Saturday, August 24, 2013

Opponents of IRV

Over the past few months I've seen a number of people who oppose instant runoff voting and they usually claim it is "too complicated".

The question I have for them is if they can answer this question:

I potentially have 5 flavors of ice cream in my freezer, chocolate, vanilla, neapolitan, strawberry, and caramel. Which is your favorite, and if that isn't there, which one is your second favorite? People do this automatically, we are natural rankers.

Just replace those five flavors of ice cream with five parties running for an office, Democrat, Republican, Green, Constitution, Libertarian, which one is your favorite and which is your second favourite, etc.? You then have a real election in the United States.

If someone over age 3 can't do this, than that person makes me sad, because this process is not complicated and is easy for people to do. It requires a little more time on election day, but freedom isn't free. Freedom takes the time and compassion of average Americans to defend against politicians that will sacrifice our constitution in acts like the PATRIOT ACT. In the cases where people have voted against IRV, maybe the ballots aren't written well, but that's not the fault of instant runoff voting, that's the fault of local government not hiring good advisers to select good election equipment, and easily fixed. Australians and Irishmen use this symptom and they have had no problems and they don't find it confusing (given how there are not massive campaigns to move to our system, which gave Canada Stephen Harper for a second term with 40% of the vote). Given the terrible situation of the last Canadian and British elections where the minority won a majority of seats, it is clearly better than first past the post.

I would even argue IRV is an easier system to use because when I vote in the primary elections in my state I have only one vote to give to only one candidate, and I find we frequently get some third party candidates who I really like but because I don't want to split the vote I have to pick between two or three completely qualified candidates, which is difficult. It would be easier for voters to have only one election and rank the candidates. It would also cost less because the government would only need one election which would save money on ballots, machines, and be better for our government's funds, assuming they have good equipment and use well-written ballots.

I also wish we could have a third party to challenge the Democrats, given that the Democrats routinely compromise the most important parts of their platform. They removed the most important parts of Obamacare and no Republicans voted for it, the majority voted for the PATRIOT ACT in 2001 and there was no massive movement to replace them. This is intolerable and they can't get away with abandoning their base like this with no punishment.

Just felt like I had to put this rebuttal on here after seeing so many poorly argued articles on the internet about IRV. It is not confusing, it is not complicated, and it gives more accurate results.

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