Ballot Reform

Do you believe that capitalism can be voted out? Do you believe that it is at least a worthwhile endeavour to attempt to get rid of capitalism through democratic means? Perhaps you think that it's important to show people that earnest efforts have been made to reform through democratic levers so that the next time a crisis happens people turn to the Left for a solution instead of the Right. Do you live in the US?

Then what are you doing to advocate for different voting methods? Our plurality, first-past-the-post voting system is the single most important mechanism of depressing the success of multiple political parties and independent candidates.

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Required viewing for anyone interested in this topic:

It is absolutely NOT possible to vote away capitalism, but that doesn't make voting useless despite what pretty much every internet socialist says.

There is a middle-ground between "voting can end the system!" and "voting does nothing, let's just let politicians do whatever the fuck they want while we wait for the REAL revolution".

I'm a Green Party organizer hoping to finally get the party ballot access in my state, and I'm honestly starting to think it would be more productive for us to go out and gather signatures for an Approval Voting ballot initiative rather than gather signatures for direct party ballot access.

A-user? Don't you care about enhancing democracy?


Socialism is about enhancing democracy. Perhaps you're a monarchist?

Sortition is better than proportional elections, proportional elections are better than single-winner elections.

For single-winner elections, what the most fitting method is depends on what level of involvement you can expect from voters. The alternative method to Plurality that is the least amount of work to count isn't actually Approval (though that method is OK), it's Co-operative voting. (It is harder to explain though, complexity of explaining a counting rule != amount of work when counting).

If you can be bothered to do a bit more work (less than IRV though), I recommend Top-Flop voting. See: >>>/freedu/914

Drink bleach you useless liberal god-botherer.
"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." -Josef Stalin

Gonna need a source for co-operative voting. It's impossible to find on an internet search. I wonder how it stacks up to score voting and approval voting.


They most assuredly work better than elections where some liberal shitstain gets to choose who's on the ballot.


Tbh you'd be better off doing groundwork for the justice democraps.

Not when their platform advocates for instant-runoff voting: a bad alternative to plurality voting that ultimately maintains Duverger's Law and keeps third parties impotent.

In theory it's possible to vote away capitalism.

In practice you're going to have to extralegally manage it when the counterrevolution starts a civil war, IMO we should be aiming for exactly that from the very start.


People have tried and failed to reform the Democratic Party in the past. It's a dead end. At least the Greens are officially eco-socialists now.

Did you know New York elected a couple Communists in 1946? It was all because they managed to successfully pass a proportional representation initiative. That is the power of voting method reform. If we get a system that no longer institutionalizes a two-party duopology then I won't even need to ally with the Greens anymore and can help build a more explicitly revolutionary party.

See pdf.

Unfortunately both of those seem a fair bit more complicated than Approval voting. I'd like to see an analysis of them done comparing them to the strengths of other voting systems.

Top-flop appears to be the same thing as Score voting with 3 rating options. Approval is itself the same thing as Score voting with only 2 rating options.

I have no idea but I'll vote for and vocally support SocDems with what miniscule influence I have because I would like myself and the people around me to have healthcare

Right now the biggest obstacle is corporate money in elections, if that was eliminated things like election reform become a lot easier, actually doable.
The justice dems are all about that, you can ditch them after/if they do that.

See above and realize that today is not the past, the power of the internet managed to turn Bernie from a literal who to the most popular politician in the country, the rules are different now.

Co-operative voting is not easier to explain, it is easier to count. Imagine a big-scale election with that method, a dozen candidates and ten million voters. All the voters only mark one candidate each, all the people counting the ballots only have to look where the one mark per ballot is. All the extra complexity this has over Plurality voting can be done by giving that Plurality-style data to one person together with the data about which candidates support each other (data you and the voters already got before election day), and that one person doesn't take one hour to do that extra step. This is surely less work than counting ten million Approval ballots.

No. From the pdf:
This is not guaranteed when the ratings are just scores that you add up, unless you make the difference between middle and bottom rating only symbolic and they are counted the same (which is not what anybody means when they say range voting/mean ratings/score voting).

Both methods are compared to Plurality and IRV in the pdf. If you have a specific question about a criterion, ask away.

Seems to me like Co-operative would still have some lingering vote splitting issues.

Not with the current "democratic" system countries now use.
If we reform the voting system and rule making system, I would say it is possible. If it actually is possible, then this would be preferred over revolution.
However, I don't think it's possible to reform the democratic system we use.

No, but capitalism can be molded, aligned and arranged in a way that is slightly more favorable to the development of alternatives and worker's institutions.

Imo it's a fantasy, we need to vote and partake in elections but we need to be realistic about prospects and possibilities

He's right you dumbass

Take your anarchist shitdickery elsewhere

Use random ballot then.

Why? Approval and Score voting exist.

I'd like to see them compared to Approval and Score voting in particular. But for instance, do they have the Favorite Betrayal scenario? How often does the Condorcet Winner actually win? The Stay Home Paradox (if you don't vote at all your candidate would win)? etc.

Reformism doesn't work. The hard-line reforms are enemies of the people.

Shit, I meant hard-line reformers* are enemies of the people.

One hour? Is there a TL;DW version?

Random ballot is strategy-free and has no vote-splitting. What more could one possibly want…

Approval and Score are free from vote-splitting in the sense that if we imagine that people have some fixed idea about what constitutes a candidate that deserves three stars or two stars and so on and that they vote just according to that inner fixed moral compass, then these methods are completely free of situations where candidates that don't win are the king-maker. But that's not very realistic. Another way they are free from vote-splitting is that candidates who have zero rating distance between them on all ballots don't split the vote (not very realistic either, in tiny committees it can happen).

What one who worries about similar candidates splitting the vote can reasonably ask from a method that doesn't use ratings is that, if there is a group of voters who together support some subset of the candidates in some mutual agreement and that group of voters is more than half of all voters, that the winning candidate comes from that subset, a coalition of people who together have majority support. In Co-op Voting, the winner comes from a subset of candidates who all approve each other and who together got over half the direct votes, if such a group of candidates exists.

In Top-Flop, there are three rating-values and the winner comes from the set of candidates who each got the best rating on over half the ballots, if such a set exists; and if such a set doesn't exist, the winner comes from the set of candidates who each got rated top or middle on over half the ballots (this set might not exist either). T-F is also free of vote-splitting in the two ways Approval and Score are, but it uses median ratings instead of the mean, with a particular tie-breaker.

The problem with democracy is not the ballot system but the fact people are fucking morons. You can't fix stupid - you can only take away its voice and put it somewhere out of sight.

Top-Flop Voting: pass
This is trivial to see as the score a candidate gets is only dependent on how that candidate is rated, and you can give the same rating to as many candidates as you want. How could a method for which this is true screw up? (Never say never! One day somebody might propose to use the mode instead of the mean or median.)
Co-operative Voting: fail
As an ordinary voter, you can only mark one candidate. If you estimate your favorite candidate has no chance to win, and you have a next-best candidate in mind who is vastly more popular, and these two don't approve each other, it makes sense to not vote for your favorite. Even if true favorite and lesser evil do support each other, there can be tricky situations where you are better off supporting the lesser evil instead of your favorite: If you estimate the lesser evil will get fewer direct votes than your true favorite, but way more votes via mutual support through other candidates, it again makes sense to vote for the lesser evil.

From the point of view of the candidates who make the approval lists, it's true that, all else equal the probability that somebody from the group of guys you approve + you wins never goes down when you approve additional people. So, that's something at least. There are plenty of situations where things work out the right way, e. g. when you only care about two candidates and are indifferent about the rest, and these two only approve each other and nobody else, then honesty is the way to go.

Good question. Neither method collects full ranking data, so you don't always know when there even is a Condorcet Winner. The next best thing would be to select what is most likely the CW according to the data that we do have, but neither method does that either. Even in the 3-candidate case, the CW is not guaranteed to win under either method. (Both methods have reasons for that. The CW criterion is incompatible with the FBC, which Top-Flop passes, and it's also incompatible with later-no-harm, which Co-op passes.)

Given the bit of one-dimensional analysis in the pdf and the strategy criteria satisfied, I think it's plausible that both methods will do better than Plurality or Instant-Runoff with respect to that.

INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. The results do not ever get worse relative to what is stated on the ballots under either method. This is how the participation criterion is usually defined, so both pass I guess.

However, adding ballots that make no distinction whatsoever between two candidates can change the result between them. This is both true for T-F and the ballots the candidates provide under Co-op. Recall that nobody is allowed to give a full ranking, so it can happen that you regret voting, but it's hidden since according to the ballot you are indifferent. Looking at it positively, you can always count on that the distinctions you do make when voting are never contradicted by the results, and you don't even have that guarantee with Instant Runoff or Condorcet. This guarantee is the reason why T-F has the tie-breaker it has, a different tie-breaker or using median ratings with a bigger resolution than three would destroy that property.

Thanks for the info user. So am I understanding Top-Flop correctly in that the only difference between it and Score voting is that Top-Flop compares between the median opinions on choices rather than mean/total choices?

I still think Approval Voting is the right thing to be advocating for.

Yes, but that isn't the whole description, since you absolutely need a tie-breaker when using median ratings.
Method depends on context. For general elections Approval is okay, if a new "radical" organization can't be bothered to uses something like Top-Flop internally, I can't be bothered with them.

I think when you get to 100 people voting a tie becomes incredibly improbable. Or is it more common than that?

Well, when you only ask for the nekkid median, with an odd number of voters there are only as many possible scores for a candidate as what the rating resolution on the ballots is. With an even number of voters, there is a tiny chance that there will be some other ratings (the average of two rating options on the ballots). That's what the median rating is.

That's what I mean. A tie is possible in a lot of other voting systems too. Once you get a certain number of people it's pretty unlikely though, right? Or are ties much more common with this system?

Would be better if the middle didn't change at all IMO. A subtle dig at what Women And Minorities Getting An Equal Shot At Putting Their Boots On The Neck Of The Poor looks like.

Well, I support electoral reform because in addtion to being a socialist, I also consider myself a genuinely patriotic supporter of the American republic, and would hate to have to tear it apart to advance history. Make no mistake, I would do it without hesitation if there were no other choice, but I hope to see this country endure into the proletarian era. Electoral reform is I feel the last chance to make that peacefully possible.

First thing, definitely, is the need to abolish the first-past-the-post system. The Constitution says surprisingly little on how elections are to be conducted, but leaves that to the states. This is why there is a major plan afoot to implement a national popular vote by way of interstate compacts. Reform can be done on a state-by-state basis, starting with the most liberal states, and slowly gathering momentum until the remaining conservative states join on for fear of being left behind. On smaller scales, we can also push reform on the municipal, county, and state levels.

The second task, which is more daunting, is scrap the existing system of national legislators being chosen on a solely territorial basis. Right now, much of the reason the courts give money a free pass in politics, is that groups with shared interests other than the congressional districts have no way to exert political influence except by pooling money together and lobbying. This obviously gives the bourgeoisie a tremendous advantage in giving weight and power to special interest groups.

My proposal then, is to allow everyone to split their vote fractionally, and allocate parts of it to whichever candidates for office from anywhere in the country they want. Say for example I'm a socialist, but I'm also a motorist, environmentalist, and internet user. I can give 0.5 of my vote to a socialist candidate, 0.20 to a candidate who advocates for drivers, 0.15 to someone who supports the national park and trail system, 0.10 to a candidate that supports net neutrality and improved broadband, and the rest to someone who represents the region I live in. That way my interests can be split as I want, and I know who to go to and who to hold accountable for specific issues. Right now when only one person is supposed to represent all of your interests, that's almost impossible to do.

As an implementation detail, if you put some of your vote to a candidate who doesn't get the minimum proportion of votes for a seat, we can do a form of IRV where that fraction is then redistributed among the remaining choices proportional to how much you gave them. That way voting power isn't wasted.

This would, I think, not only pave the way for many more niche parties, but also reduce the need for money in politics as nationwide constituencies would be able to have a say directly in Congress, as opposed to having to rely on lobbying. The result would be a legislature that reflects more holistically the desires of the population, which would leave as our only task convincing them that socialism is in their best interests.

Instant-Runoff Voting is dildos, pick a better voting method please. You can do proportional representation of political parties without a choice-ranking system. In fact, you can even do it with simple Approval voting:

The guy in this video makes an excellent point in favor of proportional representation that you should bring with you whenever you're advocating in front of liberals. It turns out that our district-/ward-based system creates a representation bias towards rural areas, where all the conservatives are, and against urban areas, where people tend to be more liberal-leaning. A proportional representation system would shift the Overton window more to the left.


I don't get it.

With range voting and the rating options 0, 1, 2 and a hundred voters, the score of a candidate can be any integer from from 0 to 200. With a thousand voters, the score can be any integer from 0 to 2000. (You can also divide by the number of voters to get the average, that just shrinks every candidate's score by the same factor and doesn't change who wins and doesn't change the number of possible aggregate scores a candidate can get.)

With median voting and the rating options 0, 1, 2, the aggregate score of a candidate can be 0, 1, 2 if the number of voters is odd. If the number of voters is even, the aggregate score can be 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2. But the non-integer values are extremely unlikely to occur in big voting groups. So you need to specify a tie-breaker.

You only have to look at UK elections right now to see how futile democracy is in curbing capitalism

Liberals aren't left wing. It'd just strengthen a different shade of the right.

That's not a necessary condition for the claim made. If they are a slightly less right-wing part of the right, it would already shift the Overton window to the left.


Okay, but how would you like us to govern ourselves after the revolution?

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