Friday, September 16, 2016

A priority voting system that won't "waste" your vote

Electoral reform: A simple and interesting proposal has come from the Jill Stein camp (green party presidential candidate in US elections): a priority vote system that can get rid of the fear of "wasting your vote".

Suppose there are parties A, B, C. The incumbent is A, totally corrupt and at any cost you dont want them to win. B is the biggest opposition but you know they also have corrupts and criminals among them, just as much black money in funding, etc. C is new, shows most promise for bringing the change you wish to see, you really like and trust their candidate for your constituency and you want them to represent you.

But they are new, have very little funds for outreach, and might not get the numbers needed. It might also be an independent candidate. And the fear in your mind is: by voting for C, you might decrease B's lead and unwillingly end up making A win, which you want to avoid at all costs.

So out of fear of A winning, you pick "the lesser evil" and vote for B even though your original choice was C. This is fear-based politcs, and i liked Stein's quote on this: "the politics of fear has only delivered us what we feared the most".

Under the new proposed system, you vote for: C, B, [others in decreasing order of preference].
After first round of counting, if C doesn't get a clear majority, then your vote is automatically transferred to B. So it will never work in A's favour. This way, you can vote for those you like best, instead of "least worst", without any fear of "wasting" your vote. Takes the fear out of politics.

But even before we manage to bring in such a system, think : Instead of voting for the lesser evil, how about if we disposed of these never-ending speculations (typically pushed by the media that is secretly biased) and simply voted for the greater good? Even if that candidate doesn't win, won't you have made an investment for a future election where your candidate will have better ground to stand on thanks to prior votes earned? Can any vote made for positive change ever truly be 'wasted'? Or is that also a manipulation being used to game you? What improvent are you making in your children's lives by voting for the lesser evil? So the next time you go to vote, kindly leave your fear outside the polling booth.

PS: Are you from the US? Check out the electoral option that the media doesn't want you to know about :

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