Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

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Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby faranim » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:01 pm UTC

First of all, if you didn't already know, Gary Johnson is the Libertarian presidential candidate in the upcoming 2012 US general election.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/14/jesse ... ts-it-out/

In a segment Tuesday on CNN’s ‘Starting Point’ with Christine Romans, former wrestler and governor Jesse Ventura urged voters to consider Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson — but CNN edited that piece of the interview out of the internet coverage of the story.

At the conclusion of the interview, Ventura encourages people who “really want to rebel” against the tyranny of the two party system to vote for Johnson, a former governor and Republican candidate who won the Libertarian nomination in May.

In the CNN write-up and accompanying video posted on CNN’s website, which can be seen below, there is no mention of Johnson.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/14/jesse ... z1xsFO3lZG


Now personally, I love Johnson and will be voting for him in the general election (assuming the Ronpaul does not magically trump Romney in August for the Republican seat). And I agree with a lot of what Ventura said (putting party-affiliations on ballots enables uneducated voters to continue to blindly vote for "their" party, and it would be awesome if candidates had to wear Nascar suits with logos representing all the corporations which funded their campaign)

But I think the larger issue is the media-controlled two-party system, and what could be done to stop it. How can we break the mentality that voting for a third party is a "wasted vote" and that people who support third-parties are wacko nut jobs?

Note: I didn't see any sort of Politics sub-fora on here, so hopefully N&A is an acceptable place to post this. If there is a separate thread/place where we can talk about Johnson and/or the two-party system, I'd be fine to move that discussion there.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby lutzj » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:10 pm UTC

But I think the larger issue is the media-controlled two-party system, and what could be done to stop it. How can we break the mentality that voting for a third party is a "wasted vote" and that people who support third-parties are wacko nut jobs?


Ross Perot did a pretty good job. The problem is that you have to spend as much as the big parties do to compete. The good news is that, with SuperPACs, a competitive campaign could theoretically be financed by just a few especially convinced, wealthy people.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby jules.LT » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:20 pm UTC

faranim wrote:it would be awesome if candidates had to wear Nascar suits with logos representing all the corporations which funded their campaign

That would be tons of fun to watch :D
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Роберт » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:29 pm UTC

jules.LT wrote:
faranim wrote:it would be awesome if candidates had to wear Nascar suits with logos representing all the corporations which funded their campaign

That would be tons of fun to watch :D

That part did make me laugh.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby wumpus » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:13 pm UTC

faranim wrote:Now personally, I love Johnson and will be voting for him in the general election (assuming the Ronpaul does not magically trump Romney in August for the Republican seat). And I agree with a lot of what Ventura said (putting party-affiliations on ballots enables uneducated voters to continue to blindly vote for "their" party, and it would be awesome if candidates had to wear Nascar suits with logos representing all the corporations which funded their campaign)

So does this "Libertarian" have similar values as the Ronpaul in wanting to rid states of the "tyranny" of the US constitution in general and the bill of rights in particular? I've never understood why so-call libertarians are so up in arms to have states establish state religions, confiscate firearms, round up the Jews/blacks/gays (unfortunately serious about the gays, I think it's elsewhere in sound & fury...).

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby faranim » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:26 pm UTC

Johnson and the Ronpaul have similar views on most issues. And they are generally friendly with each other (when Johnson withdrew from the Republican primaries, he told his supporters to support the Ronpaul instead). Although when recently asked if the Ronpaul would endorse Johnson, he (Paul) said that his current focus is to change the views of the GOP rather than to support the Libertarian party. All of this may change after the actual Republication convention in August.

I'm not totally up to speed on what particular issues they differ on (I think Immigration is a big one, Johnson supports making immigration easy, while Paul is more of an isolationist). But the vast majority of their views are similar.

Anyone who wants to confiscate firearms or round up <demographic> is definitely not a Libertarian.

I am pretty sure that most the Ronpaul supporters dislike both Obama and Romney, and thus should be open to voting for Johnson in November.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:37 pm UTC

faranim wrote:But I think the larger issue is the media-controlled two-party system, and what could be done to stop it. How can we break the mentality that voting for a third party is a "wasted vote" and that people who support third-parties are wacko nut jobs?

For this, you're going to need to get rid of the first past the post system. Right now, people have prior examples (e.g. Nader in 2000) where voting with their heart caused the absolute worst electoral outcome (from their perspective). First past the post helps to ensure that the two candidates that appear to be the strongest stay such: why would you vote for someone polling at 10% of the vote if one of the better polling alternatives is significantly worse to you than the other? You'd be more likely to get an electoral outcome that you don't want by voting such.

I don't think this is particularly caused by the media either -- the media is just adapted to how people do think about the system.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Lucrece » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:47 pm UTC

Gary Johnson is NOT the Ronpaul. He doesn't want to dismantle entire departments and completely privatize healthcare, and he didn't lick fundamentalist ass by saying that he would support a federal marriage amendment if SCOTUS established same-sex marriage nationally.

Gary Johnson was KICKED by the Republican base for not pandering to social conservatives and extreme corporate interests, while the Ronpaul rushed to join that same Republican party that so far has done nothing but enlarge the federal government's powers contrary to what they say they believe. And, as I said before, the Ronpaul just didn't abandon the Libertarian party to join the Republican race, but he has pandered to social conservatives just as well with his positions on abortions and same sex marriage.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby faranim » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:59 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:why would you vote for someone polling at 10% of the vote if one of the better polling alternatives is significantly worse to you than the other?


Because voting for the lesser of 2 evils is still voting for evil. The only realistic methods we have available for ending the two-party system are:

1. Not voting for either of the 2 major parties
2. Donating my time and/or money to 3rd party candidates

The barrier is mostly psychological. A fairly recent gallup poll showed that 80% of Americans have no idea who Gary Johnson is, but when his name is included alongside Obamney, he got 7% of the total vote. Extrapolating purely from that incredibly limited dataset would indicate that among the 20% of people that know who Johnson is, roughly 30% of them would vote for him over Obamney. (Edit: this of course assumes that only people that know who Johnson is would vote for him)

Yes, I understand that the chance of Johnson (or any 3rd party) actually winning even a single electoral vote is slim to none. But I'm not voting for him to win. I'm voting for him because he best represents my ideas for the future of this country.

Anyone who says that a vote for Johnson is a vote "against" Obamney is disillusioned. A vote for Johnson is a vote for Johnson.
Last edited by faranim on Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:17 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby The Reaper » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:07 pm UTC

wumpus wrote:So does this "Libertarian" have similar values as the Ronpaul in wanting to rid states of the "tyranny" of the US constitution in general and the bill of rights in particular?

No. Fascism of the states isn't one of his goals.

wumpus wrote: I've never understood why so-call libertarians are so up in arms to have states establish state religions, confiscate firearms, round up the Jews/blacks/gays (unfortunately serious about the gays, I think it's elsewhere in sound & fury...).

I don't know why you'd attribute any of those to libertarians. Note: Tea Party != Libertarians.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:28 pm UTC

faranim wrote:The only realistic methods we have available for ending the two-party system are:

1. Not voting for either of the 2 major parties
2. Donating my time and/or money to 3rd party candidates

The barrier is mostly psychological.

You mean except for what I pointed out as the best option -- your "realistic methods" miss the fact that 98.6% of presidential voters in 2008 (129,391,711 votes out of 131,240,456) voted for a democrat or republican; you would need to convince around 1/3 of them to not vote tactically for your system to work. That is not "realistic" to do when people understand how important the electoral outcomes can be to their lives.

This is not a psychological problem; this a problem wherein people are deciding to vote with their brain instead of their hearts. There is no electorally sound reason reason to vote for someone that will not win if you find one of the two front runners to be far worse than the other. First past the post ensures that this will always be the situation that voters face. If you want to change that situation -- wherein voting for who you most want to win is not necessarily tactically unwise -- then you need to change the voting system. First past the post will tend to result in two party systems. You want to end the two party system, then you want to implement a new voting system: anything else is almost certain to fail. This is just how the system works -- I don't like it, but my solution is to try to convince people of the superiority of other systems that we could implement; they're a significantly more realistic* solution that won't last for just a single election, but will stay in place across elections, not being tied to individual candidates or parties.

* California implemented a new "Jungle Primary" system this year for representatives (unsure of senators?) that is a solid improvement, so you definitely can get the system to change.

faranim wrote:A fairly recent gallup poll showed that 80% of Americans have no idea who Gary Johnson is, but when his name is included alongside Obamney, he got 7% of the total vote. Extrapolating purely from that incredibly limited dataset would indicate that among the 20% of people that know who Johnson is, roughly 30% of them would vote for him over Obamney.

This is just poor analysis of data. It could mean many things: maybe none of the people who had heard of Johnson said they would vote for him, and the 7% who did pick him just wanted to express their disdain for Obama and Romney? We have no additional data to say one or the other is the correct analysis.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby iamspen » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:38 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:Note: Tea Party != Libertarians.


Like it or not, even though you an I know better, the Tea Partiers proclaim themselves libertarian, and it's something we're just going to have to deal with (mainly by calling them out as the willfully ignorant reactionists they are).

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby faranim » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:50 pm UTC

You don't think that strategic voting is a psychological effect? The entire premise of strategical voting is that you have fore-knowledge of the expected outcome of the election before you vote (e.g. straw polls), which influences your decision who to vote for.

There is no electorally sound reason reason to vote for someone that will not win if you find one of the two front runners to be far worse than the other


In this particular election, I think both of the front runners and the parties backing them are garbage. And from my totally anecdotal evidence, a large percentage of Americans also dislike both of the front runners.

Edit: Also, only something like 55% of eligible voters actually voted in the 2008 presidential election. It seems likely that many people simply don't vote when they dislike all the candidates. Again, this is all a huge psychological barrier to voting (e.g. I live in a blue state which historically votes Democratic 60%-40%, therefore my vote is worthless, therefore I shouldn't even bother to vote).

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby wumpus » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:09 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:[
I don't know why you'd attribute any of those to libertarians. Note: Tea Party != Libertarians.


I'm not attributing them to libertarians. My point was: Ron Paul != libertarian. He seems to be more a confederate than any other political thought in the US (although the Constitution of the Confederacy had less states rights than the US's).

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby faranim » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:13 pm UTC

There is a word filter (e.g. cheesegrater) that converts the text "R o n P a u l" into "t h e R o n p a u l" whenever you post.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:17 pm UTC

faranim wrote:You don't think that strategic voting is a psychological effect?

Not particularly, no. It's the result of people making an analysis of the data available to them. It'd be a psychological effect if they were falling victim to marketing or such, but tactical voting is just somebody making the most logical choice available to them with the data provided to them.

faranim wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:There is no electorally sound reason reason to vote for someone that will not win if you find one of the two front runners to be far worse than the other.

In this particular election, I think both of the front runners and the parties backing them are garbage. And from my totally anecdotal evidence, a large percentage of Americans also dislike both of the front runners.

You seem to have missed a rather important conditional attached to my statement here; I have underlined it for emphasis. If you don't consider one of Obama or Romney to be far worse than the other, then it obviously doesn't apply to you since you did not meet the conditional. Also, anecdotes aren't evidence at all.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby folkhero » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:22 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:This is not a psychological problem; this a problem wherein people are deciding to vote with their brain instead of their hearts. There is no electorally sound reason reason to vote for someone that will not win if you find one of the two front runners to be far worse than the other. First past the post ensures that this will always be the situation that voters face.

I agree that the voting system strongly favors a two party system, but I think you go too far when you say there is no sound reason to vote for a third party. If a significant portion of the population votes for a 3rd party (say 10% vote Libertarian) then it can signal to the 2 major parties that there are votes to be had if they swing their positions more toward the position of the third party. I think you're also wrong that it will always be the situation faced by voters, for many voters, the two parties or two candidates may often be similarly intolerable. In this election in particular, I have the feeling that there are plenty of people who dread 4 more years of Obama about as much as 4 or 8 years of Romney.

As for Gary Johnson, I'm not really thrilled that he's getting endorsed by Ventura, or that he goes on the Alex Jones show. I guess he needs all the name recognition he can get, but associating with fringe (conspiracy theorist) people will only further people's assumptions that he is a fringe candidate.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:44 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:I agree that the voting system strongly favors a two party system, but I think you go too far when you say there is no sound reason to vote for a third party. If a significant portion of the population votes for a 3rd party (say 10% vote Libertarian) then it can signal to the 2 major parties that there are votes to be had if they swing their positions more toward the position of the third party. I think you're also wrong that it will always be the situation faced by voters, for many voters, the two parties or two candidates may often be similarly intolerable. In this election in particular, I have the feeling that there are plenty of people who dread 4 more years of Obama about as much as 4 or 8 years of Romney.

This is why I put in the conditional of "[...] if you find one of the two front runners to be far worse than the other."! If you find leading candidate A far better (or worse) than leading candidate B, then the most strategically sound decision for voting is to vote for the candidate you find more acceptable. If you find them relatively equally acceptable (or find the difference negligible), then I agree that it is worth your time to vote for a different candidate, even if that candidate's chances of victory are minimal, for precisely the reasons you mentioned. It is better to vote for someone not at the top of the pack than it is to not vote at all -- but it's also even better to vote for the leading candidate you prefer, if you have a preference between the two of them.

faranim wrote:Edit: Also, only something like 55% of eligible voters actually voted in the 2008 presidential election. It seems likely that many people simply don't vote when they dislike all the candidates.

Forgot to respond to this. You might want to look at the historical data we have available. Significant non-major party performances were in 1992 (best performance by vote total), 1968, and 1980. None of those years appear to have done particularly better for voter turnout than the years around them, however; 1968 had a lower turnout than the elections before it in 1960 or 1964, though higher than 1972, which appeared to be setting a new "normal" at ~55%, at the same time 1980 isn't better than 1972, 1976, or 1988, and 1992, while doing better than the years in its immediate vicinity doesn't manage to outdo 2004 or 2008. Judging by that, the best conclusion we have is that voter turnout is relatively constant, regardless of the presence (or lack thereof) of stronger performing candidates outside of the two major parties.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby omgryebread » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:36 am UTC

faranim wrote:In this particular election, I think both of the front runners and the parties backing them are garbage. And from my totally anecdotal evidence, a large percentage of Americans also dislike both of the front runners.

Edit: Also, only something like 55% of eligible voters actually voted in the 2008 presidential election. It seems likely that many people simply don't vote when they dislike all the candidates. Again, this is all a huge psychological barrier to voting (e.g. I live in a blue state which historically votes Democratic 60%-40%, therefore my vote is worthless, therefore I shouldn't even bother to vote).
People don't like politicians, full stop. Third party candidates get a bump from being "the other guy". If Johnson's numbers started surging for some reason, he'd have the machines hit him hard.

Gary Johnson wants to tax poor people more, mess with your Medicare, cut education funding, is soft on illegal immigration, wants to cut farm subsidies, legalize marijuana, and let private companies screen you at the airport. Gary Johnson is for legal abortion! Gary Johnson wants to restrict abortion! Gary Johnson is against stem cell research, and for gay marriage. He's weak on defense. He's against net neutrality. (He thinks government shouldn't control the internet. Big companies controlling it is all good though.)


A lot of people misinterpret the political spectrum in America. Not everyone accepts the premise that government always decreases liberty. A central belief for a lot of liberals, including myself, believe that government action increases freedom. I truly believe that Obama's policies lead to more people being more free than Johnson's would. Johnson doesn't believe in freedom from poverty, or freedom from corporations, things that government can and should help provide.

On the flip side, the "unholy alliance" of the right isn't so unholy. The rich business people making up the economic voters of the GOP tend to be older white straight men, with a decent chance of being more socially conservative, or at least apathetic on social issues. Likewise, the religious conservatives tend to believe in a religious mandate for the harsh form of capitalism that the GOP supports. The theology of white evangelical churches actually supports regressive taxes and low funding of social programs.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Qaanol » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:00 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
faranim wrote:But I think the larger issue is the media-controlled two-party system, and what could be done to stop it. How can we break the mentality that voting for a third party is a "wasted vote" and that people who support third-parties are wacko nut jobs?

For this, you're going to need to get rid of the first past the post system. Right now, people have prior examples (e.g. Nader in 2000) where voting with their heart caused the absolute worst electoral outcome (from their perspective). First past the post helps to ensure that the two candidates that appear to be the strongest stay such: why would you vote for someone polling at 10% of the vote if one of the better polling alternatives is significantly worse to you than the other? You'd be more likely to get an electoral outcome that you don't want by voting such.

Right, our current Plurality voting system is deeply flawed. It entrenches the 2-party system by providing an incentive for people to go against their top choice, it suffers from vote-splitting spoiler effects that cause the most-preferred candidate to lose, and the results fail to show the true level of support for candidates because most people don’t want to “waste” their vote on a third-party.

There is, however, a way to eliminate the spoiler effect, make the best strategy be to vote sincerely, count all the votes so none are wasted, and have the result show the actual number of supporters for each candidate. Moreover, this method is extremely simple to use, it does not even require changing what our ballots look like, and it makes sure all voters count equally.

The method is Approval Voting, and here is how it works: each candidate gets treated as a separate question, “Do you approve of this person for the job?” Then whoever receives the most Yes votes wins. Using Approval Voting, everyone gets the same number of votes: one per candidate, either for or against. This lets voters weigh in on all candidates, and elects the one with the most supporters. Approval Voting completely eliminates the spoiler effect and ensures the winner will be the person with the highest voter approval rating.

The US Constitution gives each state the power to decide the manner in which it holds elections, so we can push for Approval Voting on a state-by-state basis. We can remind Democrats about the 2000 election where Al Gore lost because of the spoiler effect. We can mention to Republicans that Libertarian candidates are rising in popularity and are likely split votes away in the near future. We can tell Independents and third-parties that Approval Voting will mean people stop thinking of them as “wasted votes”, so they will see their true number of supporters in the final tally.

And of course we can inform voters in general that with Approval Voting they will always be able to freely vote for their top choices, they will get to weigh in on all the candidates, and whichever one has the most supporters will win, so that election outcomes will better reflect the Will of the People.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:31 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:Right, our current Plurality voting system is deeply flawed. It entrenches the 2-party system by providing an incentive for people to go against their top choice, it suffers from vote-splitting spoiler effects that cause the most-preferred candidate to lose, and the results fail to show the true level of support for candidates because most people don’t want to “waste” their vote on a third-party.

There is, however, a way to eliminate the spoiler effect, make the best strategy be to vote sincerely, count all the votes so none are wasted, and have the result show the actual number of supporters for each candidate. Moreover, this method is extremely simple to use, it does not even require changing what our ballots look like, and it makes sure all voters count equally.

The method is Approval Voting,[...]

Yeah, my solution from the start has been to implement a better voting method than our current first-past-the-post system. Approval voting is one option, as are instant runoff, range voting, two round voting, and even some moderately complicated systems like the Schulze method. I don't know enough to be able to say which of those is "best", but it's my understanding that they would all be, more or less, superior to our current first-past-the-post. A two round system would probably be the easiest to implement and get people to understand and support, but some of the others look like they would be more robust overall. I would like to see California expand their two round(ish) system out to all state-wide elections -- if it ends well for them (and it seems to me that it will with the current setup), then it might encourage other states to follow.

It also doesn't help in the US that the electoral college setup accentuates the problems of FPTP even further: now instead of needing to worry about getting your candidate to win overall, you need to also make sure they win in the area where you're voting at as well.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Qaanol » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:57 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Yeah, my solution from the start has been to implement a better voting method than our current first-past-the-post system. Approval voting is one option, as are instant runoff, range voting, two round voting, and even some moderately complicated systems like the Schulze method. I don't know enough to be able to say which of those is "best", but it's my understanding that they would all be, more or less, superior to our current first-past-the-post. A two round system would probably be the easiest to implement and get people to understand and support, but some of the others look like they would be more robust overall.

Well, IRV (and Borda, and Condorcet, and all methods where voters rank candidates from best to worst) are constrained by Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, which means those systems necessarily must still have spoiler effects, and the fear of “wasting a vote” that our current plurality system has, so they are less likely to show the true Will of the People. They are also much more complicated to use, tally, and comprehend the results of.

Two-round plurality voting is only a slight improvement, tending to a 3-party system instead of a 2-party system, and it makes for substantially more hassle and cost on account of running a whole second election.

Range voting is in theory the highest quality single-winner voting system, but when the range has more than 2 options the ballots are more complicated, and some votes are worth more than others. On the other hand when there are exactly 2 options in the range, then it is simple to use, ballots look the same as they do now, all votes count equally, and it is in fact identical to Approval Voting.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby omgryebread » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:31 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:The US Constitution gives each state the power to decide the manner in which it holds elections, so we can push for Approval Voting on a state-by-state basis. We can remind Democrats about the 2000 election where Al Gore lost because of the spoiler effect. We can mention to Republicans that Libertarian candidates are rising in popularity and are likely split votes away in the near future. We can tell Independents and third-parties that Approval Voting will mean people stop thinking of them as “wasted votes”, so they will see their true number of supporters in the final tally.

And of course we can inform voters in general that with Approval Voting they will always be able to freely vote for their top choices, they will get to weigh in on all the candidates, and whichever one has the most supporters will win, so that election outcomes will better reflect the Will of the People.
The problem with going on a state by state basis is still the spoiler effect, writ large onto the national scale.

Say one of the light blue states switches over, like New Hampshire. Those wily and unpredictable New Hampshirites might actually elect a moderate third party candidate, likely meaning the Democratic candidate is going to lose 4 electoral votes, yet since only NH has switched, that's not going to make the third party candidate any more viable at all, but it is going to help the Republican. In other words, assuming most of the people who voted for the third party candidate liked the Democrat better than the Republican, they voted badly. You haven't eliminated strategic voting for New Hampshirites (is that the right noun?), you've just added a step of complexity. It also means that no Democratic legislature in NH is going to vote for switching their voting method (assuming they just take political benefits into account.) Republicans shouldn't either if they control the legislature. If you had a weak Democratic candidate for president, under the current system, the Republicans could win NH's vote. With AV, the 4 votes might go to a third party moderate. The only time a legislature would be voting strategically to switch to AV voting is if they controlled the legislature in a state that is very much the other party's turf, which is of course very unlikely.

Even assuming there's a third party candidate I like more than the Democratic candidate (I'm almost positive there never will be), I would never advocate for my state, or any other state that isn't bright red, to switch to AV, unless the whole country did. A national law would be unconstitutional, so you'd need an amendment to switch from first past the post, because Article II, section 1 grants the power to choose electors to the states.

You could also, I suppose, do an interstate compact, where every state passes a law that says they'll switch to AV voting when the other 49 states do. Then of course a state with electoral reform on the mind has to judge whether they care more about voting method or more about ending the Electoral College, since there's already the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.


Lastly, in defense of FPTP, it reduces the chance of extremist parties, like the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, or Jobbik in Hungary. (At this point, Jobbik might be big enough to not need Hungary's runoff elections to be a large party). It also means you don't need coalition or minority governments, meaning an effective and coherent cabinet, and no chance of the government falling apart. It also gives a viable opposition party. It's not that Canada's conservatives are well-loved, or legislative and electoral masterminds. It's that the Opposition isn't coherent.

FPTP forces parties to be broad. No matter how much the rest of the party hates him, the GOP needs people like Michael Bloomberg, and the Democrats need Ben "Cornhusker Kickback" Nelson. This encourages intra-party conversation and allows for a smoother evolution of views. Look at how drastically the two American parties have changed.

Even multiparty systems tend towards a facsimile of a two party system, with two large parties and third parties falling in various places along the spectrum, or two nebulous coalitions on opposite sides of the spectrum. Or one dominant coalition/party, and a broken opposition, like in Malaysia, where the Barisan Nasional, something between a coalition and a party, wins strongly, and the only debate is within its member parties. (Malaysia is FPTP in their elections, I'm using them to show that multiparty isn't always superior. Despite the flaws of what's effectively a single party system, the BN is a decent example of my argument that FPTP encourages broad parties.)

And despite how bad the spoiler effect feels to us, a lot of the alternate systems have some unappealing things. Range voting fails the majority criterion, which states that if over 50% of voters prefer a candidate, that candidate should win.

I don't mind FPTP, and in fact, I'd probably prefer to keep it rather than get Approval or Range voting. If I had to choose a method over FPTP though, I'd probably go with Bucklin Voting. It passes the majority criterion and is monotonic, and if you eliminate bullet voting, you don't have strategic voting.

Bucklin explained:
Spoiler:
This is actually a specific variant of Bucklin voting that I'd prefer. It's very similiar to Majority Judgement, but I wouldn't allow skipped ranks. Each voter ranks the candidates with a number. Candidates can share the same rank, but a rank cannot be skipped, so you if you have a candidate ranked 3, you must have ones ranked 1 and 2. Voters must rank every candidate. In the first round of counting, the first choices are tallied, and if one candidate has a majority, they win. If there's no majority winner, then the second choices are added to the first. If a majority is found, the candidate with the most votes wins. Since in the second round and beyond, there are more voters than candidates, more than one candidate can have a majority, so you take the one with more votes.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Qaanol » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:59 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Qaanol wrote:The US Constitution gives each state the power to decide the manner in which it holds elections, so we can push for Approval Voting on a state-by-state basis. We can remind Democrats about the 2000 election where Al Gore lost because of the spoiler effect. We can mention to Republicans that Libertarian candidates are rising in popularity and are likely split votes away in the near future. We can tell Independents and third-parties that Approval Voting will mean people stop thinking of them as “wasted votes”, so they will see their true number of supporters in the final tally.

And of course we can inform voters in general that with Approval Voting they will always be able to freely vote for their top choices, they will get to weigh in on all the candidates, and whichever one has the most supporters will win, so that election outcomes will better reflect the Will of the People.
The problem with going on a state by state basis is still the spoiler effect, writ large onto the national scale.

Say one of the light blue states switches over, like New Hampshire. Those wily and unpredictable New Hampshirites might actually elect a moderate third party candidate, likely meaning the Democratic candidate is going to lose 4 electoral votes, yet since only NH has switched, that's not going to make the third party candidate any more viable at all, but it is going to help the Republican. In other words, assuming most of the people who voted for the third party candidate liked the Democrat better than the Republican, they voted badly. You haven't eliminated strategic voting for New Hampshirites (is that the right noun?), you've just added a step of complexity. It also means that no Democratic legislature in NH is going to vote for switching their voting method (assuming they just take political benefits into account.) Republicans shouldn't either if they control the legislature. If you had a weak Democratic candidate for president, under the current system, the Republicans could win NH's vote. With AV, the 4 votes might go to a third party moderate. The only time a legislature would be voting strategically to switch to AV voting is if they controlled the legislature in a state that is very much the other party's turf, which is of course very unlikely.

Yes, for the presidential election, Approval Voting would do better if adopted by many states together. But for electing senators, representatives, governors, state legislators, and so forth, Approval Voting can be done at the state level.

For the presidential election, the National Popular Vote initiative is already well on its way. Once that gets in place, which I strongly expect will happen in the next decade or so, and once states use Approval Voting for other elections, then I think it will be possible to switch the whole country over.

omgryebread wrote:And despite how bad the spoiler effect feels to us, a lot of the alternate systems have some unappealing things. Range voting fails the majority criterion, which states that if over 50% of voters prefer a candidate, that candidate should win.

The majority criterion is the wrong standard to use, if you want election outcomes to represent the collective Will of the People. This is for the same reason that the Condorcet condition is the wrong condition to use. Namely, if 51% of people like candidate A best and candidate B almost as much, while the other 49% of people like candidate B best and absolutely despise candidate A, then clearly candidate A is not the best person to represent the voters as a whole. Candidate B is a much better choice, as the entire electorate thinks highly of candidate B.

omgryebread wrote:I don't mind FPTP, and in fact, I'd probably prefer to keep it rather than get Approval or Range voting. If I had to choose a method over FPTP though, I'd probably go with Bucklin Voting. It passes the majority criterion and is monotonic, and if you eliminate bullet voting, you don't have strategic voting.

Bucklin explained:
Spoiler:
This is actually a specific variant of Bucklin voting that I'd prefer. It's very similiar to Majority Judgement, but I wouldn't allow skipped ranks. Each voter ranks the candidates with a number. Candidates can share the same rank, but a rank cannot be skipped, so you if you have a candidate ranked 3, you must have ones ranked 1 and 2. Voters must rank every candidate. In the first round of counting, the first choices are tallied, and if one candidate has a majority, they win. If there's no majority winner, then the second choices are added to the first. If a majority is found, the candidate with the most votes wins. Since in the second round and beyond, there are more voters than candidates, more than one candidate can have a majority, so you take the one with more votes.

For an even more striking example of why the majority criterion is wrong, consider a 3-person race between A, B, and C. The voters fall into two groups.
51% of voters rate the candidates like this: A = 100, B = 90, C = 0
49% of voters rate the candidates like this: A = 0, B = 90, C = 100

Now in a straight majority choice, candidate A will take 51% of the vote and candidate C will take 49%, while candidate B will get zero votes. However it should be obvious that B is far and away the best choice to represent the voters. Yet under Plurality, or Majority Judgment, or your Bucklin variant, candidate B will not receive a single vote. Any voting system that can reasonably be expected to take the best candidate, and wind up with that person getting no votes, is seriously flawed.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:36 am UTC

I'd just like to point out that Lincoln won with 39.9% of the vote. And due to the electoral college system, even if every singly vote that didn't go to Lincoln had gone to 1 candidate, Lincoln still would've won.

Sometimes flawed systems work out in your favor.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Thesh » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:40 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:51% of voters rate the candidates like this: A = 100, B = 90, C = 0
49% of voters rate the candidates like this: A = 0, B = 90, C = 100


I don't think that's a very realistic situation, where the population would be polarized on two candidates but are almost entirely agreed on a third. Yes, IRV and its variants have flaws, but there is a point where you just have to take complexity into account. Range voting is like minarchism or communism: it works if everyone is perfect, but when you add real people to the equation it starts to break down. Assigning scores to candidates is arbitrary and will be done inconsistently across the voters. Many will just end up putting the max value for the candidates they want, and 0 for the rest, others will just use the numbers to rank the candidates, and others will try and figure out arbitrary scores for the candidate.

If you choose simpler rankings like really dislike, dislike, neutral, like, and really like to make it easier for the voters to determine ranks, you lose many the benefits, still don't stop putting one candidate as really like and the rest really dislike, and are unable to express preference for more than 5 candidates.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby omgryebread » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:40 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:For an even more striking example of why the majority criterion is wrong, consider a 3-person race between A, B, and C. The voters fall into two groups.
51% of voters rate the candidates like this: A = 100, B = 90, C = 0
49% of voters rate the candidates like this: A = 0, B = 90, C = 100

Now in a straight majority choice, candidate A will take 51% of the vote and candidate C will take 49%, while candidate B will get zero votes. However it should be obvious that B is far and away the best choice to represent the voters. Yet under Plurality, or Majority Judgment, or your Bucklin variant, candidate B will not receive a single vote. Any voting system that can reasonably be expected to take the best candidate, and wind up with that person getting no votes, is seriously flawed.
If you have strategic voters, range voting is not perfect here either. In an election with all-strategic voters, A wins this election. Provided some polling suggests (and it will) that A is more popular than C, but B is broadly well liked by supporters of both A and C, then A voters should rank B as 0. Range voting is highly susceptible to strategic voting, and indeed, any voter should rank all except their number 1 choice at 0.


Thesh's criticism of range voting is also valid: it assumes approval of a candidate can be quantified, and that all voters will use the same metric for quantifying it. And I agree that the situation seems very unlikely.

Voters don't tend to rank politicians on a scale of "they agree with me on X positions, disagree with my on Y" and use that to calculate their approval. My agreement with Johnson on drug policy doesn't come anywhere close in importance to my disagreement on health care. In fact, his position on health care would cause me to honestly (not strategically) give him a 0, or perhaps a 1 or 2 to put my preference of him over Romney. Many voters would 0 a politician who supports abortion. If A and C voters agree that strongly, there's clearly some very big differences between the two. I don't see how a B could exist that straddles the divide that well.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Qaanol » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:08 am UTC

@omgryebread:

Spoiler:
omgryebread wrote:
Qaanol wrote:For an even more striking example of why the majority criterion is wrong, consider a 3-person race between A, B, and C. The voters fall into two groups.
51% of voters rate the candidates like this: A = 100, B = 90, C = 0
49% of voters rate the candidates like this: A = 0, B = 90, C = 100

Now in a straight majority choice, candidate A will take 51% of the vote and candidate C will take 49%, while candidate B will get zero votes. However it should be obvious that B is far and away the best choice to represent the voters. Yet under Plurality, or Majority Judgment, or your Bucklin variant, candidate B will not receive a single vote. Any voting system that can reasonably be expected to take the best candidate, and wind up with that person getting no votes, is seriously flawed.
If you have strategic voters, range voting is not perfect here either. In an election with all-strategic voters, A wins this election. Provided some polling suggests (and it will) that A is more popular than C, but B is broadly well liked by supporters of both A and C, then A voters should rank B as 0. Range voting is highly susceptible to strategic voting, and indeed, any voter should rank all except their number 1 choice at 0.

Your last sentence here is objectively and unambiguously wrong. Take the simple case of 2-range voting, aka Approval Voting. The best strategy for a rational voter is to calculate, based on pre-election polling or whatever other method, how likely each candidate is to win, and use that along with their internal preference for each candidate to determine the expected value of the election for them based on the information they have. Then vote for all candidate they like better than than expected outcome.

Your claim amounts to, “In Approval Voting, people who rate Ralph Nader at 100, Al Gore at 90, and George W. Bush at 0, should vote only for Ralph Nader.” That is clearly false, because even in plurality where you are forced to vote for exactly one candidate, the best and most common strategy for those voters was to vote for Al Gore. Under Approval Voting, it is foolish to think those voters would suddenly abandon Al Gore, and much more reasonable to expect they would approve of both Nader and Gore.

Furthermore, with the election as I described it, with the two groups being so close in number that it is essentially a coin-flip to guess which group will have higher actual turn-out, any given voter would be a fool to disapprove of B. This voter thinks B is great, certainly much better than that awful opposing candidate, and would be entirely happy for B to win.

In other words, polling will not show that A is significantly more popular than C, because that is not the case. They are almost evenly split, and on any given day the numbers could jump several points one way or the other based on recent events, or just who feels motivated to actually vote. That is to say, C is just as likely as A to win in a plurality vote, as far as anyone can predict.

omgryebread wrote:Thesh's criticism of range voting is also valid: it assumes approval of a candidate can be quantified, and that all voters will use the same metric for quantifying it. And I agree that the situation seems very unlikely.

Your argument here is a strawman, even though you may not realize it. Yes, you are absolutely correct that individuals’ internal rating for voters are not on the same scale as each other, and that there is no voting system that will accurately measure it. The point is, even given all those short-comings and also accounting for the fact that real voters exaggerate there ratings at least enough to put their favorite at 1.0 and their least favorite at 0.0, range voting still does the best job of electing the candidate who best represents the collective will of the people.

That is to say, an omniscient being who could magically add up all the voters’ true ratings for each candidate using a uniform scale, would be able to say which candidate has the highest level of voter support. Then, looking at the results of thousands and thousands of elections, that being would be able to say, on average, how much worse of candidates are elected by Range Voting than the magical best winner would be, in terms of total voter support. And the being could do the same for Approval Voting, and for Plurality, and IRV, and Borda, and Condorcet, and every other election system. And then the being could compare the results, and say how well each voting system does in terms of electing the most-supported candidates.

And when you run computer simulations where you get to be that omniscient being, and the voters get to behave in their own best interest to an extent programmed by you, it turns out that Range Voting and Approval Voting are very close together at the top of the list. The other voting systems are much further back, especially when the voters are highly strategic. And when the voters are highly strategic, Range Voting has almost no improvement over Approval Voting anyway.

So Approval Voting is among the very best election systems for picking the most-preferred candidate, and it is extremely simple to use.


omgryebread wrote:Voters don't tend to rank politicians on a scale of "they agree with me on X positions, disagree with my on Y" and use that to calculate their approval. My agreement with Johnson on drug policy doesn't come anywhere close in importance to my disagreement on health care. In fact, his position on health care would cause me to honestly (not strategically) give him a 0, or perhaps a 1 or 2 to put my preference of him over Romney. Many voters would 0 a politician who supports abortion.

Are you intentionally contradicting yourself here? You start by saying “Voters do not do XYZ”. And then you say, “I would do XYZ, and many other people would do XYZ”. In fact, you seem to be saying that yes, voters do often base their opinions of politicians based on issue positions. There are other factors besides traditional “issues”, to be sure, but the fact remains that, by whatever means a voter comes to have an opinion of a candidate, voters do in fact have opinions on candidates.

omgryebread wrote:If A and C voters agree that strongly, there's clearly some very big differences between the two. I don't see how a B could exist that straddles the divide that well.

It was an example with intentionally-exaggerated numbers. Change the ratings to “A=70, B=65, C=40” for group 1, and “A=40, B=65, C=70” for group 2, still with a 51-49 split, meaning it’s so close that going into the polling booths you don’t have any way to know which group really will have more voters turn out.


But anyway, back on topic, yeah, CNN is kinda mean for omitting a high-profile endorsement of a presidential candidate by a governor.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby sardia » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:31 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:@omgryebread:

Spoiler:
omgryebread wrote:
Qaanol wrote:For an even more striking example of why the majority criterion is wrong, consider a 3-person race between A, B, and C. The voters fall into two groups.
51% of voters rate the candidates like this: A = 100, B = 90, C = 0
49% of voters rate the candidates like this: A = 0, B = 90, C = 100

Now in a straight majority choice, candidate A will take 51% of the vote and candidate C will take 49%, while candidate B will get zero votes. However it should be obvious that B is far and away the best choice to represent the voters. Yet under Plurality, or Majority Judgment, or your Bucklin variant, candidate B will not receive a single vote. Any voting system that can reasonably be expected to take the best candidate, and wind up with that person getting no votes, is seriously flawed.
If you have strategic voters, range voting is not perfect here either. In an election with all-strategic voters, A wins this election. Provided some polling suggests (and it will) that A is more popular than C, but B is broadly well liked by supporters of both A and C, then A voters should rank B as 0. Range voting is highly susceptible to strategic voting, and indeed, any voter should rank all except their number 1 choice at 0.

Your last sentence here is objectively and unambiguously wrong. Take the simple case of 2-range voting, aka Approval Voting. The best strategy for a rational voter is to calculate, based on pre-election polling or whatever other method, how likely each candidate is to win, and use that along with their internal preference for each candidate to determine the expected value of the election for them based on the information they have. Then vote for all candidate they like better than than expected outcome.

Your claim amounts to, “In Approval Voting, people who rate Ralph Nader at 100, Al Gore at 90, and George W. Bush at 0, should vote only for Ralph Nader.” That is clearly false, because even in plurality where you are forced to vote for exactly one candidate, the best and most common strategy for those voters was to vote for Al Gore. Under Approval Voting, it is foolish to think those voters would suddenly abandon Al Gore, and much more reasonable to expect they would approve of both Nader and Gore.

Furthermore, with the election as I described it, with the two groups being so close in number that it is essentially a coin-flip to guess which group will have higher actual turn-out, any given voter would be a fool to disapprove of B. This voter thinks B is great, certainly much better than that awful opposing candidate, and would be entirely happy for B to win.

In other words, polling will not show that A is significantly more popular than C, because that is not the case. They are almost evenly split, and on any given day the numbers could jump several points one way or the other based on recent events, or just who feels motivated to actually vote. That is to say, C is just as likely as A to win in a plurality vote, as far as anyone can predict.

omgryebread wrote:Thesh's criticism of range voting is also valid: it assumes approval of a candidate can be quantified, and that all voters will use the same metric for quantifying it. And I agree that the situation seems very unlikely.

Your argument here is a strawman, even though you may not realize it. Yes, you are absolutely correct that individuals’ internal rating for voters are not on the same scale as each other, and that there is no voting system that will accurately measure it. The point is, even given all those short-comings and also accounting for the fact that real voters exaggerate there ratings at least enough to put their favorite at 1.0 and their least favorite at 0.0, range voting still does the best job of electing the candidate who best represents the collective will of the people.

That is to say, an omniscient being who could magically add up all the voters’ true ratings for each candidate using a uniform scale, would be able to say which candidate has the highest level of voter support. Then, looking at the results of thousands and thousands of elections, that being would be able to say, on average, how much worse of candidates are elected by Range Voting than the magical best winner would be, in terms of total voter support. And the being could do the same for Approval Voting, and for Plurality, and IRV, and Borda, and Condorcet, and every other election system. And then the being could compare the results, and say how well each voting system does in terms of electing the most-supported candidates.

And when you run computer simulations where you get to be that omniscient being, and the voters get to behave in their own best interest to an extent programmed by you, it turns out that Range Voting and Approval Voting are very close together at the top of the list. The other voting systems are much further back, especially when the voters are highly strategic. And when the voters are highly strategic, Range Voting has almost no improvement over Approval Voting anyway.

So Approval Voting is among the very best election systems for picking the most-preferred candidate, and it is extremely simple to use.


omgryebread wrote:Voters don't tend to rank politicians on a scale of "they agree with me on X positions, disagree with my on Y" and use that to calculate their approval. My agreement with Johnson on drug policy doesn't come anywhere close in importance to my disagreement on health care. In fact, his position on health care would cause me to honestly (not strategically) give him a 0, or perhaps a 1 or 2 to put my preference of him over Romney. Many voters would 0 a politician who supports abortion.

Are you intentionally contradicting yourself here? You start by saying “Voters do not do XYZ”. And then you say, “I would do XYZ, and many other people would do XYZ”. In fact, you seem to be saying that yes, voters do often base their opinions of politicians based on issue positions. There are other factors besides traditional “issues”, to be sure, but the fact remains that, by whatever means a voter comes to have an opinion of a candidate, voters do in fact have opinions on candidates.

omgryebread wrote:If A and C voters agree that strongly, there's clearly some very big differences between the two. I don't see how a B could exist that straddles the divide that well.

It was an example with intentionally-exaggerated numbers. Change the ratings to “A=70, B=65, C=40” for group 1, and “A=40, B=65, C=70” for group 2, still with a 51-49 split, meaning it’s so close that going into the polling booths you don’t have any way to know which group really will have more voters turn out.


But anyway, back on topic, yeah, CNN is kinda mean for omitting a high-profile endorsement of a presidential candidate by a governor.

I agree, but CNN isn't that great of a news organization. =\
OT: Why does every discussion involving 3rd parties end up talking about obscure and endless voting schemes that have even less chance of succeeding than an actual 3rd party candidate? It's like godwin's law for politics.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Qaanol » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:36 am UTC

sardia wrote:OT: Why does every discussion involving 3rd parties end up talking about obscure and endless voting schemes that have even less chance of succeeding than an actual 3rd party candidate? It's like godwin's law for politics.

The more we talk about voting systems, the less obscure they become. The more people learn about the options that are available, the more likely we are to change to a better voting system.

Right now, the vast majority of people in the US are either unaware, or only vaguely peripherally away, that alternative voting systems exist. Since almost all of those alternatives are superior to the plurality system we have in place, raising awareness of alternative systems is the first step to getting one of them enacted.

Approval Voting happens to be the best option and the simplest option, as it cures all the vote-splitting and vote-wasting problems of our current system, elects the candidate with the most supporters, and is extremely easy to implement, to use, and to get people to understand. It is also the fairest, because all votes count equally and everyone gets the same number of votes: one per candidate, either for or against.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby jareds » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:34 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:I don't mind FPTP, and in fact, I'd probably prefer to keep it rather than get Approval or Range voting. If I had to choose a method over FPTP though, I'd probably go with Bucklin Voting. It passes the majority criterion and is monotonic, and if you eliminate bullet voting, you don't have strategic voting. [emphasis by jareds]

Bucklin explained:
Spoiler:
This is actually a specific variant of Bucklin voting that I'd prefer. It's very similiar to Majority Judgement, but I wouldn't allow skipped ranks. Each voter ranks the candidates with a number. Candidates can share the same rank, but a rank cannot be skipped, so you if you have a candidate ranked 3, you must have ones ranked 1 and 2. Voters must rank every candidate. In the first round of counting, the first choices are tallied, and if one candidate has a majority, they win. If there's no majority winner, then the second choices are added to the first. If a majority is found, the candidate with the most votes wins. Since in the second round and beyond, there are more voters than candidates, more than one candidate can have a majority, so you take the one with more votes.

How do you figure? Because the Wikipedia page only talks about about bullet voting under the voter strategy section?

Consider the following true electoral preferences:
49 A > B > C
42 B > A > C
3 C > A > B
6 C > B > A

This is a Bucklin win for B on the second round, unless the CAB voters realize this and vote A first.

More perversely, if you force people not to bullet vote in a close election with two strong candidates, voters might counter by voting their preferred strong candidate first, their opposed strong candidate last, and filling the middle with candidates that "can't possibly win", one of whom therefore wins on the second round. E.g., take these true preferences
45 A > B > C
44 B > A > C
6 C > A > B
5 C > B > A
Suppose voters believe that it's likely that a few percent of voters will ignore strategy and vote C first; and thus a second round is likely. Then B voters have a strong incentive to vote BCA to hurt A in the second round, and in turn A voters have a strong incentive to vote ACB. If around 2/3 of A or B voters do this, equally between the groups, C will win (so if the voters are highly strategic, one might, for example, flip a coin to create a 50% chance of voting for ABC versus ACB). It is of course also possible for A or B to win due to one side being disproportionately more strategic rather than reflecting voter preferences.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:44 pm UTC

sardia wrote:CNN isn't that great of a news organization. =\

But it's the most honest major news organization in the US!

Those two statements aren't contradictory, and I made myself feel sad.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:42 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:Well, IRV (and Borda, and Condorcet, and all methods where voters rank candidates from best to worst) are constrained by Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, which means those systems necessarily must still have spoiler effects, and the fear of “wasting a vote” that our current plurality system has, so they are less likely to show the true Will of the People. They are also much more complicated to use, tally, and comprehend the results of.

Two-round plurality voting is only a slight improvement, tending to a 3-party system instead of a 2-party system, and it makes for substantially more hassle and cost on account of running a whole second election.

Range voting is in theory the highest quality single-winner voting system, but when the range has more than 2 options the ballots are more complicated, and some votes are worth more than others. On the other hand when there are exactly 2 options in the range, then it is simple to use, ballots look the same as they do now, all votes count equally, and it is in fact identical to Approval Voting.

All voting systems are going to have some flaws, otherwise we'd have a perfect system available and everyone would have already jumped on board for that. While ranking systems will have that failing, approval voting has its own flaws as well. Personally, I don't think complexity is that big of an issue -- there's always talk about people being too stupid, but in the end people are quite capable of dealing with a moderately complicated voting system. Some older voters that are unwilling to adapt might have trouble, but you know, fuck them anyway. The point of a two-round was just that it would be the easiest to implement and get people on board for, not that it would be the best option -- just a better option than what we have right now.

omgryebread wrote:Lastly, in defense of FPTP, it reduces the chance of extremist parties, like the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, or Jobbik in Hungary. (At this point, Jobbik might be big enough to not need Hungary's runoff elections to be a large party). It also means you don't need coalition or minority governments, meaning an effective and coherent cabinet, and no chance of the government falling apart. It also gives a viable opposition party. It's not that Canada's conservatives are well-loved, or legislative and electoral masterminds. It's that the Opposition isn't coherent.

FPTP forces parties to be broad. No matter how much the rest of the party hates him, the GOP needs people like Michael Bloomberg, and the Democrats need Ben "Cornhusker Kickback" Nelson. This encourages intra-party conversation and allows for a smoother evolution of views. Look at how drastically the two American parties have changed.

FPTP can also get us into situations like we're in in the US right now, where if Obama says that the sky is blue, republicans will leap out of the framework to vote for a bill declaring that the sky is and always has been red; I don't think it really does much over the alternatives to ensure that there is a functioning government that is able to reach consensus. We're also seeing the gerrymandering (a natural result of a two party system) resulting in far less moderate politicians -- the parties are slowly shifting to enforcing ideological purity (this is especially true of the republicans right now); the broad coalitions are not a guarantee of FPTP. In short, I don't really think any of those are particularly strong advantages for FPTP, and they certainly aren't worth the disadvantages, in my mind.

Also, I'm pretty sure Bloomberg is an independent...

sardia wrote:Why does every discussion involving 3rd parties end up talking about obscure and endless voting schemes that have even less chance of succeeding than an actual 3rd party candidate?

That's because it's the only way that 3rd parties will ever hold a consistent chance of victory or representation in government. I wouldn't really call it OT either, since the OP asked what could be done to make 3rd parties have an actual chance at winning.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby omgryebread » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:37 pm UTC

Spoiler:
jareds wrote:Consider the following true electoral preferences:
49 A > B > C
42 B > A > C
3 C > A > B
6 C > B > A

This is a Bucklin win for B on the second round, unless the CAB voters realize this and vote A first.
And the likelihood that the two major candidates are more similiar to each other than a third party (since the next most palatable choice to the major candidate's supporters is the other major candidate), yet there's a third party candidate who's supporters are split about their second choice? But yes, this is strategic voting that can game the election.

More perversely, if you force people not to bullet vote in a close election with two strong candidates, voters might counter by voting their preferred strong candidate first, their opposed strong candidate last, and filling the middle with candidates that "can't possibly win", one of whom therefore wins on the second round. E.g., take these true preferences
45 A > B > C
44 B > A > C
6 C > A > B
5 C > B > A
Suppose voters believe that it's likely that a few percent of voters will ignore strategy and vote C first; and thus a second round is likely. Then B voters have a strong incentive to vote BCA to hurt A in the second round, and in turn A voters have a strong incentive to vote ACB. If around 2/3 of A or B voters do this, equally between the groups, C will win (so if the voters are highly strategic, one might, for example, flip a coin to create a 50% chance of voting for ABC versus ACB). It is of course also possible for A or B to win due to one side being disproportionately more strategic rather than reflecting voter preferences.[/quote] You're also right here, though only if strategic voters don't account for other strategic voters. And again, this scenario seems rather unlikely.

These are all actually untested, by the way. The evidence in range voting is in large part the results of one computer simulation that conveniently ignored strategic voting.

Qaanol wrote:
omgryebread wrote:Voters don't tend to rank politicians on a scale of "they agree with me on X positions, disagree with my on Y" and use that to calculate their approval. My agreement with Johnson on drug policy doesn't come anywhere close in importance to my disagreement on health care. In fact, his position on health care would cause me to honestly (not strategically) give him a 0, or perhaps a 1 or 2 to put my preference of him over Romney. Many voters would 0 a politician who supports abortion.

Are you intentionally contradicting yourself here? You start by saying “Voters do not do XYZ”. And then you say, “I would do XYZ, and many other people would do XYZ”. In fact, you seem to be saying that yes, voters do often base their opinions of politicians based on issue positions. There are other factors besides traditional “issues”, to be sure, but the fact remains that, by whatever means a voter comes to have an opinion of a candidate, voters do in fact have opinions on candidates.
No, I'm saying that voters generally don't say "i have an X approval of candidate A, Y of candidate B, and Z of candidate C, where those are points along a scale. Voters have make or break issues. Range voting is unlikely, even with purely sincere voters, to have scores in the middle.

In range voting with sincere voting, Johnson would get a small number of high ratings from his actual supporters. He would then get a large number of low votes. Romney supporters would probably rank him just above Obama, and Obama voters rank him just above Romney. Let's say Johnson agrees with me on 40% of the issues. It doesn't mean I'd give him a 40, I'd probably give him a 2, because despite agreeing with him on significantly more issues than I do with Romney, I only view him as a marginally better president.


Ghostbear wrote:FPTP can also get us into situations like we're in in the US right now, where if Obama says that the sky is blue, republicans will leap out of the framework to vote for a bill declaring that the sky is and always has been red; I don't think it really does much over the alternatives to ensure that there is a functioning government that is able to reach consensus. We're also seeing the gerrymandering (a natural result of a two party system) resulting in far less moderate politicians -- the parties are slowly shifting to enforcing ideological purity (this is especially true of the republicans right now); the broad coalitions are not a guarantee of FPTP. In short, I don't really think any of those are particularly strong advantages for FPTP, and they certainly aren't worth the disadvantages, in my mind.

Also, I'm pretty sure Bloomberg is an independent...
And if Cameron says the sky is red, Lib Dems will reluctantly agree to stay in power, reaching a consensus, but not a very good one. If Stephen Harper says the sky is blue, then the NDP will say it's red, the Liberals will say it's purple, and the Bloc will say it's jaune.

Gerrymandering will occur under any system, it's a result of our bizarre redistricting policies.

Bloomberg is an independent who runs on the Republican ballot line.



I'm not sure how newsworthy a relatively non-notable governor endorsing a candidate with no chance to win is, but it's stupid that you'd cut the highest impact part of his interview.
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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby wumpus » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:59 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
sardia wrote:CNN isn't that great of a news organization. =\

But it's the most honest major news organization in the US!

Those two statements aren't contradictory, and I made myself feel sad.


The good news: There is one more honest (for some values of major).
The bad news: Its Christian Science Monitor (brought to you by the people who think using just prayer is better than actual medicine).

Maybe I'll go back to putting bbc.co.uk/americas back into my tab lists.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:20 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:And if Cameron says the sky is red, Lib Dems will reluctantly agree to stay in power, reaching a consensus, but not a very good one. If Stephen Harper says the sky is blue, then the NDP will say it's red, the Liberals will say it's purple, and the Bloc will say it's jaune.

I'm not sure how this refutes my statement that FPTP doesn't ensure that you will get a consensus government? I was pointing out that you still have trouble reaching consensus in FPTP, which you listed as an advantage it has; I don't think it does have that advantage.

omgryebread wrote:Gerrymandering will occur under any system, it's a result of our bizarre redistricting policies.

FPTP accentuates the issue of gerrymandering by making it more beneficial and easier to pull off. It is not a unique problem to FPTP, but FPTP makes it both a worse problem and a more likely problem.

wumpus wrote:The good news: There is one more honest (for some values of major).
The bad news: Its Christian Science Monitor (brought to you by the people who think using just prayer is better than actual medicine).

Maybe I'll go back to putting bbc.co.uk/americas back into my tab lists.

The best conclusion is to just not get your news from networked "news" sources.

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Re: Jesse Ventura endorses Gary Johnson, CNN edits it out

Postby jareds » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:19 pm UTC

omgryebread:
Spoiler:
omgryebread wrote:
jareds wrote:Consider the following true electoral preferences:
49 A > B > C
42 B > A > C
3 C > A > B
6 C > B > A

This is a Bucklin win for B on the second round, unless the CAB voters realize this and vote A first.
And the likelihood that the two major candidates are more similiar to each other than a third party (since the next most palatable choice to the major candidate's supporters is the other major candidate), yet there's a third party candidate who's supporters are split about their second choice? But yes, this is strategic voting that can game the election.

That is just a stylized example. If you want something with nicer political realism, we can do that. While this may remind you of real political parties, the numeric breakdown is completely fictional, but hopefully you find the listed preferences quite tenable. True preferences:
30 D > R > G > L
19 D > G > R > L
15 R > D > L > G
27 R > L > D > G
3 G > D > R > L
6 L > R > D > G
The major parties are D and R, which are centrist relative to G and L, which are generally regarded as holding extreme positions along the lines of D and R, respectively. Because the minor parties are extreme, the more moderate D and R voters prefer the other major party over both minor parties, while the more extreme D and R voters prefer their respective minor parties over the other major party. D has more of these moderate voters than R.
Obviously, in this scenario, R would be a strong winner in the second round, unless G voters strategically vote D first.
Additionally, if it's not certain that enough G voters will vote strategically, moderate D voters have a strong incentive to strategically rank R below G, and R voters in turn have an incentive to counter by ranking D below L.
Violating the Condorcet criterion always opens up the possibility of successful strategic voting under a system that respects the majority criterion: if the Condorcet winner, candidate A, is expected in advance to lose to candidate B, then voters who prefer A to B, which must constitute a majority by the definition of Condorcet winner, can therefore cause A to win anyway by voting strategically, which will be successful by the majority criterion.

omgryebread wrote:
jareds wrote:More perversely, if you force people not to bullet vote in a close election with two strong candidates, voters might counter by voting their preferred strong candidate first, their opposed strong candidate last, and filling the middle with candidates that "can't possibly win", one of whom therefore wins on the second round. E.g., take these true preferences
45 A > B > C
44 B > A > C
6 C > A > B
5 C > B > A
Suppose voters believe that it's likely that a few percent of voters will ignore strategy and vote C first; and thus a second round is likely. Then B voters have a strong incentive to vote BCA to hurt A in the second round, and in turn A voters have a strong incentive to vote ACB. If around 2/3 of A or B voters do this, equally between the groups, C will win (so if the voters are highly strategic, one might, for example, flip a coin to create a 50% chance of voting for ABC versus ACB). It is of course also possible for A or B to win due to one side being disproportionately more strategic rather than reflecting voter preferences.
You're also right here, though only if strategic voters don't account for other strategic voters. And again, this scenario seems rather unlikely.

I was accounting for strategic voters accounting for other strategic voters when I suggested flipping a coin. A and B voters are sort of in a Prisoner's Dilemma, where each side wants to have a higher proportion of C-ranked-second votes than the other side, without the average between the two side exceeding roughly 63%. In this light, flipping a coin to decide uniformly between ABC and ACB is quite cooperative.

omgryebread wrote:These are all actually untested, by the way. The evidence in range voting is in large part the results of one computer simulation that conveniently ignored strategic voting.

Yeah, I'm not that guy who goes on about how range voting is mathematically proven to be perfect. However, I tend to be very skeptical of alternative voting systems that are neither Condorcet methods nor range/approval methods.


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