Thursday, May 23, 2013

City Council & Campaign Reform - 3

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The proposed change in voting procedure to "preferential voting system" has been known to elect political leaders who are not always up to snuff.  Can we say that the current "plurality wins" system has always chosen models of civic virtue and those with the wisdom of Solomon in running the state?  I'm guessing that is a "not exactly, but..." forming in your mind.  (Article on preferential voting here: )

I have worked with my sons on AP US History two times now and I, at least, have learned quite a bit.  My reading of the reasons behind the American Revolution were NOT "you guys are incompetent - get better management and we'll be fine."  It was more along the lines , of "we want to be able to make our own decisions and choose our own leaders - for better or worse."

The single most important factor in maintaining a stable and effective government is assent of the governed.  Take that away, and you have at best cynical corruption and ineffectiveness, at worst, revolution.  It would be NICE to have the most competent people win but we don't know how to decide that - yet.  (Maybe there will be an iPhone App for that soon - c'mon Apple! - You screwed up maps and now we can't get perfect government?  What the heck, guys - if only Steve Jobs were still around, he'd fix it.)

In a 3-way contest between A, B, and C, if A wins with 40% of the vote while B & C were mostly alike in their views, you have 60% of the populace who feel disenfranchised and resentful.  If B wins as the 1st or 2nd choice of a majority, those voting for C can say, "well, she wasn't my first choice but it is better than having A in office".  Similarly those voting for A can say, "well, the voters have spoken, and I lost - at least C didn't get in".  More importantly, the positions most similar to those of 60% of the population are represented and if they don't turn out, those voting for the position know on some level that their views were put to the test and did not succeed.  An important step in getting a better government.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post. I agree with your analysis of why voters should want preferential voting system. It is also cheaper and faster than primary/general election model currently used for many races.