November 8, 2016

The Alternative Vote

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 12:48 pm

I’ll tell you all what I really think. The problem in this election isn’t Trump or Hillary. The fact that you have only two choices is just the symptom of the problem. The real problem is the VOTING SYSTEM.

The real reason billionaire Mike Bloomberg didn’t run for President was because he was afraid to take more votes from Hillary so his run would make Trump or Cruz more likely to be elected.

The only reason Bernie didn’t run as a third party candidate was that he was afraid to split the liberal vote with Hillary. Many of his supporters are struggling with having to “hold their nose” and vote for her.

So many people are afraid of voting for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein because they’d be “wasting their vote” and helping the other guy they are so afraid of.

ALL THESE PROBLEMS can be fixed by a simple change in the voting system. This change can be implemented state by state, county by county. Want to improve your country? Change your local system to use the Alternative Vote!!!

In the Alternative Vote, you can indicate more than your top preference - you can rank people in order, thereby putting your favorites on top and your least favorites on the bottom. Bernie could run without hurting Hillary. Voting Johnson could be done with a clear conscience. Just put eg 1: Johnson 2: Bernie 3: Hillary 4: Jill Stein and Last: Trump!

This system is already used in Australia, India, etc. In the USA your lack of choice happens because everyone knows they can ONLY indicate their top choice and there is NO WAY to indicate preferences among the other candidates. This leads all this perversion.

Does the Alternative Vote system have some issues? Well it has better statistical properties than our current First-Past-The-Post system, on almost every measure. No voting system is perfect, but if our country used the Alternative Vote we wouldn’t be so divided, hateful of the other side, fearful that voting for someone we truly believe is the best is only going to help the person we really don’t want. It’s sad to see my country so torn over such a simple root cause. All this anguish over the last year and all this money spent, could have been spent on reforming the voting system. It doesn’t take that much. We can start in our local communities, and next time, we can be more united as a country, and have more choice!

August 11, 2015

An open letter to Lawrence Lessig

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 2:21 pm

I believe in the power of technology to change the world, and I thought I’d respond to Lawrence Lessig’s unconventional bid for US President. Here is my letter.

The idea of using the Presidential election for a referendum on citizen equality is great. It is a great platform to draw attention to this overall issue. However, how do you plan to achieve citizen equality in a representative democracy? Fiddling around the edges by “getting money out of politics” may be as wishful as people asking for non-proliferation of AI, drones, or big data. Instead, I want to suggest that the mechanism of voting, itself, is the problem.

Put simply, there is good reason to believe that transparent, publicly overseen polling with true random samples is far superior to voting. Voting favors those who get a higher turnout, or special interests who can spin more campaign dollars. It wastes money as people take a day off (why don’t we have an app for this?) and super PACs spend oodles of money on feverish campaigns. If you want one issue, how about replacing voting with polling. Our government should establish a publicly overseen bureau of public opinion, something that can be done gradually and proven out. It would be actually achievable, unlike a reform that the Executive branch could never do on its own.

Polling would actually get people’s opinion, and gradually reduce the need for representatives at all, representatives who bicker and don’t represent their own constituents because they want to get re-elected or sacrifice their campaign promises in order to gain favors for their pet issue. Polling is a far superior tool that is mathematically shown to reveal what the public really favors. If it was in place, we would have long ago put in place reforms that 90% of Americans favor, such as ending the war on drugs, sensible gun control, etc. And we’d get a government that really represents the American people.

Replace voting with polling. That will achieve true, mathematically proven, citizen equality.