- Thermal Audit
Better ways to Vote
We are all familiar with the worst possible way to vote, the kind with check boxes where you pick your favorite. You may also notice that events like the Olympics (scoring) or the Heisman Trophy (ranking 1st, 2nd and 3rd) do not use this system.
The simplest method (my preference) is simply to check off all candidates that are acceptable since it is easy to understand, and prevents vote splitting. Vote splitting is where Superwoman and The Cod Father get 30% each, even though 60% would be happy with either one of them. Meanwhile, Mr. Harper gets 40% and wins. Multiple checkboxes would have ensured that Mr Harper was in last place where he belongs.
The person with the most votes wins, even if it is less than 50%. One variation is to have a runoff election if nobody gets more than 50% of the vote, and eliminate the weakest candidates. In the case above, the runoff election would be between Superwoman or the Codfather, and Harper. Harper would lose.
This system encourages a two party system. If most people have a favourite party (Conservative or Liberal, Democrat or Republican) they will seldom elect a 3rd party, even if that 3rd party was actually acceptable to all the voters.
Approval VotingThis method requires no changes to the ballot, other than to state "vote for all acceptable candidates" rather than "vote for 1 candidate". The real beauty lines in its simplicity and that anyone can understand it. It also makes it much more likely that a 3rd party could win. For example, if 50% like the conservatives and the green party, while 50% like the Liberals and the green party, the greens would win.
This method could also be used to elect a city council, with the most popular members being elected, and then offering the candidate with the most votes the position of mayor if he/she wants it.
Add a box for "None are acceptable" because there comes a time when voting for the lesser of the evils, is just voting for evil. If "None of the above" wins, all the candidates should be disqualified and a new election held with a new field of candidates.