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3rd Party Vote Pledging

Allow candidates to pledge their votes to other candidates
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In the 2000 election, Nader cost Gore the election. If you don't think that, then allow it as a premise for discussion.

In New Hampshire, Bush won by less than the number of votes Nader received. What if Nader would have been allowed to assign his votes to Gore? Then Gore would have had a majority in NH and enough electors overall to win the election.

(NH is more interesting than Florida in that Nader had a larger percentage. Thus, if there was a cut-off for vote pledging at say 4%, Nader would still have been OK to pledge his votes)

Presumably, people voted for Nader for a reason, not just to thank him for his consumer advocacy. Those voters should have been entitled to have their voice heard too. The system in which a candidate may pledge his votes would allow that candidate to make a deal with the majority candidates. In the case of Nader, it could be to allow him a cabinet post, e.g., secretary of the interior.

In most other western democracies (the UK being a notable exception) smaller parties have a much greater percentage of the vote. Why? because even if they are not elected, they receive seats in the parliament. Thus, if you have opinions that are congruent with the Green Party, you can vote for the Greens without feeling that you are throwing away your vote. In 2004 most environmentalists voted for Kerry. Thus, the dismal performance of Cobb-LaMarche is not indicative of that there are that few people supporting Green Party agendas, but that they were afraid of throwing away their vote or helping Bush get re-elected. With the system of allowing candidates to pledge the votes they receive to other candidates, I suspect that people would vote their conscience and not for the one of two electable candidates they dislike the least.

Sorry about the convoluted post - I have the flu - when I am well, I may rewrite it to be more cogent.

Goesta Berling, Jan 07 2005

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       The reason people voted for Nader, is that they didn't want to vote for Gore, or Kerry. For all you know these voters would be upset with such a solution.   

       Also, saying that they should get a second chance at winning, after knowing the potential results, would give them an unfair advantage over other voters.   

       It's not very different then people who didn't vote at all -- what if 1000 people who provably did not vote showed up in Florida, and said they wanted to vote for Gore?
theircompetitor, Jan 07 2005
  

       I have to say nay to this, because even though I am all for supporting third parties this seems somewhat immoral, and more than a little dangerous. The only way I see this working would be "run-off" voting, where the second choice is left up to the voter, not the candidate   

       It's immoral because while i'm sure quite a lot of Nader voters would have happily taken Kerry, I doubt it was 100%. And in future races the third party split might not be so clear, and it wouldn't reflect the true intention of the voters.   

       It's dangerous because this seems like an easy way to cook up vote fraud. Independent or third party candidates could be run as Democratic/Republican "puppets" and plan to toss their votes one way or the other from the start, out of their own ideology or as extensions of the party. Sure they can already be used like puppets, like where republicans in some states signed Naders' petition to get on the ballot, but cementing it into the system seems like a bad plan.
druii_42, Jan 09 2005
  

       // while i'm sure quite a lot of Nader voters would have happily taken Kerry, I doubt it was 100%. //   

       Nor was it anywhere near 100% for Gore, which is why Nader didn't cost Gore the election in 2000.
waugsqueke, Jan 09 2005
  

       Is there a way to know that?
bristolz, Jan 09 2005
  
      
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