Chois Voting Amerika?

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( Kapital-i, in 'I, myself', now spels Il as in isle or aisle.
Leter y spels sym for seem or seam and partys for parties.
Leter w spels swn for soon. )

Links to sektions:

(1) Turn-out and primarys.

Low turn-out from lyst chois.

To elekt myns to chws-out. Only uon kandidat kan be prefer'd with an x-vot or spot vot. Al thos kandidats not prefer'd mIt as wel be just uon kandidat, kompar'd to the uon kandidat, hw has mor vots than any other singl kandidat. And this is wat tends to hapen. Hens, the tw-party system, wich is sustain'd by the spot vot's singl preferens, either for party kandidat A or kandidat B.

Ther ar 4 lojikal posibilitys of chois betwyn tw kandidats: both ar equaly prefer'd; both ar equaly dislik'd; A is prefer'd to B; B is prefer'd to A.

An elektion kan only tak plas wen som-uon is aktualy elekted or chosen-out, and that only kovers the tw later posibilitys, that is haf the lojikal posibilitys. Lojikly, uon wud only expekt haf the elektorat to vot, bekaus the other haf hav no preferens betwyn only tw kandidats.
Indyd, in 1980 US presidential elektions, 50% of the elektors didnt vot. If this is apathy, it is a lojikal apathy. US non-voters ar doing wat shud be lojikly expekted of them, given ther restriktion to a minimum chois. But in so many other Amerikan elektions, turn-out drops alarmingly.

Prof. Douglas Amy, in Real Choices, New Voices sIts studys that som 62% 'no show' voters hav lyst edukation and inkom, and, therfor, lyst kaus to be kontent.

Amerikan reformers para-freis Bill Clinton's elektion-wining advIs, 'It's the ekonomy, stupid,' to: It's the elektoral system, stupid.
His apointy, Prof. Lani Guinier had started a debait on the subjekt, wen that apointment was withdrawn. She remark'd:

our level of participation is an embarrassment. Some may say that reflects contentment with the status quo. I think it represents...rational behavior by voters who realize their votes don't count.

Som enkurajment for this viw may be glyn'd from the French 1981 presidential elektions. Several party kandidats had quIt respektabl levels of suport but no ryl houp of wining. Basikly, ther wer 4 serius kontenders from 4 rysonably wel-match'd main partys, in the first round of France's Sekond Balot system. The tw mor senter kandidats, from the RIt and the Left, went thru to the sekond round.

In the Sekond Balot, the turn-out inkrys'd, from 80%, in the first round, to 86%. This later figur is almost exaktly the turn-out to be expekted from ading up the lojikal posibilitys of chois for 4 main kandidats in France, insted of tw main kandidats, in the USA.
For tw kandidats, ther ar 4 lojikal posibilitys of chois. For 4 kandidats, ther ar sixtyn posibilitys.

( The number of lojikal posibilitys of chois for kandidats is obtain'd by the binomial theorem. It is tw to the power of the number of kandidats. In the abov exampls, tw to the power of tw equals 4 posibilitys of chois betwyn tw kandidats; and tw to the power of 4 equals 16 posibilitys of chois betwyn 4 kandidats. )

Of the sixtyn posibilitys, tw of them wil be non-elektiv: al for kandidats being equaly prefer'd is uon posibility, and al for kandidats being equaly dis-lIk'd is another posibility. So, uon wud expekt tw-sixtynths or uon-eith of the elektorat, hw hav no preferens betwyn the for kandidats, not to vot. Uon-eith is twelv and a haf per sent, lyving eity-seven and a haf per sent, as the number of voters. This is a gud aproximation to the 86% French turn-out quoted abov.

The French Sekond Balot syms to work, even tho it only efekts a ranking of tw out of for choises of kandidats. In the first round, the singl preferens usualy gos betwyn uon of tw rItist or uon of tw leftist kandidats. In the sekond balot of uon's vot, a singl preferens is enuf to desId betwyn the uon remaining left or rIt kandidat.

Uon kud desId the elektion, in uon round, with a so-kal'd Suplementary Vot, giving uon's sekond balot chois, in a kombin'd balot. This is the saim as having a first chois and a sekond chois. For exampl, on the French Left, uon's first chois mIt be a komunist kandidat and uon's sekond chois the socialist. If uon's komunist chois lost against the socialist, in the first round of kounting, then uon's sekond chois for the socialist wud help the socialist against the wining rIt wing kandidat, in the sekond round.

Stil, a myr dubl preferens vot of first and sekond chois alows no information about uon's preferens betwyn the other main tw kandidats, to say nothing of minor party kandidats. This kud enkuraj a rijid Left-RIt divid.
It yus'd to be jouk'd that the French voted either for Marx or Jesus.

North Amerikan elektoral reformers, inkluding Canadians, dont sym to favor the Sekond Balot, as such, for singl syt elektions such as of mayor or president. Rather, they spyk of a mor thoro version, ofering mor than tw orders of preferens. Voters ar given a preferens vot, to rank ther order of chois for kandidats.

The kandidats with lyst first preferenses are gradualy eliminated til som kandidat wins by achyving an over-al majority, or over haf the vots. Ther is no nyd for the voters to go to the pols twIs. Hens, the Amerikans kal this 'instant run-off voting' ( or simply, run-off voting ). In other kuntrys, it has byn nown as 'the alternativ vot'.
( I diskus'd the short-komings of AV in my reviw of the Kerley report. )

Short history of solving basik problems in preferens voting.

To top.

The modern history of voting method perhaps begins with the French filosofs of the EnlItenment. Condorcet pointed out an aparent paradox in preferens voting. Normaly the winer of a preferens vot of rank'd choises, first, sekond, third etc, is desIded by eliminating the kandidat with the lyst first preferenses. His vot is then re-distributed akording to his voters' sekond preferenses. Thys re-distributed vots may tak som other kandidat over the wining lIn of an over-al majority.

But the Condorcet paradox shows that even the kandidat with the lyst first preferenses may be elekted if the sekond preferens of most of the voters. This is if no kandidat has an over-al majority of first preferenses and if al the kandidats in turn ar pair'd against ych other, with the help of re-distributed vots from the other kandidats.

The Chevalier de Borda anser'd the Condorcet paradox by saying it did not tak into akount the relativ importans of order of chois. So, he propos'd that 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc choises shud be weited in the kount. If ther wer 4 kandidats, first preferenses shud kount 4 times as much as forth preferenses, sekond preferenses wud kount thry tIms as much, third preferenses twIs as much.

This and other systems of weiting the preferens vot, Ive diskus'd ( in detail in part 1 of my Sientifik method of elektions and on the paj of simpl exampls of STV. )

But it is of interest that Laplace endors'd it with uon of his typikly involv'd prwfs. Laplace often didnt bother to giv prwfs, saying a thing was tu obvius. His Amerikan translator said, wen-ever he saw this remark, he nw he had a hard nIt's work ahed of him, demonstrating 'the obvius'. Laplace is rated among history's haf-dozen greitest mathematicians.
( J F S Ross discussed Borda's method in Elections and Electors. ) We now no, or shud do, that weiting the preferens vot is, indyd, the esential myns to resolving the Condorcet paradox.

Never the les, Borda's method left tw unresolv'd problems, hws solution wud be provided by the definitiv myns of weiting the preferens vot in the kount. Wat-ever mathematikal serys uon yuses to weit preferenses in order of importans, it is an esentialy arbitrary bisnes. The exampl given abov is Borda's orijinal sujestion of the arithmetik serys. Ross said this gav tu much weit to leser preferenses, especialy if ther wer many kandidats. He sujested the jeometrik serys to of-set this. Others hav sujested the harmonik serys as a kompromis. It is stil ges-work

Wich-ever weiting serys uon yuses, later weitings kount against erlier uons, so that the mor preferenses uon expreses the mor uon is voting against uon's first preferens.

It wasnt til the midl of the nIntynth sentury that the way was mayd open to remedy thys faults, tho it was not rylIs'd for an other quarter of a sentury. Carl Andrae and Thomas Hare independently propos'd that ther shud be a proportional kount of preferens voting. Representativs wer equitably elekted on ych wining a requir'd proportion of the vots in a multi-member konstituensy.

Som kandidats wud get mor first preferenses than they nyded to achyv an elektiv quota of vots. The surplus vots wud not be wasted but transfer'd to thos voters' sekond preferenses. The question was: hws sekond preferenses, amongst al the voters for the alredy elekted kandidat, wud mak up the transferabl surplus vot?

The simplest answer was to mak the surplus vot a random sampl. Giv the balot box a gud shaik, so its kontents ar properly mix'd or at random, lIk a prIz draw. Then draw out a representativ sampl of vots, to the number of surplus vots to be transfer'd.

Ther is a mor exakt way, diskover'd by an Australian kal'd J B Gregory. Gregory's method kaim to be kal'd 'the Senatorial ruls', after its yus in Komon-welth senats. And it givs definitiv anser to the out-standing problems of Borda's method. ( Sy abov referenses. )

The point is, the weiting of sekond or leser preferenses is no longer arbitrary but in proportion to the sIz of the transferabl surplus. Also, later preferenses do not kount against erlier preferenses. The first preferens has alredy byn elekted befor the sekond preferens koms into play to help elekt another representativ to a multi-member konstituensy.

This 'singl transferabl vot' ( STV ) of surpluses usualy left som syts nyding to be fil'd by re-distributing the vots of kandidats with lyst first preferenses. And this was a residual anomaly in the traditional hand-kounted version of the system.
But komputers mak posibl a systematik flow chart of kounting that further reduses the minimal posibilitys for wel inform'd voters to work the system with a kontriv'd ordering of ther preferenses.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, lokal government resently automated ther kount after som six dekaids yus of STV or 'chois voting', as it's kal'd in Amerika. Ther, the term 'preferens voting' is an other synonym for STV. But this system also yuses a proportional kount of preferens voting. Bering that in mind, I shal kyp to the terms, chois voting or STV.

Presidential and kongresional primarys by chois voting.

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For the rysons out-lIn'd ( or refer'd to ) abov, the Sekond Balot or suksesiv balots, wich kan be render'd kompaktly by preferens voting, givs way, by itself, to paradox and anomaly. But the proportional kounting of preferens vots, with the transferabl voting system, resolv'd the main lojikal problems.

This system, how-ever, involvs multi-member konstituensys. So, it has byn klaim'd that STV or chois voting dosnt aplI to singl vakansys, lIk the presidensy. But this involvs som mis-lyding asumptions.
Of kors, if ther ar only tw kandidats chasing uon syt, then ther is no question of vots being transfer'd from a third kandidat. The only posibl preferens is a first preferens ( wether mark'd on the balot paper by a kros, a punch hol or the number 1 ). LIkwIs, the only posibl majority is uon majority over the remaining minority. ( e.g. 51 voters out of 100.

It has not byn apreciated that tw, thry, or mor, majoritys ar posibl over a remaining minority ( e.g. tw majoritys of 51 vots ych, out of 150 voters; thry majoritys ych out of 200 voters ). This involvs the so-kal'd Droop quota, yus'd to kount STV.

As swn as ther is mor than a singl majority to kount, the voter nyds mor than a singl preferens. Sekond and third preferenses help desId wich kandidats atrakt enuf vots to mak up sekond and third majoritys in tw or thry member konstituensys.
Uon, tw, thry,.. preferenses elekt uon, tw, thry,..majoritys. This is the lojikal korespondens of the vot to the kount, wich must konsistently sum up degrys of individual chois to degrys of komunity chois.
The transferabl vot translats the preferens vots' mesur of greitnes of individual chois into a mesur of greitnes of komunity chois among kandidats.

Carl Andrae and Thomas Hare understud, that preferens voting and proportional kounting implI ych other, wen they independently invented this jeneralis'd elektoral system. But most 'modern demokrasys' ilojikly impos elektoral laws that alow preferens voting only in singl member konstituensys ( the Sekond Balot or Alternativ Vot ) or only proportional kounting ( party lists or aditional member systems ).

A spot vot in a singl member konstituensy is only the most limited chois that the transferabl vot boils down to, for the final round of a kontest for a singl syt. STV is not a diferent system, it is a jeneralis'd system of 'chois voting'.
Wen som-uon says STV or chois voting dosnt aplI to singl-syt kontests, al they ar ryly saying is that only a final round of chois is alow'd the publik.

The Amerikan presidential elektion also konfuses the isyu. If the presidential primarys wer truly komprehensiv elektions, then the final vot wud truly be a show-down elektion betwyn the tw final presidential kandidats, and no other kandidats wud be permited to run. Insted of that, the third kandidat is dekrI'd as a 'spoiler' of the popular chois of the finalists. And he is punish'd financialy with huj kampain expenses and a lost deposit.
This is unjust, as the ryl blaim rests with the demokratik inadequasys of the primarys system.

G K Chesterton said that if a thing is worth doing at al, it is worth doing badly. Tho, he later was disparajing of his own 'mal mot'. Things usualy hav to be don badly befor they kan be don at al -- lIk the uon mega-watt of fusion power produs'd for the first tIm. But siens, as such, trIs to improv. Wer-as, politiks tends to be fundamentalist.

The problem with Amerikan primarys is that the voting system is tu primitiv for them to work properly. In the demokratik spirit, som elektions betwyn kandidats syking to be ther party's oficial nomination, wer thrown open to non-party members. But rival party members wud vot for ther oponents' worst kandidats. This was a version of Gresham's law, that bad mony drIvs out gud: bad kandidats drIv out gud.

Yu kud say that sums up the houl party system of karyr obediens to out-moded dogmas diktated from the top. Sertainly this wud be tru of mor rijidly partisan orthodoxys than in the United States. It wud aplI to British politiks, for instans, even befor the introduktion of party list systems, wer-by kandidats ar apointed to parliments by the party boses hw draw up the lists -- under the fals pretens this proportional partisanship is 'proportional representation'.

PR was intended to promot demokrasy, wich has byn sureptitiusly under-mIn'd by this debais'd form of it, yusing party lists. ( That is what Prof. Hermens ment by PR as 'the Trojan hors of demokrasy'. But Hermens thrw out the baby with the bath water by kulpably not distinguishing the orijinal PR of chois voting, wich greitly improv'd demokratik method. )

LIkwIs, the irony of Amerikan primarys is that they threten'd to under-mIn demokrasy, in the atempt to enhans it. How-ever, the solution to both problems of demokratik degradation is the saim. Chois voting givs mor equitabl representation, than first past the post, without denying individual representation. Indyd, it givs much greiter frydom of chois and, in so doing, efektivly solvs the primarys problem.

The primarys problem is wether primarys shud be open or klos'd. Open primarys alow every-uon to chws hw wil be a party's oficial kandidat. But this chois is typikly abyus'd by partisan oponents. So, partys hav wish'd to kondukt klos'd primarys to al but ther members. This, in turn, may be chalenj'd as les demokratik.

The dilema has kaus'd endles rangling over the konstitutional rIts and rongs of the mater. But it is aktualy a lojikal problem in elektoral method, hws solution ( the short history explains abov ) led to the transferabl voting method. For instans, the Oxford profesor of Konstitutional Law, Vernon Bogdanor has explain'd wI STV kud produs a mor demokratik and eficient system of Amerikan primarys.

With STV or chois voting, every-uon kan vot, and the kandidats most prefer'd ar elekted in a kongresional multi-member konstituensy. Say, ther ar fIv syts, then the tw most prefer'd out of fIv Republikans and the tw most prefer'd out of fIv Demokrats mIt be elekted.
An other uon-sixth of the voters mIt opt for an independent ( as in Vermont ) or a Gryn or a Reform party kandidat. ( This wud lyv les than a sixth of the voters unrepresented hyr, for a proportional representation of fIv-sixth the voters. )

With chois voting, primarys ar bilt into the jeneral elektion itself, bekaus the most prefer'd of the party kandidats ar elekted in a multi-member konstituensy. This is don by al the voters. And even open primarys kan not expekt the turn-out of a jeneral elektion.

Prof. Hugh Bone's study, of New York's yus of chois voting, observ'd:

Some of the most able councilmen were non-organization Democrats and Republicans...who undoubtedly would never have won the primary in a single member district because of opposition from the district machine.

Mor-over, the partys kan stil hold primarys, privat to ther own members, that is klos'd primarys, that no longer nyd be kontested, in the konstitutional korts, as extremist or faktional 'konspirasys' against the publik wil. This is especialy the kais bekaus al partys nyd to fyld a gud spred of kandidats, rather than a narow segment of opinion, to pik up as many syts as posibl in a multi-member konstituensy. The quality of the kandidats is esential, also, as personal preferens is desisiv, with chois voting.

The saim sort of rysoning aplIs to presidential primarys. Ych party kud put up to, say, fIv kandidats, in a given stait. Independents kud stand, tu, without being diskriminated against by a party list system.
( List kounting alows vots for uon party kandidat to go to an other on the saim list, in a proportional kount, without the voters' konsent, wich givs an unfair advantaj against independent kandidats not belonging a list. Advokats of party lists, as 'fair', only myn betwyn partys and unkritikal partisans, not the rest of us. )

At any rait, the last but uon staij of a presidential elektion wud probably be fot as a tw-member elektion ( lIk the Senat's tw member konstituensys ). Al but tw of the presidential houpfuls, geting over uon-third the vots ych, wud be left in the runing. The final vot woud be a strait fIt for over haf the vots. This wud avoid the undemokratik efekt of a kandidat wining du to a spoiler spliting the vot of a kandidat, hw is mor prefer'd to the ( oficial ) winer.
( Also, this wud avoid run-off voting, with its irational non-proportional re-distribution of preferenses from arbitrarily eliminated kandidats. )

In a komik thriler, tw ex-presidents, play'd by Jack Lemmon, as a Republikan, and James Garner, as a Demokrat, end-up by standing for re-elektion on a 'united' Republikan-Demokrat tiket. The film ends with them privatly squabling over presedens, as they start ther joint kampain.

Chois voting kud alow the publik setl the squabl. Imajin, again, the chois voting presidential primarys hav rych'd the last staij but uon. Ther may be the tw lyding Demokrats and the tw lyding Republikans stil in the runing, and, say, an independent, lIk John Anderson, or a Gryn, lIk Ralph Nader.

We supos'd thys fIv kontending for tw remaining plases. The tw most prefer'd kandidats ar lIkly to be a Republikan and a Demokrat. But asum now that Amerika is in a period of national emerjensy, in wich ther is a strong fyling for politikal unity. Then, the Demokratik and Republikan partys kud agry that wich-ever of ther kandidats wins the final round, the strait fIt, bekoms president, and the other party's kandidat bekoms vIs-president.

(2) Against korporatism.

Proportional representation and partisanship.

Chois voting wud much mor eficiently efekt primarys, and ther-by has a potential for hujly inkrysing voter turn-out. Thys konsiderations ar of especial prominens in the Amerikan system. But chois voting has other demokratik funktions of komparabl importans.

The achyvment of proportional representation betwyn the partys has alredy byn tuch'd on. Ther is no dout that simpl majority elektions konstrain the voters into a tw-party system. For instans, Irish and Prothro admit this in ther text-bwk on Amerikan Demokrasy. To the other partys strugling to get a fut-hold in the system, this is al-important. The smal party mentality is responsibl for much of the exajerated klaims for elektoral systems with a proportional kount for politikal partys.

'Proportional representation' myns the elektion of representativs on a proportion of the vots. The point is that ych representativ, in a multi-member konstituensy, is elekted on the saim number of vots, wich is an elektiv proportion or quota of the total konstituensy vots. Thus, equal representation is ensur'd by the proportional kount.

This system requirs a preferens vot, so the voters kan elekt the kandidats, to the wining proportions of vots, in order of chois: 1, 2, 3,...etc on the balot paper. In this way, if yor first preferens has mor vots than nyded to achyv her quota, the extra or surplus vots ar transferabl to sekond or next choises of kandidat. That way, a ranj of the most popular kandidats ar elekted.

This method is kal'd the singl transferabl vot; 'chois voting' in the USA and the Hare-Clark system in Australia. STV was orijinaly kal'd Hare's system after Thomas Hare, hw thot of it in the mid 19th sentury -- independently of Carl Andrae, a fw months befor. This is the orijinal and literal form of PR.

How-ever, wen most pepl spyk of proportional representation or PR, they ar ryly talking about the partys geting ther 'fair' sher of parlimentary syts for vots. Systems, that work on this basis, giv an X-vot for a 'party list'. Then the partys get syts in proportion to ther respektiv totals of party vots.
The snag is -- as Enid Lakeman ( How Democracies Vote ) pointed out -- that yor X or spot vot, for an individual kandidat on a party list, may kount towards the elektion of som kandidat on that list, that yu didnt vot for.

Altho such systems ar stil kal'd proportional representation, they ar ryly bais'd on a prinsipl of proportional partisanship. It is a popular falasy to konfus the tw. The former implIs the later but the later dos not implI the former.

Thys partisan systems hav byn around in Europ, mor or les sins the turn of the 1900s. This dosnt stop som elektoral reformers deskribing them as 'modern' or alow them to wory that ther kontribution to European history may lyv som-thing to be desir'd.

Al is forgoten in the desir to remov 'first past the post', exept wen yus'd in kombination with list systems, wen simpl majoritys sudenly and mysteriusly bekom alrIt again: as long as the smaler partys ar serv'd, nothing els syms to mater to such reformers.
In resent yers, party lists hav spred further, notably wen yus'd in kombination with the traditional 'first past the post', as 'aditional ( list ) member systems' ( AMS ). Usualy, this involvs tw X-vots, uon for a singl member and uon for a party list: it is som-tIms kal'd 'the Dubl Vot.'

First past the post, as of an elektion 'rais', myns that the kandidat, with mor vots than any other, is elekted. This usualy taks plas in singl member konstituensys, wen it is also kal'd a 'winer taks al' system, bekaus the kandidat with this 'simpl majority' may hav a quIt smal fraktion of the konstituensy vot; much les than an over-al majority of vots, that wud show a klyr winer. Yet the rep. of the larjest faktion monopolises the konstituensy, only having a singl syt.

'In July 1997 ( the 'Center for Voting and Democracy' ) predikted the winers in 83% of the November 1998 U.S. Hous rases.' Uon party held the balans of power in most distrikts. Its kandidat kan be bot or 'sponsor'd' by special interests.
Michael Moore ask'd wI we bother with the party representativs, insted of dyling direkt with ther big bisnes bakers.
The Senter said Amerika's 'no-chois' elektions must hav a demoralising efekt on turn-out:

Legislators are already sharpening their knives to carve up the electorate into a new round of safe districts in the redistricting of 2001.

The Senter's 1997 prediktion was les than twenty yers after the National Kampain for Fair Vots mayd a similar klos ges of the results of a British jeneral elektion. That, by the way, apyrs to be the inspiration of the 'Fair Vots' kampains in both Canada and the USA.
North Amerikans, plys nout that it uons sym'd inkonsyvabl that 'the British system' wud ever chanj. But 2000 saw the British main-land with haf a dozen diferent systems, proportional, as wel as majoritarian, and al of them bad.

I belyv that list kounting proportional systems ar not demokratikly akseptabl. The fakt that they ar wId-spred dos not mak them rIt. Many abyuses ar wId-spred and party lists ar an abyus of individual liberty. List systems ar wer I dis-agry with al thos 'Fair Vots' kampainers, hw belyv implisitly that fairnes nyd myn only fairnes betwyn partys -- fairnes only within the self-apointed politikal klas.

Party list systems, 'fairly' spyking, also, shud be kal'd 'no-chois' elektions, in that ther vot, for a party, over-rIds individual representation. To partisans, especialy smal partisans, that dosnt mater, so long as partys get ther 'fair' sher of syts for vots to ther kandidats.

Tak the kontra-diktion inherent in the much-advokated form of AMS, the Dubl Vot. Proportional representation, properly spyking, is about power-shering but the singl member system is about monopolising power. This kontra-diktion hints at further inkonsistensys in the system ( explain'd on my web paj, HOW NOT TO DO IT -- a freis, shouted in kapitals, in the reforming novel Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. )

The 'dubl-spyk' of the Dubl Vot is not lojikal, or even just, but power has its own lojik and ruf justis, and this synikal bisnes is wat yu may sy much of, in the strugl for and against sertain tIps of elektoral reform.

Party lists ar an iresponsibl korporatism.

To top.

Nw partys, such as the Gryns and the Reform party, hav arisen in Amerika, bekaus they fyl the tw main partys ar not properly dyling with vital isyus. I hapen to belyv they ar rIt. In ther frustration with the system, they ar liabl to belyv that the ends justify the myns. Party list 'PR' wud sertainly get smal partys a plas in government. But it wud do so at tu hevy a prIs.

For uon thing, the lists wud be fil'd by the aktivists yu mIt not want to represent yu. You mIt be Gryn but prefer som other kandidats -- or som other order -- than the party sleit ofers.
Chois voting myns yor vot gos to kandidats in the order of yor chois.

Party lists ar order'd by the organisation man or bos, the sol holder of any preferens voting, for wich ther is no 'universal sufraj.' In Europ, and no dout North Amerika and els-wer, ther ar alredy smal party aktivists hw hav sold ther souls to oligarky by lists, so they may kom to power by proportional partisanship.

Nor nyd we be surpris'd at this. NIntynth sentury socialism was supos'd to herald a Nw Jerusalem, by replasing the kapitalist with the burokrat. The world has stil not rekover'd from the grotesk trajedy and kriminal foly of 'the diktatorship of the proletariat' and stait socialism.
The socialists hav left a power vakuum to be fil'd by grydy exploitation. Revisionists rekognis'd politikal demokrasy, but even they opted for ekonomik burokracy. Konsequently, ekonomik demokracy has strugl'd to be an isyu at al.
( I'v diskus'd 'Konstitutional Ekonomiks' and an ekonomik parliment -- or okupational kongres -- for 'equality of lobying', on other web pajes. )

Now the Gryns ar steping in, not only to saif-gard sosiety but natur. And lIk the socialists, befor them, they ar chwsing bad myns to gud ends. The suport of undemokratik reforms, lIk party list systems, or ther hybrids, kan be garanty'd to hav unfortunat konsequenses for the komon-wyl.

Much of the blaim for degradation of the eko-system gos to the inequitabl natur of korporat law, that tryts a kompany as an 'individual', so that no individual direktors ar held responsibl for profitabl vandalism. This may be Kapitalism's worst koruption. br /> Yet, party lists ar a form of politikal korporatism, in wich the pepl ar expekted to vot for a 'party', as if it wer an individual. The saim iresponsibility is being foster'd in politiks as in ekonomiks.
In lojik, this is the falasy of konfusing a member with its klas.

Mor-over, party lists mak politikal getos of an isyu, such as the environment. The fals implikation of the list system is that only the Gryn party is gryn, only the Reform party reformist, and so on. This may enkuraj ruling politicians to regard gryn politiks or reform as a marjinal isyu.

It is not hard to ges that Gryn partisans may be sedus'd by the drym that they shal swyp al befor them, elektoraly, and rapidly bekom the governing party. But this is a gambl and the Gryns ar supos'd to be against gambling with the futur of lIf on this planet.
By 2000, the world's governments wer unwiling to tak even minor preventiv aktion against global warming.

And ther is a much beter way, that kud be so ysily implemented.
Chois voting wud alow voters to prefer the most environmentaly-frendly kandidats from al partys, if they so wish'd. The isyu nydnt be marjinalis'd, by just having an X-vote to vot for a Gryn party list. That mIt not suit som gryn aktivists, but sertainly, it wud be a way for publik interest isyus in jeneral to permeat representativ bodys.

PR and holding to demokratik akount.

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The separation of powers in the US konstitution shifts the emfasis on wich fyturs of chois voting ar most important for its demokrasy, but dos not lesen that importans. In kuntrys rul'd by parlimentary kabinet governments, the litl understud valu of STV is that it kan pik out a partikular ko-alition, prefer'd by a majority of voters, if uon party fals short ther-of.

Chois voting alows uon to extend uon's preferenses from kandidats of uon's most prefer'd party to thos of uon's next prefer'd party. The kombination prefer'd by a majority of voters wil hav the majority of syts in parliment to form a government.

In Amerika, the president forms the government, so STV is les nyded in its rol of forming the demokratik chois of ko-alition. On the other hand, we hav syn that the Amerikan system nyds chois voting for mor efektiv primarys.
STV works, for unity in diversity, both with parlimentary ko-alition forming and presidential primarys or primasy-forming.

Stait or federal kongreses nyd chois voting to ensur that the grup komposition of ther majoritys ar mayd up the way the majority of Amerikans prefer. They may be lejislaturs, rather than exekutivs. But the president or stait governor stil depends on a frendly majority to sy thru his lejislation. It may not mater tu much, for the Amerikan system, if he dos not hav that frendly majority. Wat maters is that the majority, frendly or unfrendly, shud be representativ of the voters.

The unrepresentativ natur of first past the post is as evident in the USA as other kuntrys.
For exampl, it turn'd Ulster into a uon-party stait govern'd by the Unionists for over fifty yers. Eventualy, the Northern Irish Katholiks emulated the pysful sivil rIts movment, in the USA, and went on the march. This was not tolerated and a sort of drawn-out sivil war folow'd, in wich krIms against humanity wer komited, by varius faktions, inkluding against ther own komunitys.

LIkwIs, the USA found itself with 'the uon-party south' after the sivil war. The kontinu'd opresion of the Afro-Amerikan mIt hav byn mitigated by a proportionat vois in government, ther.

First past the post fails demokrasy wen it fails to adequatly represent minoritys, bekaus efektiv demokrasy depends on a strong oposition to kyp the ruling grup in lIn. First past the post givs the bigest party a monopoly of representation, so they kan do wat they lIk, without parlimentary kritisism, to giv authoritativ chalenj.

The singl member system is also proun to jery-mandering, the drawing of konstituensy boundarys to inklud a saif majority of a given kandidat's suporters, so that the result of the elektion is efektivly desIded befor it's held.
Wether the boundarys ar drawn with fraudulent intent or not, singl member konstituensys ar monopolistik. And the kalkulating sId of human natur is bound to chalenj the proses on the grounds that an 'unfair' fraktion of som kandidat's natural konstituensy may be left out of bounds to his kandidasy.

At any rait, singl-member boundary-drawing is especialy kontentius. But the tw interested partys hav the motiv to karv up the kuntry betwyn them, so they ych hav ther 'fair sher' of saif syts, hws bounds ar a sort of lasw round the representativs' majoritys and unwiling minoritys, in every konstituensy.

A study by the Lyg of Women Voters ( Seattle ) says that jery-mandering is wId-spred, mentioning tw kinds: fragmenting splits up residential bloks of suport for the rival party into diferent distrikts; the swyt-hart jery-mander is an agryment betwyn the tw partys to hav the boundarys drawn so they ych get saif syts.

'Afirmativ jery-mandering' was an atempt to mak the system work for minoritys, such as the blaks. Enid Lakeman kal'd it an exersis in futility. The idea was to mak this inequitabl or unfair system work unfairly to the advantaj of the unfairly unrepresented minoritys!
The blaks rerly hav a majority in any konstituensy, but salamander-lIk boundarys kud be drawn to artificialy inklud a blak majority.

Later, the Suprym Kort desIded jery-mandering, afirmativ or otherwis, was unkonstitutional, with regard to a blak Kongres-woman's konstituensy. To wich, koming from the sitrus stait of Georgia, Cynthia McKinney mayd the memorabl reply: Today, they hav given us lemons, but we shal turn them into lemonad.

The rylisation is spreding in Amerika that first past the post kan not deliver equality, and kounter-akting inequality is no remedy.
Proportional representation syms al set to be a plank in the platform to mak racial equality a reality, as wel as a kampain objektiv for organisations lIk 'The Alliance for Democracy,' ko-operating with 'The Center for Voting and Democracy.'

Perhaps the most notorius exampl in lokal government was in New York, kontrol'd by Tammany Hall, wich bekaim a by-word for koruption. Les remark'd ar its antiks, afterwards, to supres proportional representation.
Tammany Hall held thry referendums, in a row, befor it kud rid New York lokal elektions of PR, even with the big mony and publisity on its sId.
Nydles to say, ther was no atempt hyr to inform publik opinion or respekt the publik wil, only to impos on the publik, to get the elektoral law chanj'd in Tammany's own ofis-holding interest.

Bringing bak first past the post efektivly abolish'd the oposition and al kritisism. The Tammany Demokrats had a fry hand to do wat they did: mis-manaj, mis-apropriat and bankrupt the sity, wich they then handed over to big bisnes.

Of kors, Cambridge is the greit sukses story of chois voting PR in lokal government. This is the hom of the famus 'Massachusetts Institute of Technology.'
( MIT anouns'd, after the 2000 Presidential elektion kontroversy, it was taking part in the preparation of a nw standard of baloting teknolojy. )
It stretches kredibility that if chois voting was not an especialy gud system, that thos kritikal minds wud not hav rejekted it.

The Lyg of Women Voters hav byn studying alternativ voting methods. The Pasadena chapter refer'd to a gest kolumist. David Sullivan had much experiens of PR in Cambridge:

Cambridge is a diverse city of about 100,000 residents, including many ordinary working families as well as the university population for which it is better known. It is a melting pot of many races and cultures (literally dozens of languages are spoken at our high school), including a large African-American population.

The genius of PR is that it successfully represents all these varying interests on our local governing bodies in proportion to their strength in the electorate. For example, our six-member school board (the Mayor casts the seventh vote) now consists of four women, including two African-Americans and a Latina who is a union organizer, and two white men from the more traditional Italian- and Irish-American neighborhoods.

Without PR, I am sure that much of this diversity would be lost from our elected bodies. Yet, these different individuals work remarkably well together, and in my opinion have served as a force for civic unity among the interests they represent. For example, last year our School Board hired a new superintendent with very little rancor or divisiveness. In general, that has been our experience with PR over the years, so that no one now seriously proposes to change or get rid of it.

Houpfuly, Cambridge chois voting wil be the model for elektoral chanj in Amerika. Chois voting or the singl transferabl vot is a jeneral theory of chois, wich unykly aplIs to elektions in jeneral, politikal or non-politikal, representativ or referential.

First past the post initiativs and referendums in the USA ar liabl to impos the wil of som larjer faktion. This has byn the kais with suksesful initiativs to ban the tyching of evolution or 'Darwinism' in skwls, naturaly to the anoyans of a gud many Amerikan sitizens!
( I'v diskus'd this question on my web paj on referendums -- and to a leser extent on my first web paj on the Kerley report. )

Konklusion: bak to basiks.

The demokratik world, such as it is, is in a houples mes of konflikting and varying voting systems, bekaus the first prinsipls of elektoral lojik ar skarsly understud. As J F S Ross said, in Elections and Electors, an elektion konsists of a vot and a kount. The vot is for the individual, the kount is its agregation to a komunity desision. For this to be achyv'd, the magnitud of chois must kary over from vot to kount.

With a spot vot, the voter kan only expres a greiter chois for uon kandidat over an other. And this kan only konsistently kary over, in the kount, as a greiter chois, or majority, of the komunity for uon kandidat over an other.

Chois voting or STV is the system that konsistently jeneralises greitnes of chois, from this special kais, in both the vot and the kount. That myns that a spot vot, for uon kandidat over an other, is jeneralis'd to a preferens vot, that givs rank'd chois of kandidats, for a jeneralis'd kount, by way of relativ majoritys, in a multi-member konstituensy. ( The Droop quota kount, yus'd with STV, is simply a rationalisation of an over-al majority kount. Again, I hav diskus'd thys things mor fuly on other web pajes. )

Chois voting is the konsistent lojik of elektoral chois.
Failur, to rylIs this, is wI the world is awash with obsolyt or haf-wited voting systems. Som relI on first past the post, no longer remotly adequat for a chois of mor than tw kandidats.
Som relI on exaustiv balots or preferens vots without a proportional kount, and vice versa. Tho, relativ greitnes of chois in a preferens vot is ment to translat into relativly greit majoritys, in a proportional kount.
An elektoral system that yuses a preferens vot, not proportionaly kounted, is lIk a question without a rational anser. And a system that yuses a proportional kount without establishing voters' order of chois, in a preferens vot, is lIk an anser that begs the question.

In the later kais, the partys hav alredy dogmatis'd that the voters ar al obedient partisans voting for a party. And the question hw shal be the voters' individual representativs is desided by the preferens vot balot papers, exklusiv to a fw party boses and kal'd party lists.

Every-uon may hav a vot, but universal sufraj is far from being achyv'd, if preferens voting is exklusiv to party boses and proportional kounting exklusivly for party lists: uon social grup's oligarckik kontrol of the kount, for ther lyders' chois of individual politikal oficials.

Richard Lung.

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