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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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    Jan 2 2014: I am confident the Negative Vote idea will win acceptance quickly and become a legislative reality somewhere in some democracy, probably within 3 to 10 years. Social media such as Facebook can help spread the message quickly. That is why I started the group on Facebook. Most of us who have Facebook typically have more than 100 friends. If each member invites 100 of his friends to join, it will take only 2 such repetitions to reach 1 million. If each member invites just 2 other new members, it will take no more than 12 repetitions from today's membership. I expect 1 million to be exceeded this year. Once the group membership reaches that scale, some politician will step up to propose legislative change. At bigger scale of membership, citizen initiatives to introduce legislation can be done.

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