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Thread: Adding an option to vote for "not that guy"

  1. #1 Adding an option to vote for "not that guy" 
    Time Lord
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    I often hear people say that, if you vote for a third party you're throwing away your vote. And if you don't like the guy in charge, then you have to vote for his leading opponent. It kind of polarizes politics. You either have to vote for the guy you hate, or for the guy you hate second most, or you might as well not bother to vote. Then, when the candidate who you had to vote for in order to unseat the incumbent claims you "voted for him", it's technically true, but really you weren't doing it out of love for him.


    What if we added an option to the ballot to submit a "negative vote"? A non-specific "anyone but that guy" vote. A negative vote would undo a positive vote. So if a candidate has 50 votes for them, but then someone submits a negative vote, the candidate now has 49 votes for them.


    In that event, you'd no longer have to vote for the lesser of two evils. You could simply vote against one of the evils, and with luck, maybe the negative votes would bog down the leading two candidates enough so a third party could edge in. I suspect that both the republicans and democrats would be surprised to learn how annoyed their constituents are with them.


    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  3. #2  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Or we could just dismantle this broken two party system.


    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flick montana View Post
    or we could just dismantle this broken two party system.
    how?
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  5. #4  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by flick montana View Post
    or we could just dismantle this broken two party system.
    how?
    By disbanding it and voting on the merits and qualifications of the individuals.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    How?

    How can you dismantle/disband the 2 party system(short of armed revolution)?

    Merits and qualifications?
    Are you living in a dream world?
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  7. #6  
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    There's already nothing binding in the US or I'm pretty sure any of the State Constitutions which required party nominations to get on the election ballets. It's usually a matter of unrelated paperwork, application, criteria and getting enough people to sign a petition. During the last election, I did not vote for either republican (despite being a lifelong republican) or a democrat. The only reason we have an enduring party is because they have the organization to meet the criteria to get their candidates on every state ballet and see them through to getting elected.

    --
    There are many ways to elect people developed by mathematicians and politicians--probably some of them far better than our current system. I particularly like the two step rank ordering systems, all voters rank order the candidates, where the lowest two combined scores of all voters end up in a run off--that would tend to screen out the most polarizing candidates. It's got it's share of problems as well.
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  8. #7  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    How?

    How can you dismantle/disband the 2 party system(short of armed revolution)?

    Merits and qualifications?
    Are you living in a dream world?
    If I had all the answers, I wouldn't be here on the forum. I would be accepting my Nobel Prize during my fourth inauguration as President of Earth.

    How do we make any changes in our government? We vote people in who have similar ideologies. I don't know why we'd need an armed revolution to improve our government. I may live in a fantasy world, but you live in an awfully scary one.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  9. #8  
    Your Mama! GiantEvil's Avatar
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    We the people would need to do it collectively, but most of us could mutually decide to never vote for any major party candidates. I think I may have decided to do this for myself anyhow.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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  10. #9  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Or we could just dismantle this broken two party system.
    That's what the negation vote is for. It's a way to achieve it. Or at least it would help.

    There is no actual "two party system" in the USA officially. I mean there's no law that says there can only be two parties. There's nothing even similar to a law. It just so happens there are only two big parties.


    Now, why are there only two parties? Answer: because the only way to unseat a bad candidate is to vote someone else into their spot. The two party system naturally evolves from the need to consolidate votes in order to vote out incumbents.

    Putting a "negation vote" option into place eliminates the need for two parties. If you don't like the current democrat Senator in your district, you don't need to vote Republican in order to get rid of him anymore. Just get enough negation votes together and maybe his final vote tally would actually be a negative number. He would finish behind "Mickey Mouse" or one of the other silly write ins.
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  11. #10  
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    As long as politicians are elected in "winner-take-all" elections, the two party system is the natural result, for the reasons stated by the OP--voting for anyone but one of the two leading candidates is nothing but a gesture. The trick is to get away from "winner-take-all" elections.

    Many countries use a "party list" system to elect their legislatures. In this sort of system, you do not vote for candidates, you vote for a party. The seats in the legislature are assigned to the political parties in numbers proportional to the popular votes recieved. The parties generally provide a list of candidates before the election, once the seat count for the party is determined, the first so many names on their list become members of the legislature. Hybrid systems exist, some countries elect some members by party lists and others from "winner-take-all" district elections. Countries with a party list system normally have numerous active political parties, not just two.

    I feel it would be a major improvement of the U.S. political system to move away from "winner-take-all" elections. Perhaps we could go to a party list system, perhaps something else. This could be done by constitutional amendment(s), no armed revolution necessary. Current members of congress, particularly the more experienced, powerful ones, are unlikely to vote for such amendments. But article V states amendments can be proposed by a constitutional convention, bypassing congress. True, its never been done, but frankly, its about time.
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  12. #11  
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    I don't know.. from our shores (the US).the party list system looks even worse, with every shifting alliances between parties making it a confused mess. At least in the US system, voters get to vote for leaders--and in some states the delegates are even required to cast their vote in synch with the popular vote...heck there's even two which do it proportionally.

    I'm of course being sarcastic and taking a jab our badly antiquated electoral system which gives a Wyoming voters 7 times to voting power as a California resident.
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    I have voted for myself for several years....last Pres I voted for was Clinton's second term.
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  14. #13  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    I'm of course being sarcastic and taking a jab our badly antiquated electoral system which gives a Wyoming voters 7 times to voting power as a California resident.
    Good point, though it would be easier to agree if you compared Wyoming against another state like Texas or New York.

    I'm not entirely sad to see California getting fewer votes. Just look how they manage their own state.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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