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The two-option majority vote is the most inaccurate measure of collective opinion ever invented! Unfortunately, many politicians, several professors and countless people still think that it is the basis of a democracy. Majority rule is OK, as far as it goes. But majority rule by majority vote, majoritarianism, is adversarial, divisive and, in many instances, the catalyst of war

  • Jul 8 2013: I want more democracy, not less; I want people (or theor elected representatives) to be allowed to propose options, and then, in the vote, t be able to express their preferences. Take, for example, New Zealand. They chose to debate the electoral system. They set up a Commission, to which folks could make suggestions. It then drew up a short list of five options, and then the people voted on a choice of these five.
    It's called pluralism.
    Sadly, many democracies use only binary voting: 'dualism', or that which it often leads to, 'duelism'.
  • Jul 6 2013: The more inclusive methodology is the Modified Borda Count (MBC) - {first proposed by Nicholas Cusanus in 1435}. Have a debate; include all options (which don't infringe the UN Charter on Human Rights); if there's no verbal consensus, consnsors draw up a short list of 4-6 options; and then those concerned vote, i.e., cast their preferences. The winner is the option with the highest average preference. And an average, of course, involves everybody, not just a majority.
    The MBC encourages the protagonists to engage with their erstwhile (majoritarian) opponents; after all, to win, success needs not only lots of high preferences and a few middle ones perhaps, but also very few low ones. It also encourages (but does not force) all to cast a full ballot, that is, to respect the aspirations of others. Nobody votes against any body or any thing; albeit with varying degrees of enthusiams, voters vote only 'for'. The MBC is indeed inclusive.
    More of all this on
  • Jul 6 2013: Majority vote is certainly imperfect. What would you suggest as a replacement?
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    Aug 1 2013: Peter,
    I suggest that you edit your set-up to include your reply to Barry, because your idea about the Modified Borda Count system of election isn't clear from the current set-up, as can be seen from some of the replies. I also suggest you add a week to the discussion time, and I think you'll get some good comments.

    I find the MBC system intriguing, and I wonder about its relevance within Congress. Perhaps it could (theoretically) be useful in the process of crafting bills, when various versions of elements of the bill are voted on in committee. Of course, the majority party won't permit that, as Congress is presently constituted. They would lose control.

    One peculiarity of MBC is that it's necessary to have several choices for it to be useful. With just two choices the system operates just like a majority vote. Also, in almost all voting districts in the U.S., the Rep and Dem party candidates will be the top two vote getters, followed by all the rest. What we would probably see is Rep and Dem voters placing the other major party's candidate at the bottom of the list. If there are only three candidates, the independent (Mr.Smith) is likely to be the beneficiary by being number 2 on all ballots, and could win without a single top vote. Which, considering our current Congress, would be a good thing.

    Good debate topic.
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    Jul 6 2013: A show of hands is the best way to equally distribute responsibility for the results of a decision. When there are too many hands to count a representative democracy can get it done. . . imperfectly, but done. Do you advocate focusing responsibility for national, state, county, and city management upon a small, sovereign group, or even an individual? That leads to regimes like Nazi Germany, Cambodia, Uganda, Haiti, Iraq, etc. I do not see how silencing the voice of the people will lead to improvements in the quality of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I would expect to see quite the opposite effect. What do you offer as a solution for the" problem" to which you have called attention? Thank you!
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    Jul 6 2013: " Majority rule is OK"

    no it is not