Reforming the voting system to protect your gun rights.


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jlbraun
October 18, 2006, 05:09 PM
Since I saw so many gun owners opining on "having to vote for the lesser of two evils" in this thread (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=228666), I thought I would bring this up.

Instead of voting just for one guy who best embodied your views, you're forced to vote strategically for the guy that both embodies your views and whom you think is likely to win.

Enter Range Voting. Range voting means that you can give each candidate a rating from 1-10, and the highest average score wins, as long as more than 25% of people expressed an opinion on that person. It's mathematically proven better than a lot of other systems.

So, instead of voting like this and gritting my teeth:
George W Bush - Republican (X)
John Kerry -Democrat ( )
Michael Badnarik - Libertarian ( )

I would vote like this, which is a way better a reflection of my views.
George W Bush - Republican (8)
John Kerry -Democrat (1)
Michael Badnarik - Libertarian (10)

http://www.rangevoting.org/

Thoughts? There's some momentum to get both major parties doing it in their primaries.

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Zundfolge
October 18, 2006, 05:16 PM
There's enough people who can't figure out how to use a punch card or touch screen.

While I like this range voting idea in theory, the end result would be that whomever loses would claim the election wasn't legitimate because it was too confusing, eventually undermining the entire electoral process.

jlbraun
October 18, 2006, 05:26 PM
"whomever loses would claim the election wasn't legitimate because it was too confusing, eventually undermining the entire electoral process."

Look what happened with that in FL, 2000. People got made fun of for saying a simple punch card was too confusing, and they eventually quieted down. Same would happen here.

WayneConrad
October 18, 2006, 05:27 PM
So, we don't know if it would work very well. As opposed to the system we have now, which we know does not work very well.

There are many alternative voting schemes that do not cause you to have to choose someone you dislike to prevent someone you hate from gaining office. Approval voting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approval_Voting) is one of them; there are others. Approval voting has the advantage of being very simple for votors.

Waitone
October 18, 2006, 05:27 PM
We have voters who are completely befuddled over binary decisions. How can those same voters deal with ratio and proportions. We are headed down the wrong road. Instead of banning idiots, fools, knotheads, and imbeciles from the voting booth, we make the situation worse.

WayneConrad
October 18, 2006, 05:40 PM
"We have voters who are completely befuddled over binary decisions."

I don't think this is true of any but a small number of the electorate.

Are you thinking about the Florida butterfly ballots? The ballots were clearly at fault. Think a simple ballot can't be screwed up? See Tog's article, The Butterfly Ballot: Anatomy of a Disaster (http://www.asktog.com/columns/042ButterflyBallot.html) for images of the ballot and a blow-by-blow of why it was such a poor design.

jlbraun
October 18, 2006, 05:41 PM
Waitone, what would you have us do to begin "banning idiots, fools, knotheads, and embiceles (sic.) from the voting booth"? Literacy tests? Poll taxes?

WayneConrad, approval voting has been found to fail the majority criterion, and the inventor of approval voting now endorses Range Voting:

http://www.rangevoting.org/OttewellEndorse.html

WayneConrad
October 18, 2006, 06:17 PM
jlbraun, I would accept that defect in order to get a mostly-better system in place. I think the simplicity of approval voting would make it an easier sell when asking people to accept a change in something so set in tradition as how they vote. Improved systems would be easier to sell later. And, in the mean time, we wouldn't be stuck with a system that so completely shuts out third-party candidates.

Low-Sci
October 18, 2006, 06:50 PM
I have to admit, I find the tactics of approval voting - at least the way they're written in the wikipedia entry - quite dizzying. I read it three times, evidently not carefully enough, because I still don't completely understand it.

Range voting makes a fair amount of sense to me, and it certainly seems more useful than our current system. That said, something must be marginalizing the idea, and I'm not sure as to what.

WayneConrad
October 18, 2006, 06:59 PM
Ok, I'm swayed. Approval voting is slightly simpler to the voter, I think, but the tallying process for range voting is far simpler than it is for approval voting. The more I think about it, the more it seems like both the voting process and the tallying process had better be simple to explain.

Sorry for being slow. I had to think and read about it for a bit.

Standing Wolf
October 18, 2006, 07:04 PM
I like the idea of range voting, but believe it might be simpler to restrict voting to tax paying U.S. citizens. Non-citizen non-tax payers could watch from the sidelines.

Jim March
October 18, 2006, 08:05 PM
The concept is also known as "rank choice".

We had rank choice voting in 2004. I found the choice between Kerry and Bush pretty dang rank.

Ahem. Sorry.

Seriously, the math to tabulate rank choice votes can get pretty hairball. Which drives you towards electronic tabulation. Sigh. The *current* electronic voting gear in the US is just ghastly and how it's implemented can be worse. I inspected the Diebold central tabulator in Shelby County TN recently (Memphis) and found horrible stuff. Like, say, PC Anywhere loaded on the backup tabulator, both server boxes plugged straight into the county LAN with no firewall in the middle and gatewayed to the Internet, use of encrypted USB "thumb drives" so God only knows what's being uploaded/downloaded, a complete copy of MS-Office Pro 2000 complete with MS-Access, a known "cheat tool" because it can edit the Diebold MS-Access-based central tabulator database without requiring a password or leaving any audit trail entries...

Shall I go on? Some of you didn't understand all of that, others of a more geeky bent just choked hard.

Until that sort of crap is cleaned up, let's NOT add more complexity, m'kay?

:uhoh:

miko
October 18, 2006, 08:15 PM
Trying to fix the problems with democracy is like trying to put makeup on a corpse.

miko

Jim March
October 18, 2006, 08:36 PM
No, it requires citizen involvement. When the citizenry goes to sleep and stops watching the store, the rats come out.

Democracy has a lot of problems, but it's better than the alternatives.

(Yes, I know, I'm using "Democracy" as shorthand for "Constitutional Republic with Democratic principles"...let's not go there right now...)

txgho1911
October 18, 2006, 10:00 PM
Jim, You are a hero.
Any complexity in a voting system will be used against the constitution.
Not allowing the wellfare and allien rolls vote will be twisted as a civil rights abomination.
An open system that anyone with the basics can understand simply and quickly to verify validity to reasonable standards would be a complication. I know the electronic system to validate should include a system board without USB, db25, db9, db15aui, or any current production com port. Would require a unique file transfer model (hardware or transmission) and regionaly unique for states and totaly incompatable with other systems.
In order to realisticaly secure electronic voting you could be accused of requiring every state or large regions of the country to re-invent an electronic voting machine using basic dos code and archaic mixes of hardware. This is doable and in certain respects is very simple. Even to include some form of encryption is not impossible.
Not every state has people capable of this. Most may find it demeaning. Make more sense to employ at the state level QA testing by compitant people with minnimal stake. Say CA hires LA or GA college grads for testers on 3 year contracts with requirements for them to move back home when the job is over with no possible opportunity to work on election eq ever and never work in or for CA again. Also mix up the hardware with someone elses OS and a third partys APP.
Central DB built to be compatible should be simple enough for a state IT group to creat and monitor. Take the turn key operation away from the few vendors in it today so 2 or more other faces can see and alarm on the funny buisness.

Instead this country is polarizing on too many issues and the revolts will not be co-ordinated. Citizinship will be criminalized in various ways to within certain degrees to deny freedom. The fight will be over many other things before it is about guns and the 2nd. Society has disconected from moral reality in over 300 million different ways. Full recovery is lost. They are still deviding the subdivisions we see each other in. I feel sick just trying to wrap the mind around this fact.

antsi
October 18, 2006, 10:08 PM
-------quote------
eventually quieted down
------------------

Quieted down? When? They're still going on about it - how George Bush deliberately confused the poor Floridians (and then the Ohioans 4 years later) and stole the election.

Waitone
October 18, 2006, 10:23 PM
I'm as much a user of technology as the next guy. That said, there are times when increasing sophistication of technology is not advisable. I think voting is one such time. I favor transparency and checks and balances in the counting of votes. Having the tally hidden inside some Mother's Board is not conducive to to transparency. Interpretation of results and / or monitoring of the process by a comparatively few technology propeller-heads is not my idea of checks and balances. In retrospect I want to adopt the decidedly Luddite position of paper ballots, clear boxes, and purple ink for those who vote. Yes, the work load will be greater and the results will take longer but I think the integrity of the system is paramount. Our good buds in the media want the results now and if not forthcoming they will create their own results. The 2000 election was too close to a meltdown to suit me. We need to have the guts to tell the media to STHD and STFU when it comes to election results.

We are careening toward the day when the system's integrity is destroyed. I hope the drive to "electronic voting" didn't make the problem worse, but I suspect it will. Don't know about you but I am of the opinion the voting process is the bedrock of our political system. Screw with the legitimacy of the voting process and everything built on it is suspect.

SoCalShooter
October 18, 2006, 10:24 PM
How about we just all vote libertarian and get some of our freedoms back. The voting system we have aint great but its better than what a lot of countries have...but if its left up to bushco to sign anymore documents that reverse American values you wont have to worry about voting for much longer.

miko
October 19, 2006, 05:04 PM
Democracy has a lot of problems, but it's better than the alternatives.

(Yes, I know, I'm using "Democracy" as shorthand for "Constitutional Republic with Democratic principles"...let's not go there right now...)

It's not - it is worse than the alternatives and that has been amply demonstrated by theory and practice.

The concepts of personal rights and freedoms have been known to originate and develop under most all kinds of regimes.
We owe our western concept of rights to the developmens happening under monarchies - in Britain and Netherlands. Even the most tyranical regimes spontaneously produced improvements in human rights - take Soviet Union and Communist China.

There is no example in history where a democracy would not lead to a decline of rights and individual liberties.
Every democracy ended in tyrany and/or social collapse and our western democracies are well on our way there.

miko

Art Eatman
October 19, 2006, 05:16 PM
miko, name me a country in Africa, Asia or South or Central America that has anywhere near the personal freedoms that even our over-controlled country has--would that we had the freedoms just from my childhood era.

Just consider our First and Second Amendments, for starters.

Without our political freedoms, we wouldn't have our economic freedoms. Our socio/economic system has allowed the creation of the highest standard of living for the largest percentage of the population of any country in the history of the world. Even our "poverty" folks can afford food, clothing, shelter, cars, TVs and computers. And cigarettes, booze and drugs.

Art

miko
October 19, 2006, 05:47 PM
miko, name me a country in Africa, Asia or South or Central America that has anywhere near the personal freedoms that even our over-controlled country has--would that we had the freedoms just from my childhood era.

That is irrelevant.
I did not say that freedoms cannot exist under democracy. I said that freedom inevitably declines under democracy. Democracy destroys freedoms - freedoms that were achieved under previous, non-democratic arrangements.

If I said that profligacy destroys wealth while thrift creates it, you would hardly try to argue it by citing an example of a wealthy profligate heir of a thrifty parents. Sure, he has some wealth left but less and less day by day while his parents had more and more.
Likewise, a person can live afer being mortally wounded or afflicted with incurable disease. He may be in fact stronger than some other person, say a healthy child. But he will be dying nevertheless.
Same with democracy.

Incidentally, most contries in Africa were much better with respect to rights under colinial - non-democratic - rule. It's with introduction of democracy that their troubles really started.

The way democracy destroys the afflicted society (by raising time preference) is not just an empirical observation but a logical necessity - inescapable consequence of its essential features. If you are really interested, read Hoppe's "Democracy: The God that Failed".

miko

jlbraun
October 19, 2006, 06:16 PM
miko, we don't have a democracy. We have a representative constitutional republic.

Zundfolge
October 19, 2006, 06:40 PM
it might be simpler to restrict voting to tax paying U.S. citizens.
Which taxes count? Only Income Taxes (which I'd just as soon we get rid of completely), Income and/or Property taxes?

Hell, even foreign visitors pay sales tax, gas tax, liquor tax, and probably a dozen other hidden taxes.

bogie
October 19, 2006, 06:46 PM
We don't need to reform the voting system. We need to reform the candidates. Things are going to be really interesting from 2008-2012-16... It is almost inevitable that a democrat president, house and senate will be in, because people have been so indoctrinated to vote for "anyone but a republican."

I think we're going to have a lot of folks staying home, and I think that a lot of third party candidates, instead of getting 3-4% of the vote, will end up with 9-10%... And those votes are going to going _away_ from the Republicans.

I see major anti-gun legislation being passed. But hey, I'm just one of those guys who votes for the lesser of the evils...

miko
October 19, 2006, 08:26 PM
miko, we don't have a democracy. We have a representative constitutional republic.

I am not talking legalese and terminology here but the actual, scientific concept.

We have voting franchise extending to majority of population and "representative" caretakers who are empowered for limited term.
Whatever you call it, (and I call it "democracy", lower case), such conditions must necessarly lead to the downfall of the society economically and socially and tyrany politically.

It's as certain as any mathematical theorem. It cannot possibly hapen otherwise, though the existing pecularities of culture greatly affect how fast the degradation will occur.

The time preference of the government and then of the population as a whole must inevitably rise - as the political candidates with higher time preference have advantage, everything else being equal.

miko

taliv
October 19, 2006, 08:32 PM
i like that style of voting, but don't think it's the issue. the real issue is the two party system. i've recently begun to prefer the european coalition system.

Jim March
October 19, 2006, 09:01 PM
There ARE things to be said for more than two parties.

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