Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Old Jarhead put forth an idea that substitutes for a runoff in an election with more than two candidates, where no one gets over 50% of the vote. This would let third party candidates enter the system without guaranteeing a total loss by electing the least liked candidate.

What we really need is a requirement that to be elected to public office, you must get 50% of the votes plus one. If no candidate gets 50%, there’s be a run off. Expensive? Not if you use a system where people vote for their first choice with a “one” second with a “two” and so on. If no candidate gets 50%, the candidates with the fewest votes is eliminated and his/her votes distributed to the remaining candidates based on the their second choice. Eventually a candidate gets 50% and is elected. (Some folks have trouble understanding this system, but it’s pretty straightforward. I could explain at length, but trust me, it works.)

This would allow folks to vote their heart, conservatives for “Tea Party” candidates, socialists for the Green Party, etc., without knowing their vote for the outsider was helping the major party candidate they disliked most. It would also stop the political game of putting people into races based on their ethnic heritage to weaken the vote for your toughest opponent. But both the Democrat and the Republican establishment hate the idea, because it also would facilitate the growth of third parties. It would be the right thing for the people and for democracy, but like so many “right things” has zero chance of being enacted.

The Old Jarhead

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