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.
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.
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.
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.
Perhaps, but Australia uses Instant-Runoff Voting , and we are also following the toxic partisan Us vs Them situation too.
I suspect there's more than one factor at play here.
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.
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.
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.
We need to keep computers out of elections.
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.
Single-member STV elections are considerably simpler to count.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
One version I rather like is a Condorcet election with an optional runoff inside the Smith set, if nontrivial
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.)
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.
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.
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.
I'd be happy to volunteer, donate, etc.
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.
Also of interest: Democrats have won the popular vote in 6 of the last 7 presidential elections, going back a quarter century.
Note also, no states went to Trump where Clinton had the popular vote.
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.
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.
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!
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.
How could it not? Genuinely asking.
"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.
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.
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.
In Austriala the above happens all the time it is considered normal.
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.
The "bayesian regret" is almost as good as RCV, but it's much simpler and doesn't suffer from the misperception you highlighted.
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.
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.
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.
That applies to all of us.