818's posts that isn't necessarily there. It's possible to blame a phenomenon (the Spoiler Effect) without blaming its players (Democrats & third party candidates).


In his/her defense, I edited my comment to show I did not mean to blame anyone.



We can debate all day about whether voting 3rd party under simple majority voting is taking a stand or being irresponsible (by causing a split vote and letting the worst candidate win). I think there are legitimate arguments on both sides.

The only real way to stop propping up a 2-party system is to switch to something like ranked choice voting, so good on them for doing it.


Fine. Whatever. Spoiler effect is much less of an issue with ranked voting, so good to know that Maine will be going IND (likely) next cycle unless GOP steps up their game and caters to the middle. A win for lefties in either way.


Just an observation here, I dont think there was an implication that the independants were a spoiler. Parent implied that democrat and independent candidates were similar in ideology and therefore a spoiler effect was present.


Good news for Maine: preferential voting will really help with the two party system.


The two-party system doesn't need any help. Preferential voting will give people the opportunity to vote for the candidates they prefer in the order they prefer them, rather than participating in the (media-driven) Keynesian beauty contest that the institutional parties force us into.


Hey, thanks so much for passing this, Maine!

I'd love to start a group (or get involved with one if there is one) to bring this to my adopted state of Washington.

Though I often groan at the "laboratories of democracy" turn of phrase, it is kinda cool to see this stuff implemented somewhere. It means there's a model we can use to bring it to where we live.


Washington uses what they call Top Two. Only the top two in the primaries will be on the ballot in the general election for the congressional, state legislative and state executive offices. They can be from the same party, e.g. the two candidates for state treasurer in 2016 were both republicans.

(California does this as well and it has had interesting effects. California's 31st district voter registration favors the democratic party, but they ended up with only the choice between two republicans in the general election because there were four democratic candidates dividing up the vote in the primary.[1])

1. https://ballotpedia.org/California's_31st_Congressional_Dist...


A starker thing happened in WA already. In the primary, there were five candidates for Treasurer. Three Democrats, two Republicans. No one knew much about any of them, and the vote was roughly split between all five. So the two Republicans advanced, even though almost 60% of the votes went to Democrats. (One of the Republicans won - the Democrats were prohibited from participating as write-ins due to a "Sore Loser" rule.)

Regardless of your political leanings, this is a case where the vote was distorted, and where the winner was decided more by the voting system than the preferences of the electorate.


Yes the vote was distorted, but that is the fault of the democratic party for not organizing their candidates better. How can you make a law that prevents one political party from being disorganized? Isn't that kinda like trying to "fix stupid"? (I'm not trying to call the democratic party stupid here, it's just an example of something impossible to legislate against.)

I think the more rules and regulations that get put into place that try to "fix" problems, which are really just symptoms of poor performance, not a root cause, the harder it makes it for upstart political parties to get involved!

This is part of the reason we only have two viable parties, there are so many rules and regulations that make it so difficult and very expensive to participate, that the democratic and republican parties can strangle any competition out of the race.


The problem with that critique is that it can be applied towards any system that has messed up incentives. Regulations to prevent over-fishing is kinda like trying to fix stupid, too, but it's still necessary.


Pierce County tried it. They quickly undid it.

IRV confused the voters. The election administrators were dead set against it, so were only too happy to allow it to fail.

Aside, on the election integrity front, IRV is difficult to tabulate and necessitates digital tabulation. I initially supported IRV, so many years ago, but its inherit complexity finally turned me off.

I now support Approval Voting. More fair than IRV, trivial to tabulate, easy to explain.


In my mind, the problem with Approval Voting is that it's harder to decide how one should vote. What's the cut-off? Do I vote for everyone I really believe in? Or everyone I don't loathe? And it's exactly that sort of question which leads to tactical voting. With IRV it's easy. Just order them until you're indifferent to the rest of the candidates.



It seems to me that AV should lead to basically the same results regardless of people's individual cutoffs. I think it's more important to avoid the nonmonotonicity of IRV.


IRV scrutiny has been successfully done by hand-counting for many decades before computer-assisted counting was available.


As another Washingtonian who donated to and followed the Maine initiative closely, let me know if you find an organization to work with (or if you start one).

I'd be happy to volunteer, donate, etc.


fairvote.org is a national organization dedicated to voting reforms such as this. They were a big supporter of Maine initiative, and often have satellite state offices.


I'd sign & vote for that initiative.


People complain about the electoral college, that it gave the win to Trump, even though he had fewer votes. They're right, they should complain about it. However, they should also realize that in most state elections, governors across the country win elections with less than majority support, just like you mentioned. So this is not just a one time catastrophe. Far from it.

It's time to get rid of the FPTP voting system. It only serves to elect people with minority support. Heck, if the Republican party didn't use FPTP in its primary, it's likely Trump wouldn't have been the nominee. But they used it precisely because they wanted to make the primary less democratic, and they thought their main guy, Jeb Bush, would be the one winning with 40% of the Republicans' votes, while all the other candidates would split the vote. I bet they will reconsider that strategy now.

Even Clinton, which won the popular vote, only had support from 48% of the voters - less than the majority. So even if she won, in my book, it would still not be democratic, because perhaps in a two-round voting system or in an RCV system, Clinton would preserve the 48%, and Trump would get 52% if the Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, and write-in voters would've all gone to Trump. We just don't know, and the only way to know that a candidate is indeed liked by at least 50%+1 of the voters, is to have a system that shows that. The FPTP voting system doesn't.


Trump won with fewer votes than his opponent; governors always win with more votes than their opponents. Whether the governor's vote total is a majority or plurality is a separate question.

Also of interest: Democrats have won the popular vote in 6 of the last 7 presidential elections, going back a quarter century.


Isn't this exactly why the electoral college exists? To prevent incredibly dense populations with completely different priorities from deciding for the entire nation?

Note also, no states went to Trump where Clinton had the popular vote.


> I bet they will reconsider that strategy now.

That will be hard, given that it won them the White House, and produced the victory for the now-defacto leader of the Republican Party.

Party rules to amend it would be a slap in the face of Trump, much like if the Democrats tried to change things so that "an Obama" couldn't win while Obama was in office.


> Party rules to amend it would be a slap in the face of Trump

It's always going to be a slap in the face. Start the campaign now and try to get it in with the next term.


I'm also very proud of Maine.

We had record high turnout this year, when much of the country had low turnout. Perhaps because of the important ballot items such as this one. I also think Maine's splitting up our electoral votes helps, too. I say this as someone from the 2nd district who hates that Trump got our vote!


Didn't the democrat get less votes than the third party candidate and was losing in polls running up to the election as well?


Hey, I'm also from Maine! There's at least two of us here!

I voted against the initiative, mostly because as I understand it, it still doesn't necessarily create majority candidates and because there's a good chance it's in violation of the state constitution.

I don't mind that it passed though.


> it still doesn't necessarily create majority candidates

How could it not? Genuinely asking.


Not quite what you're asking, but will feel like it to people, here's a quote from the linked article (quoting somebody else):

"One problem of RCV is that especially with lots of candidates, a winner can be chosen with a relatively small number of first-place votes. This was exactly what happened in the city of Oakland, California, in 2010 when Jean Quan, who received only 24 percent of votes in the first round, ended up winning the election because she was the second and third choice of many voters. In Burlington, Vermont, after the leader in the first round did not win an election, RCV was repealed."

It might be a technical majority, but when so few people actually preferred the candidate that won, it makes sense that they repealed it.

The benefit of the simple plurality is that you've got to actually get people to want you.

Not sure what I think about RCV, personally.


I'm not sure why this is a flaw, to be honest - it seems like selecting a candidate who is at least acceptable to the greatest number of people is preferable to picking one who is preferred by a slight majority but possibly highly divisive.


The heart of the problem is that what people think they're getting probably isn't going to match up with what they actually get. I don't think RCV is really any worse or better than FPTP (well it's probably a little better), but it behaves in a way that is going to offer weird results for people that they didn't expect. That's why it's bad.

At the end of the day, no one cares how we decide our leaders so long as their candidate wins. And when their candidate loses, that's when there are suddenly massive flaws in the process.


I think it's not necessarily true that the elected candidate really is acceptable to most people under RCV. My #2 vote might simply be my "least-bad" choice, not my "second-best" choice. I might be pretty disgruntled if that #2 option is chosen.

Imagine a system where each person gets 100 votes to allot as they wish. Say I give 97 votes to A, 2 to B, and 1 to C, while you give 35 votes to A, 33 to B, and 32 to C.

If we instead had an RCV system, we'd perhaps both express those votes as "A over B over C", even though under the vote-allotment system we were expressing pretty divergent opinions. I clearly find candidate B unacceptable, if barely more tolerable than C, where you appear to find all three of them more or less acceptable.


It's not a flaw. In two-party systems there's often a strong pushback on any system that would break the deadlock. Those arguments won't make any sense, but sadly they don't need to in order to convince people.


Isn't that the whole point of RCV? People can put their first choice as the 3rd party candidate that they prefer, but if they still don't have enough they can fall back onto a more established party for their 2nd/3rd choice.


"One problem of RCV is that especially with lots of candidates, a winner can be chosen with a relatively small number of first-place votes. This was exactly what happened in the city of Oakland, California, in 2010 when Jean Quan, who received only 24 percent of votes in the first round, ended up winning the election because she was the second and third choice of many voters. In Burlington, Vermont, after the leader in the first round did not win an election, RCV was repealed."

In Austriala the above happens all the time it is considered normal.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2016/guide/mpor/

Here the Labor party candidate polled second highest (with 27%) and was elected thanks to Green Preferences. The Liberal candidate lost despite polling 42% of first preference votes.


Heaven forbid a compromise, eh?


I would claim this is true of FPTP too - just in FPTP, people vote for their 2nd, or 3rd favorite candidate. At least with RCV your preference is known, rather than hidden in some corner of your mind.


That's not a flaw. One reason I prefer Approval Voting is that it makes this clear. Approval Voting works the same as RCV but without ranking. Vote for all candidates you approve of.

The "bayesian regret" is almost as good as RCV, but it's much simpler and doesn't suffer from the misperception you highlighted.

https://electology.org/approval-voting


Approval Voting is problematic, especially in a multicultural electorate, for situations where there is not a concrete definition of the meaning of the approval threshould, because different people interpret "approve" differently (it's basically asking the to impose a binary threshold on a continuous-but-not-consistently-quantifiable value), so it suffers problems from inconsistency in input data. The impact of any individe all voter is small enough and hard enough to viscerally percieve that there is no strong feedback method to, over time, align understandings of "approval" so the meaning is consistent across ballots.

Approval Voting is not problematic for situations where you don't need ballot secrecy and approving is, e.g., a binding commitment to participate if the approved option is selected (or where non-approval is a binding opt-out), or where some other consistent concrete consequence of approval exists.

A similar problem exists with most numerical rating (as opposed to ordinal ranking) methods, and to other ranking methods with smiller number of rankings than alternatives, and, perhaps, to a much lesser extent, to ranking systems that allow (but don't require) equal rankings.

Because most analyses silently assume a consistent the mapping from an internal utility function to ballot marking, this is frequently overlooked.


The Bayesian Regret of Approval Voting is radically BETTER than with IRV.

http://scorevoting.net/BayRegsFig.html


Ranked voting could still produce a simple plurality, not a majority, if no candidate is ranked by more than 50% of the population.

E.g. in the extreme case, with three candidates, suppose everyone hated the other two options so much that they refused to even write in a #2 choice.

Of course, this seems like a completely silly argument, because it's much more likely to generate majorities than the single-choice system.


People just frequently complain when a candidate didn't get 50% of the popular vote in an election. I think it's silly, but it's common. Many people's argument in favor of this initiative is seeing that 50% number. If it doesn't actually produce that reliably, then it's not solving the problem people want solved.

Personally, I don't mind if someone wins with 43% of the popular vote. I don't even mind FPTP much, and yes, I mostly vote third party. But from other people in the state, that 50% number was a concern, and I don't think this addressed that adequately.


If you tend to vote third party, You should consider being against FPTP voting, because it almost always leads to a two-party system[1].

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger%27s_law



There are some good comments critiquing ranked choice voting from people who seem much more informed / involved than I am. I suggest you just scroll through the comments a bit rather than get it from me (if you can't find them, I'm happy to dig some stuff up).


at least three of us here!


While may not agree on how an alternate voting system should work, I am glad that we can finally acknowledge the system we have in place desperately needs fixing.



Thankfully, the ridiculous, unenforceable gun control initiative that was funded by out-of-state interests was also rejected. I'm very proud of my home state.


>very controversial policy stances

That applies to all of us.


Good post. I'm proud of our state.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: