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Choosing an electoral system


Americans have, once again, noticed that the electoral college is odd. And undemocratic. And odd. There are much more democratic systems out there. "First past the post" is not one of them. YouTube and CGP Grey to the rescue. <dl> <a href="" author="CGP Grey" source="YouTube">The Trouble with the Electoral College</a> and <a href="" source="YouTube" author="CGP Grey">Re: The Trouble With The Electoral College Cities, Metro Areas, Elections and The United States</a> These two videos combine to explain how the electoral college works and how it's undemocratic. That is, regardless of whether it happens to have produced results that you agree with, it's a ticking time-bomb of unfairness. <a href="" author="CGP Grey" source="YouTube">The Problems with First Past the Post Voting Explained</a> This video explains why the U.S. should not be totally boneheaded about it and replace the electoral college with a "first past the post" system. This system is also undemocratic, regardless of how many more votes your candidate won in the popular election this time around. It inevitably leads to a two-party system and you've seen how absolutely awesome that's turned out. <a href="" author="CGP Grey" source="YouTube">Gerrymandering Explained</a> This video discusses the dangers of allowing representatives to choose their own electoral boundaries, even in a system that has local representatives. <a href="" source="YouTube" author="CGP Grey">Mixed-Member Proportional Representation Explained</a> This video shows how it's done in a real democracy (e.g. Switzerland). Proportional representation is the goal and this system achieves it as closely as can be expected. <a href="" source="YouTube" author="CGP Grey">Politics in the Animal Kingdom: Single Transferable Vote</a> Finally, this video shows what a world with instant-runoff, single-transferable-vote elections could look like. Instead of voting for a single candidate, you rank your choices. This also achieves very democratic results. Jill Stein was pulling for this system because it would let the States get away from the two-party duopoly. </dl> So what does would I recommend? <ol> Pass a constitutional amendment to replace the electoral college with IRV/STV for president. Or, replace the president with a council of 7 or 11 or whatever sounds appropriate (e.g. like Switzerland). Essentially, let us elect the cabinet. In the same constitutional amendment, replace all parliamentary (senate/congress) elections with MMPR to encourage third-party candidates and get away from the insipid, tedious and elite duopoly we have now. </ol> What's going to happen? Probably nothing. The U.S. will just keep the electoral-college system and bitch about it again in four years.