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> The goal as I see it should not be to elect the Most Popular President

The goal is for every American citizen's vote for President to count for exactly as much as any other citizen's. That means, yes, the person who gets the most votes wins. How else can it work?

I'd encourage you to take a look at the National Popular Vote's site, especially http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/answers.php . They've put quite a bit of thought into it.




Better than a simple majority election or instant runoff would be approval voting. Suppose 40% of people strongly favor the Republican, and 39% the Democrat. However, suppose 62% would accept the leading independent candidate as a second choice. More people would be more happy if the voting system allowed the independent to win in this case.

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I would prefer a method that satisfies the Condorcet criterion (that a candidate who would win in a two way election against any other candidate wins, if such a candidate exists). Approval voting does tend to approximate this, if accurate polling data exists and voters are aware of that data and vote strategically, but I would prefer not to rely on that.

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Maybe, but that's completely tangential to the question of whether a vote for President should count the same across state lines.

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Not really, it actually assumes that all votes are equal. As soon as two votes from any two different people in the country are inequal, no voting system can be fair. So following the discussion, he saw we were supposing that all votes be made equal. In seeing this, we've already discussed how this effectively means presidential election is a simple majority, and his point was that simple majority isn't a good system by which to make a decision in a large group of people, that another one, any one that has proportionate voting for multiple candidates, can actually result in a much more agreeable outcome, but it assumes all votes are equal in power.

If the question is "should they count the same" -- the answer is an unequivocal yes, and almost every person would agree. Voting reform requires that people put in power by bad systems willingly reform those systems which would see them removed from power. Corruption doesn't remove itself, so discussing this at all is moot, really.

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> If the question is "should they count the same" -- the answer is an unequivocal yes, and almost every person would agree. Voting reform requires that people put in power by bad systems willingly reform those systems which would see them removed from power. Corruption doesn't remove itself, so discussing this at all is moot, really.

Did you read what I wrote? That's not true of the National Popular Vote. Legislators in a plurality of states[0] can alter the election for President (and so fundamentally shift the nature of national politics) without any cooperation from the President or any Federal official.

[0] Or rather, a number of states comprising a plurality of electors.

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That wouldn't indicate that corruption could be removed or would ever remove itself. When you give corruption more power (and that's what overriding popular vote is), it is almost always abused, which means the only outcome I see of such a power is to prevent people from voting for president at all, or at the very least to prevent people from electing a president that isn't corrupt or sympathetic to congress and their interests. So I would say any proposal that institutes such a power should be vehemently rejected by the public.

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Sorry, I'm legitimately confused about what you're saying. Who is corrupt here, and how does the popular vote give them more power?

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The legislators are corrupt, and being able to override the popular vote gives them more power.

The system that puts legislators into place is a local majority vote, which is just as flawed as a national majority vote. It leads to a 2-party system which concentrates power and typically results in corruption.

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I'm confused how you can argue that a national majority vote leads to a 2-party system when we have a 2-party system and we don't have a national majority vote.

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The parent comment said, "The system that puts legislators into place is a local majority vote, which is just as flawed as a national majority vote. It leads to a 2-party system which concentrates power and typically results in corruption." Reduced to a pair of logical statements:

  Local majority vote --> Two-party system
  National majority vote --> Two-party system
The parent poster did not make a statement of either of these forms:

  National majority vote <--> Two-party system
  Two-party system --> National majority vote
Thus, the previous poster is not arguing that only a national majority vote leads to a two-party system. In other words, a national majority vote is a sufficient but not necessary condition to have a two-party system. At best, we can infer that the parent poster intends to say that a majority vote on any scale leads to a two-party system, whether local, electoral college, or national, but even that was not explicitly stated.

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I understand the logic of my parent's statement. To rephrase my question: We have a two-party system, and we do not have a national majority vote. Therefore, in absence of other evidence, I must assume there is a low upper bound to the importance of a majority vote on our two-party system.

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Your example assumes people will vote for their second choice when it counts against their first choice. Most people won't, so approval often wont' work. Runoffs or instant runoffs are better.

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That's how you get a situation like the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is in charge. Everyone gets to be governed by the people who couldn't get to the top of anyone's list -- their platform had some compelling elements but wasn't an overall winner.

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No.

Palestine has a parliamentary government. Their elections use a close relative to proportional representation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_legislative_electio...

Approval voting is for executive positions. President, Governor, Mayor. Not assemblies like councils and parliaments.

Approval voting prevents the "spoiler effect". It does not enable it. Nor is it applicable to parliamentary elections, such as the example you gave.

Lastly, your comment is just weird. Equating Hamas to a spoiler. Despite the electioneering by the PLA. The subsequent extra-legal attempt to invalidate the election results that brought Hamas to power.

I'm far from an expert on Palestinian politics, but if there's a lesson to be drawn from Hamas and The Gaza Strip, it's that Palestinian politics are messy.

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Except the people don't elect the president, the states do, as it should be IMHO. So as I see it the goal is for each state to cast it's electoral votes for that which represents it's population's desire the most accurately. The current first past the post popular vote devolves into a two party system. I would to see one state try instant-runoff voting to allocate it's electoral votes, as I suspect it would give third parties a far great chance of winning in the electoral college.

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These charts[0], which I did not create, should explain why instant runoff voting is less than ideal. In particular, its nonmonotonicity (a candidate getting more votes can cause them to lose) is problematic, IMO.

[0] http://zesty.ca/voting/sim/

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