Skip to comments.Current Presidential Nominating Process is Unfair and Un-Democratic
Posted on 01/04/2012 2:35:10 PM PST by Amerisrael
Both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party should adapt the "Majority Preferential", or also refered to as the Alternative Vote, for a fair and truly democratic outcome in presidential primaries and caucuses.
Under the Alternative Vote system, regardless of the number of candidates, if a candidate garners a true majority [50+%] of all votes cast, then they are declared the winner.
But if no candidate garners a true majority [50+%] of votes cast, then a voters 'alternative or 2nd preference' is counted:
["Elections under Alternative Vote are usually held in single-member districts, like FPTP elections. However, AV gives voters considerably more options than FPTP when marking their ballot paper. Rather than simply indicating their favoured candidate, under AV electors rank the candidates in the order of their choice, by marking a 1 for their favourite, 2 for their second choice, 3 for their third choice and so on. The system thus enables voters to express their preferences between candidates rather than simply their first choice. For this reason, it is often known as preferential voting in the countries which use it."]
Why this 'preferential voting' would be better:
Under the current presidential nominating process in this country, far too often a candidate can "win" a primary or caucus "without" garnering a true majority [50+%] of the votes cast.
That means a candidate can "win" even though they were not the choice or preference of a majority [50+%] of voters.
We saw that play out in Iowa last night
It is clear from the vote tally that Mitt Romney was not the preference of well over 50+% of all voters.
But because the vote was split between more than two candidates, and there was no 'alternative vote'or 2nd preference possible, Romney wins and takes Iowa's delegates even though a clear majority of voters wanted someone else other than Romney.
Under the current primary/caucus nominating process, a clear majority of Iowa's Republican voters were just disenfranchised.
The Alternative Vote system, which also included a 'write-in preference' in addition to the listed candidates, would rectify such an un-democratic result.
It would also not involve the extra financial cost that a run-off or 'second ballot' would entail.
Under our current nominating process it is possible to end up with a nominee that does not have true majority support of voters.
And this is how the establishment can stick us with someone like Romney.
No one is “sticking” us with Romney. His campaign depends on voters buying it nothing else.
You realize, of course, that the Democrats would just love this? They would stuff the ballot boxes with dead and illegal voters in their massive urban strongholds, and the rest of us would have no way to deal with it.
There was a reason why the founders and early leaders set up the voting system as it is.
“No one is sticking us with Romney. His campaign depends on voters buying it nothing else.”
The current flawed system in Iowa ‘stuck’ a clear majority of Iowa’s voters with Romney last night.
Please take time to read the entire post to see how flawed this current nominating process is.
Also known as "mob rule".
Please take time to carefully read the post.
No, it would not be “Democrats” that would love it, but everyone who desires a true democratic outcome of the nominating process.
And exactly ‘how’ would they stuff the ballot box under a more fair and democratic Alternative Vote system, than they currently do?
do you understand that we are a republic and not a Democratic where the majority rules. It is designed to protect the minority from the excesses of the majority to a reasonable degress. This is what makes us special in the world. Otherwise majority could run rough shod of the 49% under all conditions.
I think Iowa splits its delegates...I think Romney and Santorum left there with the same amount of delegates.
Not all states do this.
Not necessarily. Look at the percentages in this race. You could exchange votes between any two of the top three, then give the other the remainder of the third person's votes. You'd still be under 50%.
When you look at the positions, vote tally, and combine it with the likelihood of where voters would migrate, it's unlikely you'd get your desired result on one try in a blind vote.
I’m not sure why you’re addressing me. I was just saying that majority vote rules is not a good idea.
So it’s ok with you that a majority of Iowa’s caucus voters who didn’t want Romney got marginalized under the current flawed system?
Other than that you would need to proportion out the electors by the percentage of votes each received.
At the end of the day, the candidate with the highest number of electors would be the candidate.
I do think the GOP has a screwed up system, in terms of not allocating enough based on a state’s propensity to go Red or Blue.
For example, California is assigned 172 delegates, while Missouri gets 52.
Sure California has a much larger population....but why give so much weight (7.5% of the total) to a state with very little chance of going red in the general?
Missouri, on the other hand is a ‘swing state’, with a very real chance of going red, if they like the candidate, gets 52. Shouldn’t the GOP assign a high value to that?
Other swing states - Pennsylvania gets 72, Ohio gets 66, Florida gets 50. We are told that these are the ‘must win’ states, but we have to add them all together to equal California?
Lets look at TX - they get 155, or 6.8% of the whole. Per the 2010 census, Texas makes up 8% of the population...so this typically red state is UNDER-represented in the primaries. It makes no sense.
Lets look at NH - they make up 0.42% of the population...and get 12 delegates (0.5% of the total). So, this very likely to be blue state is OVER - represented.
Vermont get 17 (0.7%), which outpaces their population by a factor of 3 (0.2%).
If a state hasn’t gone red in the last 4 election cycles, the GOP should give them very little input. And, it certainly shouldn’t be over-represented. How can we not nominate a RINO in these circumstances.
Here’s the wildcard in your formula: what makes you sure Romney wouldn’t be the majority second choice? Also, given what we witnessed in Iowa I seriously doubt there would have been a consensus second choice. Based on the endless polling leading up to yesterday and the huge number of people who were undecided when going into the caucus Santorum most likely WAS most people’s second choice.
One problem with more ideological systems of voting like proportional representation or what you're proposing is that voters end up voting for positions, rather than actual people.
If there's a candidate who represents your positions but doesn't have the experience or the temperament for the job, the temptation under alternative vote is to ignore the questions of the candidate's suitability for the job and vote strictly on ideological grounds, so someone manifestly unqualified might win, if he or she positions himself or herself in the right place in the political spectrum.
Also, if I only like one candidate and only cast one vote how is that counted? Does it count as a vote with greater weight ("bullet vote")? Or am I throwing away my other votes?
And say your plan goes through for the nominating process. If people come to see it as superior, won't they demand it for all elections?
Candidates are going to drop out if they don't get enough votes -- as Bachmann did today -- so as time goes by you get contests that reflect what you want without making a major change in the system.
Also all primaries should be conducted on the same date, that way no elector would be denied the opportunity to vote for their chosen candidate, because he or she dropped out of the race. Then a runoff could be conducted between the top two candidates. To this day I have always been angry that Clinton was voted in by less than 50% of the voting public.
Excellent points. When you combine Romney supporters, voters who don't subscribe to "Anybody but Romney," and voters who don't especially like Romney but aren't committed to "Anybody but Romney", Romney has more support than we give him credit for. It's not the case that he's the absolutely last choice of everybody who didn't vote for him.
In the end, though, Santorum probably was the winner in a process that's not so very different from what's advocated here. His supporters were people who might have preferred Cain or some other strong conservative, and hit on Santorum as the best possible alternative, as everybody's second choice.
So true, it's rigged by the establishment elite. In the last few months of his administration GW Bush bailed out WS banks for the express purpose of turning the people against the Republican party and Juan McNamnisty sounded like he was campaigning for the Obozo and Obozo isn't even eligible to be president but nobody in either house questioned it. If that isn't rigged, what do you call it?? The election process is meant for one thing; to maintain the facade so the people think they have a voice in who holds elective office. Corruption rules the day.
“Then a runoff could be conducted between the top two candidates. To this day I have always been angry that Clinton was voted in by less than 50% of the voting public.”
A run-off vote would certainly be best, ‘if’- the citizens were not opposed to the extra financial cost to taxpayers for doing it. But that is precisely the advantage of the Alternative Vote” system.
At the end of the day you don’t get stuck with a candidate that only garnered a minority of the vote, plus there is no added cost to the taxpayer.
By the time super Tuesday comes around the establishment and the MSM has had their way with any conservative.
You’re absolutely right. I’ve argued this frequently. In a 3-way or more election, it is UNdemocratic to have a system where a candidate can win even though the MAJORITY of voters do not express a preference for them.
A system similar to the one you describe where you can rank your first and second or third choices is the only way to stop ideologically similar candidates from “splitting the vote” and handing the election to an “odd man out.” Technically a system where you could rate every candidate on a scale of 1 to 10 and then have those scores added up to determine the winner might be even better.
The best example is the Bush/Perot/Clinton election. We don’t know who Perot voters would have supported, but if the second choice of all of them was Bush, then Bush should have won. Maybe 58% of the country hated and never would’ve voted for Clinton.
In a real runoff election, which some states have, another election would have been held where Perot as the third place winner was removed from the ballot, and a new vote was taken between just Clinton and Bush. The idea is to never elect a candidate until 50% of the people approve of it. A whole new election isn’t practical or cheap, so simply asking people their second or third choice on the original ballot can accomplish the same thing.
You can take it to extremes to show the problem more clearly. What if we had an election with 19 candidates who were almost identical conservatives who each got 4.9% of the vote but a 20th candidate who was a Satanist and got 6.9% of the vote? Obviously the majority of the voters do not want a Satanist to represent them but he would be declared the winner with only a small minority of people expressing a preference for him.
Something like that happened in a primary election in France a couple of years ago, where a candidate “won” the primary with something like 20% of the vote, but he was considered basically the far-right “Ron Paul”-style candidate that the other 80% never would have voted for.
By not changing to a voting system like described here, we leave ourselves open to the opposition running “spoiler” candidates against us to “steal votes.” It actually leads to even less democracy because we discourage any 3rd party candidates from running for fear of this happening. It would be much better for our country to allow them to run but have a voting system that took into account all of a voter’s preferences and not just their first choice.
I really like a scoring system for voting because it lets voters indicate that although a candidate is their second choice, they may or may not be a CLOSE second. They can also rate everyone but their top choice a 0 if they want.
Let’s say we have three voters who rated their choices on a scale of 1-10 like so:
1 voter rates:
Ron Paul - 10
everyone else - 0
1 voter rates:
Mitt Romney - 10
John Huntsman - 7
Newt Gingrich - 5
Rick Perry - 4
Rick Santorum - 2
everyone else - 0
1 voter rates:
Newt Gingrich - 10
Rick Perry - 9
Rick Santorum - 8
Michelle Bachmann - 6
Mitt Romney - 2
Ron Paul - 1
everyone else - 0
The final score adds up to:
Newt Gingrich - 15
Rick Perry - 13
Mitt Romney - 12
Ron Paul - 11
Rick Santorum - 10
John Huntsman - 7
Michelle Bachmann - 6
So we can see what started out as a tie between Ron, Newt and Mitt based solely on people’s first choices is properly broken into a win for Newt, because the Mitt voter ranked Newt higher than the other voters ranked Ron and Mitt. This voting style makes people happiest because when their favorites don’t win, at least their runner-up choices are given additional weight.
Flawed smawed it is what it is. States have the right to do it however they please. This method was closer to those the Founders used than more current ones. Primaries are recent phenomenon. Conventions were used at other times.
No matter the method the real problem is too many dumbassed voters vote. Democracy used to be a dirty word. Now we are near the point where the majority has a interest in looting the Treasury. Why are those who pay no federal income tax voting in federal elections?
1 Yes it is ok with me that the majority got “marginalized”.
2 There is nothing to show that a clear majority would have emerged under your method;
3 There is nothing to show that Romney would not have received a clear majority under your method.
There isn’t a word of truth in your diatribe. Unless one fell in by accident.
There is no need to worry about what the “establishment” or the MSM might do to conservatives. Conservatives are their own worst enemy and destroy Republican candidates with great relish. No one is ever good enough for them if they are capable of getting over 2% of the vote. All the MSM has to do is print up some accusations of deviation from “conservative” principles and the nutcases do its work for it far better than it would do.
Look at our latest hero, Santorum, he was done in by “conservatives” because he made a political choice to back Specter in his Senate race. Depriving Rick of his seat has made it virtually impossible for his to win the presidency or the nomination because he now has no political base of strength. Real smart.
Sure, whatever you say.
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