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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 15 2014: Someone asked in Taiwan, would not Negative Vote be used by the major parties to allocate votes and shut out my small party candidate?

    My response:
    In Taiwan, Negative Vote will bring out many voters in the middle who are sick and tired of the two major parties’ senseless fights. The Negative Votes they cast will be cast against candidates from these two parties who are the most extreme, e.g. those legislative representatives who instigate physical violence in the parliament. If a small party representative has behaved and does not engage in smear tactics during election campaign, he/she will not attract this kind of Negative Votes.

    If the two major parties engage in vote allocation, the small parties will benefit also under present conditions. Every voter that can be directed to vote Yes or No must be someone who is very loyal to that party, each Negative Vote so directed against someone would also mean that party’s candidate has one fewer vote of support (because every voter has only one vote). To whom would these “allocated Negative Vote” be cast against? Against the other major party’s candidate of course, it would not be used against a small party or its candidate.

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