Monday, September 26, 2011

Negative Voting.

To elaborate on an idea mentioned at yesterday's blogmeet. BTW good blogmeet, lots of chat about governmental stupidity, snow, and cars. Oh, and a bit of gun stuff too.

We all know the standard voting problem:

Candidate A is a complete incompetent/cad/bastard/ect that should never ever be in office.
Candidate B is better than A but still hideous.
Candidate C is almost palatable but still a no-sell.
Candidate D might be acceptable in low light and after looking at the other clowns.

However, there's a good 95% that either A or B will win. So do you Vote for B to maximize the odds of A not getting in (or not getting reelected) or vote for the candidate closer to what you want (D) but has no hope of winning?

I'm not here to talk about such "tactical" voting.

I'm going to go into fantasy for a bit and look at the idea of negative voting.

In that system, every voter (and how we define who can vote is another can of worms) can vote for or against a candidate. That is +1 or -1 to the total of Candidate i.

Under that system you can directly vote against someone without having to pretend you're endorsing the #2 goober.

It would also introduce a new metric in polling: the spite index. That is the percent of likely voters that are going to vote negatively.

Heck, we could have a real race to the bottom where the winner in an election actually has a net negative (but is simply the least negative around). Though in that case you could be banned from reelection.

And if there's too much spite on the part of the major players some minor party could slip in by having their base actually vote *for* their candidate.

I suppose one could have an open election with a mass of candidates and then a runoff with the top three or four. And for even more fun give each voter three votes that they can use up or down on any candidate they want in any combination they want.

At least it'd make the elections more "interesting".

And how about an anti-legislature with the business of repealing laws?

And a pony? What about that?

Nah... I don't want the government to give me anything. After all... who would they take it from?

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