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submitted 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) by [email protected] to c/showerthoughts

It would be great to be able to vote for every candidate in an election instead of only once and you can decide to upvote, downvote, or not vote for any candidate. This way you never “throw away” your vote and extreme/hated candidates can be downvoted so if im not a fan of any candidate but one is particularly awful I can downvote that one and not vote any I don’t like while still making my voice heard that I definitely don’t want this specific candidate

Edit: Combined Approval Voting is what I want and its used by to elect the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee and the Secretary General of the United Nations

Edit 2: You can learn about and try different voting methods in this amazing project https://ncase.me/ballot/

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[-] [email protected] 67 points 5 months ago

Have you ever heard of Ranked Choice, or Instant Runoff Voting?

[-] sp6 19 points 5 months ago

I was all-in for ranked choice voting (and even started working on an app for it) until I learned that a candidate who would have won can end up losing by becoming more popular, which is extremely counterintuitive, and a flaw that I don't think any voting system should have.

Nicky Case wrote a fantastic explanation about how that can happen, plus exploring many other voting methods: https://ncase.me/ballot/

I still think RCV (and really anything else) would be better than the US's first-past-the-post system, but I'd definitely prefer some type of approval, score, or STAR voting over it.

[-] Zippy 4 points 5 months ago

Yes. Often there are unintended results. I think another issue is that many people would have difficulty understanding the math behind it. It is not complex but it doesn't end up with concise results sometimes and distrust in the system can certainly jilt some people as we have witnessed enough.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 5 months ago

That was a fantastic explanation, thanks for that

[-] [email protected] 7 points 5 months ago

I have. What i want is an improved verison of Approval Voting

[-] sp6 47 points 5 months ago

This is a form of score voting, and the specific form you discuss is the method used to elect the members of Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee (although they call it "Support", "Neutral", and "Oppose" instead of "Upvote", "Abstain", and "Downvote").

[-] [email protected] 18 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Another day, another new found love for wikipedia. It looks like what I want is specifically called a Three-Point Score election which uses Combined Approval Voting and its used by Wikipedia and in the UN when voting for the secretary general. Amazing. Thanks for sharing!

[-] [email protected] 3 points 5 months ago

Sounds very interesting, I wonder if there are more studies on this and its effectiveness.

[-] cosmicrose 34 points 5 months ago

There are lots of really cool voting systems that don’t have the same weaknesses that first-past-the-post does. Check out https://ncase.me/ballot/ if you want a fun interactive explanation of several.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 5 months ago

CGP Grey has multiple videos explaining different voting systems as well. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqs5ohhass_RN57KWlJKLOc5xdD9_ktRg

[-] sp6 7 points 5 months ago

I will always upvote that ncase ballot link, it's so well-written.

Lots of people here are arguing for Ranked Choice, but Nicky's write-up shows that even though it's still better than the US's first-past-the-post system, something like Approval or Score voting are much better options.

[-] c10l 2 points 5 months ago

I’ve long thought Condorcet is at least very close to being the absolute best election method. Nice to see it validated here!

[-] wieson 1 points 5 months ago

In the epilogue she says we haven't tested scoring methods.

But in my local county council elections we had something to that degree. Every candidate (multiple candidates per party and independents) had three boxes. And every elector had 12 or 20 or something crosses to distribute. So you could give 3, 2, 1 or 0 crosses to a candidate.

Maybe the difference is, that didn't yield a single winner but elected members of the council.

Which is also a much more glaring issue with fptp systems: not the race for president, but the fact that there are only 2 parties in parliament.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 5 months ago

Nicky Case is amazing. I didn’t know she made a project on this. Thanks!

[-] fubo 14 points 5 months ago

Approval voting is similar to this. Instead of voting for one candidate, you vote for every candidate who is acceptable to you. The winner is the candidate who is acceptable to the most voters.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 5 months ago

Exactly, but I think Approval Voting needs a Downvote option as well, so exceptionally bad candidates can be disapproved of by a voter. So a candidate that doesn’t excite you doesn’t get the same “points” from you as a candidate that wants to be a dictator.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 5 months ago

The downvote option turns it from Approval into Score.

I personally like STAR, which is Score, but then adds in some extra features to make it all work better.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 5 months ago

They wouldn’t though, right? Presumably you’d vote for the one that doesn’t excite you and not the one that wants to be a dictator…

[-] sp6 2 points 5 months ago

Approval voting has a special place in my heart because it is such an easy transition from first-past-the-post (what the U.S. uses). You literally just change the ballot from "select the candidate you like" to select the candidates (plural) you like" and you're done, and it's such a significant upgrade from FPTP.

[-] Crack0n7uesday 12 points 5 months ago

Like ranked voting? Some states already do ranked voting.

[-] zik 7 points 5 months ago

We have ranked voting in Australia. It works pretty well.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 5 months ago

Personally I prefer the idea of ranking each candidate in order of preference, ie "this is my favorite candidate, this is my second-favorite, and so on for all the candidates with enough support to be on the ballot". I feel like it has more granularity than an upvote downvote system would have.

[-] sp6 5 points 5 months ago

It's certainly still better than the US's current first-past-the-post system, but it has a critical flaw where a candidate who would have won can end up losing by becoming more popular, which could be abused by people trying to "game" the voting system. In reality, something like approval or score voting would be more representative of voter's desires.

See Nicky Case's excellent write-up on how that can happen: https://ncase.me/ballot/

[-] [email protected] 3 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

That's interesting, I hadn't heard that before, though the one that has that flaw you mentioned looks to be instant runoff voting, which is not quite what I was suggesting (what I was thinking of looks to be called "borda count" here, though the write up has a criticism of that as well)

EDIT: though upon giving this a half hour or so to contemplate, I think I'd still favor that method (borda) best, out of everything mentioned in that write up. If I'm understanding their criticism of it correctly, it seems that in a case where you have a candidate who is the preferred choice for a majority of voters, and another candidate who is the preferred choice for a sizable minority of voters, and a third candidate who is almost nobody's preferred choice, but is somewhere in between them, it's sometimes possible for that third candidate to win even though the first candidate seems like they ought to, being the top choice for a bit more than half the voters. That situation feels like it ought to help dampen against polarization and cults of personality, because a candidate that is loved by a slim majority, but hated by everyone else, won't do as well as a candidate that manages to be everyone's second choice, that almost everyone can at least begrudgingly accept. It's not perfect obviously, I can imagine that it would tend to promote boring moderates that would make major changes and progress slow, which would frustrate me personally, not being a moderate myself- but I think it would result in a system that is reasonably stable and which should still generally trend towards the will of the majority, which sounds a lot better than what the US currently has. The non-ranked options presented sound intriguing, but I do think that people would just turn them into first past the post again by only marking their favorite as acceptable or giving their favorite the highest score and everyone else the lowest, because in addition to that being "strategic", it's also easier, and the cynic in me says that people are often lazy about these things.

[-] Carighan 4 points 5 months ago

Yeah but there needs to be an "explicitly not this one"-rank, and if you have to also rank republicans in the US, a whole lot of those.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 5 months ago

Afaik, you don't have to rank every candidate in most RCV systems. So If you don't like someone, you can just leave them unranked.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 5 months ago

This predictably would just lead to a two party system where you upvote your guy and downvote theirs.

I want the US to be able to vote a third candidate and have it not be an utter throwaway.

[-] rockSlayer 6 points 5 months ago

Might I suggest range voting? Say there are 10 candidates on the ballot. You can give each a 1-10, 1 being most preferred. After giving 1 vote to your most preferred, you vote 2 on your second choice which gives them a half of a vote. 3rd choice is 1/3 of a vote, etc. You can also choose to not cast any fraction of a vote for a candidate. So say there's 10 candidates on a ballot, and one of them is an orange tinted fascist; you can completely withhold any part of your vote to that candidate.

[-] TenderfootGungi 6 points 5 months ago

Ranked choice voting.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

This is a long read (skip to the "conclusion" part at the end to get the gist) but I think it belongs:
https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/mark-bray-horizontalism

(if anyone has a more easy to digest introduction to horizontal governance, ideally to read rather than watch, I'd love a link!)

[-] [email protected] 0 points 5 months ago

Cant you summarize it in your comment and apply it to the post in a way you think it belongs?

[-] [email protected] 0 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

It's a form of governance, you either want to read even just the last paragraph for yourself, or you don't.. ¯\(ツ)

[-] TechNerdWizard42 1 points 5 months ago

Wait until you learn that's how real countries work! A Parliament gives you proportional representation based on your vote versus the proportion of the populace.

Ranked voting, as you describe, still works better but it is still a winner takes all scenario. Some cities, like NYC, already use it for their local elections because yes it makes sense.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 5 months ago

Isn’t ranked voting a 1-5 option? I want a yes, no, abstain voting. Like how Lemmy we do up, down, no vote

[-] RizzRustbolt 0 points 5 months ago

Should be like figure skating judging.

We rank each canditate out of a possible ten points. Throw out the top 1% and the lowest 1% and then total.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 5 months ago

Why would you throw out the top 1%?

[-] RizzRustbolt 3 points 5 months ago

In figure skating judging for the Olympics, they would throw out the top and bottom scores to eliminate any country-based biases against competitors.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 5 months ago

That sort of ranked choice voting would be great in areas where there is truly a democratic option. In Utah, there is no other party except Republicans. They have gerrymandered every district so that only republicans can have their votes counted, and it is not possible to register as anything other than republican in Utah. That's one reason we're so in the pockets of big oil and gas industries here - it's all about how much money politicians can line their pocket with. But the point is - there is no way to downvote anyone. Most of us don't even get a chance to vote here.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 5 months ago

A slight misconception in your comment, what OP is describing is much closer to a slightly limited version of Score. Or possibly an expanded Approval.

It's nothing like Ranked Choice.


To break things down, Ranked Choice is an Ordinal voting system. You rank candidates A then B then C.

The actual mechanics of the election are a series of First Past the Post elections all on a single ballot.

To contrast, Approval and Score are both Cardinal voting systems. You express preference for A, but that doesn't mean anything about your preference for B. The votes per candidate are counted independently of the votes for any other candidate. This means that Cardinal voting systems are 100% immune to the spoiler effect. They're also almost completely immune to clone candidates and other such attacks.

Ordinal systems will always fall victim to the spoiler effect, although the more complex ordinal voting systems like Ranked Choice mitigate it somewhat (while making things so much worse when it does crop up)

[-] [email protected] 0 points 5 months ago

Sounds good thanks for clarifying.

[-] [email protected] -2 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)
this post was submitted on 21 Dec 2023
105 points (83.4% liked)

Showerthoughts

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A "Showerthought" is a simple term used to describe the thoughts that pop into your head while you're doing everyday things like taking a shower, driving, or just daydreaming. The best ones are thoughts that many people can relate to and they find something funny or interesting in regular stuff.

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