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Sam Chang

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Improve all democracies in the world, implement the Negative Vote.

Almost all the democracies in the world suffer from a common phenomenon where a minority, often the more extreme elements, could hijack a major party and force the society as a whole into conflicts that the majority population does not like. We see this kind of situation in the United States, in Israel, in Taiwan, etc. repeated again and again.

My proposal is to let people have the right to cast a Negative Vote in all elections. Each voter would still be entitled to cast only one vote, he/she may cast the vote for a candidate or against a candidate, but not both. Winner is the person who gets the most net positive votes, i.e. the person whose YES votes minus NO votes is the highest.

I believe over time this will prevent the extreme elements from winning any significant political office. Political rhetoric will also naturally move away from extreme rhetoric and more toward the middle. Eventually even the news media might find it difficult to help spread the extreme rhetoric because people aspiring for power or politics will learn quickly that extremism will attract the most NO votes and block them from such power in a democracy.

Voter participation will increase and the election results will more accurately reflect the people’s will.

In a democracy, I should have the right to say, through the ballot, “NO, I do not want this person to be in power”. This should be a basic right.

I’ve started a social group on Facebook called Allow NO Vote in Elections. It is public and I hope you will join and help spread the message.



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    Dec 18 2013: In a liquid democracy you have the negative vote. At least in the models practiced here in Sweden.
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      Dec 19 2013: That is interesting. Can you cast a vote against a candidate and have that vote counted against the positive vote in Sweden? Jess Brewer, a professor in Canada had this same idea of Negative Vote back in 2007 and has a website that is dedicated to the research of this subject. See the link below. Jess had told me that he could not find any example of the Negative Vote in practice. Would you please explain how it is done in Sweden? Thanks.

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        Dec 19 2013: Well, our system is not in power (yet), but my party uses a form of electronic direct democracy called liquid democracy or delegative democracy.

        Liquid democracy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg0_Vhldz-8
        Delegative democracy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delegative_democracy

        We have a couple of different voting options right now and it's ever evolving, in accordance to the majorities will.

        They are: creating lists of priority, yes/no and median vote.

        Both with the list and yes/no vote you have the active option of down-voting a proposal (which can be anything, including people for different positions).

        Here's our (very out of date) manifesto in english: http://aktivdemokrati.se/manifesto/
        And we're not alone in the world with having an E2D (electronic direct democracy) system, there are currently at least 14 countries that are trying the model.

        Check out http://www.e2d-international.org/ which is also out of date...
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          Dec 20 2013: Thanks for the links to Liquid democracy and Delegative democracy. Voting against a policy proposal is different from the Negative Vote I am proposing which is casting a vote against a candidate. That will serve 3 goals: (a) reduce extremists' influence, (b) increase voter participation, and (c) it is a basic right that should be available in a democracy. I don't think either Liquid democracy or Delegative democracy accomplishes these 3 goals. With internet, Liquid democracy as described will allow more direct participation by the voters of policy making, I support that.
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        Dec 20 2013: It actually does, since we use the same system to vote for candidates. And people are able to up-vote, down-vote or pass on any candidate. In most E2D systems you can vote on both candidates AND policy proposals.

        So it passes the abc's.

        I'm sorry that we don't have better information material in English, it'll come soon hopefully.
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          Dec 20 2013: Wow, I am very glad to know that there IS a system in practice that already adopts the Negative Vote concept. Is it described in Swedish? Would you please post a link to that description? I have a good friend in Sweden and I can ask him to translate for me. Thanks.
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        Dec 20 2013: Well, our party is going through some major changes since we're merging with another E2D party here. So regrettably the manifesto that I posted is perhaps the best comprehensive description there is right now.

        But your friend can always visit the our forum and get a comprehensive picture. http://aktivdemokrati.se/forum/

        But what I really advice is starting one of these parties yourself in Taiwan. All the software that we use is opensource and the same is true for most other parties around the world. To get some assistance with this I recommend going to the forum section of E2D international. http://www.e2d-international.org/forum/
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          Dec 20 2013: Thanks for the links. I could not find in the forum discussions any example of an election where a negative vote is counted against the positive votes for a candidate or delegate. Has it been done in any of the E2D parties?

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