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Negative vote

  (+48, -6)(+48, -6)(+48, -6)
(+48, -6)
  [vote for,
against]

The voting public needs the option of the negative vote. Say you don't like any one who is on the ballot, currently you have no choice but to either vote for someone you disagree with least, or not vote at all. With the option of the negative vote, you are able to take a vote away from the candidate that you most disagree with(or just plain dislike). This may even encourage increased voter registration, because those people who would rather not vote for a candidate that they do not totally support, would be more likey to "unvote" for a candidate that they most disagree with. Screw this "Rock the Vote" crap, Block the Vote.
bosco, Nov 01 2000

alternative voting systems http://bcn.boulder....alvote/altvote.html
Discussion of the pros and cons of several electoral schemes, most of which are much better than an FPP winner-takes-all system, even if you dress up FPP with wacky negative votes. [egnor, Nov 01 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Mathematics and Politics : Strategy, Voting, Power and Proof http://www.amazon.c...102-2654478-3645720
Intended to help humanities students through the math; does nicely as an intro for geeks to political theory. [hello_c, Nov 01 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       "Ralph Nader was elected president of the U.S. yesterday with a total of seventeen votes, far outdistancing rivals Al Gore and George Bush, whose vote totals both numbered in the negative millions."   

       disclaimer: Yes, I know it's electoral votes, not the popular vote that win the election.
beauxeault, Nov 01 2000
  

       How about adding a "no confidence" vote? Probably call it "none of the above" to make it understood...
bookworm, Nov 01 2000
  

       Yeah, yeah, gripe, moan, all the candidates suck, whatever. (Politics is all about compromise, deal with it.) What's supposed to happen when "no confidence" wins? The primary process restarts from scratch? This doesn't sound like it would terminate.   

       Anyway, if you're going radically reform the voting system, you might at least institute one of many well-thought-out alternative voting schemes. Specifically, a ranking system is generally much better (and more general) than a single positive or negative vote. See link.
egnor, Nov 01 2000
  

       Despite the way it's presented, the negative vote doesn't seem to be quite a "none of the above" vote, in that, f'r'instance, if I cast a vote "against" Bush I am effectively casting votes "for" Gore, Nader *and* Buchanan. It's more of a way to describe an "Anybody but X" vote.   

       As such, it might have applications in multi-candidate primaries, where the sight of an unpopular incumbent grabbing a plurality against divided opposition is not uncommon. The infamous former mayor of Washington D.C., Marion Barry, would have had a significantly shorter career if it weren't for the fortune of facing multiple opponents in the primaries.   

       (Also, FWIW, Nevada makes provisions for "None of the above" votes. NOTA votes are not counted towards determining the winner- whoever gets the most votes wins, even if he or she got clobbered by NOTA, so they'd never start again. Perhaps not too surprisingly, then, NOTA tends to finish down there with the Libertarians, though there have been exceptions.)
Uncle Nutsy, Nov 01 2000
  

       (but what happens in Nevada if NOTA gets the most votes?)
hello_c, Nov 02 2000
  

       There's always a "None of the above" option: abstaining. Go to the polls, vote in those elections where there's a candidate you support, and leave the rest untouched. In extreme cases, go to the polls and vote only on referenda.
baf, Nov 02 2000
  

       Thanks for the link, Egnor. After reading Bosco's request, I was going to have mentioned a voting system of my own, only to follow your link and find that (unsurprisingly) several other people had thought of it first. "Approval" voting, as it seems to be called, allows a voter to behave as Bosco wishes to, by voting for all candidates except the one they dislike, pretty much as Uncle Nutsy says.   

       Baf: The problem with not going to the polls to indicate your dissatisfaction with all the candidates, is that is impossible to distinguish this from apathy. The approval system allows you to post your ballot paper with nothing on it, thus decreasing the percentage of approval that the eventual winner will receive.
Lemon, Nov 02 2000
  

       Hello_c: If NOTA gets the most votes, whoever came in second is declared the winner. Like I said, NOTA votes just don't count.   

       baf: Generally, politicians assume non-voters are content with things the way they are. Surveys of non-voters support this, though based on admittedly anecdotal evidence I suspect such surveys to have been taken on Mars.   

       In any case, plummeting election turnout in the U.S. has only accelerated the decline in the responsiveness of politicians to their constituents, because they're increasingly dependent on highly-motivated factions not necessarily representative of the public at large for money and votes. Doing damage to strict accuracy for the sake of clarity, you could say the U.S. offers a "Union" candidate and a "Christian Coalition" candidate to a country where most people are neither in a union nor fundamentalist protestants, but most *voters* are.
Uncle Nutsy, Nov 03 2000
  

       Oh, and in the "small world" department, from the _Washington City Paper's_ endorsement for the crowded at-large city council race: "It's regrettable, however, that the ballot won't allow voters to make a [vote] against a candidate, which would be a great way to get [incumbent At-Large Councilman Harold] Brazil out of office."
Uncle Nutsy, Nov 03 2000
  

       baf: "Approval" voting, as it seems to be called, allows a voter to behave as Bosco wishes to, by voting for all candidates except the one they dislike,..."   

       this is not as bosco wishes. Subtracting a vote from the candidate of "dis-choice" does not really equate to voting for all other candidates.
bosco, Nov 05 2000
  

       Whoops, Lemon... sorry baf
bosco, Nov 05 2000
  

       Lemon: Yes, it is true that not going to the polls is interpreted as apathy. That's why I advised going to the polls.   

       I've been in an organization where approval voting was used. It seemed to work about as well as anything else. The chief benefit is its flexibility, which increases with the number of candidates. (A single vote for or against one candidate doesn't let you select the two you like out of four or more options.)
baf, Nov 05 2000
  

       Another solution would be to change the voting system so it encourage a broad range of candidates, ensuring there would at least be one who you could agree with enough to vote for them.   

       So, for example, you could change the system for voting in the house of representatives so that each state was a multiple member consituency with number of representives for a single party allocated by how much percent of the vote they got. In California, for example, a minority party could get a representitive for under 2% of the vote. Having such attainable goals would encourage minority parties, and having some of their members would boost their electability.
imagooAJ, Nov 05 2000
  

       Baf: Ooops, sorry, I think I must have misread you.   

       Bosco: You say: "Subtracting a vote from the candidate of "dis-choice" does not really equate to voting for all other candidates." Well, yes it does. Provided you're going to elect the candidate with the most votes, and not worry about their approval rating. Of course, by using this mechanism to obtain a negative vote, you are not casting a positive vote. But then you didn't want *two* votes now did you? :-)
Lemon, Nov 13 2000
  

       Under an approval-voting system, the only way that voting for nobody can be really interpreted as a mark of dislike for all candidates is if either there is only one office on the ballot or there is a way to distinguish a "none of the above" vote from "not interested in this office" [if I don't know anything about any of the candidates for Assistent Luitenant Dog Catcher, I'd have no reason to vote in that race even if I had no particular dislike of any of the candidates].
supercat, Jan 10 2001
  

       I've never taken part in a ballot where there are different offices to be chosen on the one paper. Do you write the office you think each candidate should have next to their name? What if a canidate does not wish to be considered for certain of the posts? You're right, the approval method wouldn't work in this case, but I suspect it is rather unusual.
Lemon, Jan 11 2001
  

       Lemon: If you don't mind my asking, where do you live? In most parts of the U.S. there are many questions on the same ballot paper. In the last election, I voted for President, a Representative for the U.S. House, a state legislator, a state senator, and the retention/removal of two judges, all on a single punchcard.
supercat, Jan 11 2001
  

       Just vote - a "negative vote" is really just TWO votes.
bspollard, Oct 22 2004
  

       Negative vote = Taping an "Out Of Order" sign over one of the levers for a candidate you're opposed to.
phundug, Oct 23 2004
  

       Timely. I note that the 2000 debacle (and 911 history, Iraq, etc) might prove to be the best thing to happen in America in years in terms of voter interest in the 2004 election. Normal people might have a say for the first time in a decade.
RayfordSteele, Oct 23 2004
  

       Even better than your idea: Single Transferable Voting. It's done in Malta, I think.
kinemojo, Sep 22 2005
  

       They just tried to implement Single Transferable Voting in British Columbia, BC, and the motion FAILED. Why? Because it's STUPID. The way this works is, you pick up to 5 candidates and rank each vote. So the person you like most, you rank "1", and 2nd best is ranked "2", and so on. Oh, wait. Maybe I've got that wrong? Maybe the person you like most you rank "5" to give them 5 points, and the person you like second best you rank "4" to give them 4 points? Now which way does that go?   

       Obviously, the danger is that confused people would get the ranking backwards and vote for the wrong person. So, the system is STUPID.   

       Now here's why negative voting is so beautiful. The reason why 2-party politics dominates is because there are only 2 or perhaps 3 famous parties that everybody votes for, and the independents (while permitted to run) have absolutely no chance whatsoever of getting elected, through no fault of their own. But here's the switch. Because the parties are the most popular, not only will they get the largest number of positive votes, but also the largest number of negative votes as well! So negative voting has a terrific effect of leveling the playing field for all candidates, and has the potential to eliminate the dominance of 2-party politics. That is FANTASTIC news.   

       The only change I would propose is to make it law that it is not possible to elect anyone with a net negative vote, irregardless of circumstances. I.E. if all candidates wind up with a net negative vote, then they are all disqualified, and the election must be re-run. That has the effect of cleaning out a whole slew of crooked politicians and signaling to interested individuals that an opportunity to get elected exists, because everybody else is disqualified.   

       Incidentally, half-bakery uses negative voting system, does it work??? Yer Damn Right it does!!!
Grunchy, Jan 24 2006
  

       Dominance of two party politics is not necesarily a bad thing. At the Canadian federal level, the vote is fairly widespread, which equates to crappy minority governments. If you look at the Italian situation before and after Mussolini took power, you'll see that a lot more got done in a single party system than a two-dozen party system.
Cuit_au_Four, Jan 25 2006
  

       Another possibility, instead of a negative vote, is to allow up to 1 vote per candidate. The more candidates selected, the smaller the value of each vote.   

       Example: There are 4 candidates total. You don't like any. One really stinks. So you check off the other three. Each candidate selected receives 1/3 of your vote. If there had been 15 candidates and you selected 5, then each selected would receive 1/5 of your vote. If there is one you really like, check only that one. It will be worth 1 full vote.   

       This way there is never a negative result and your vote is always worth just one. It's just that you can spread it around if you like.
innovatus, Jan 19 2007
  

       Or give people an amount of points to use, such as 20 per item. So that if you like a few candidates, you can give one 8, and the other two 6. Or if there's a proposition you aren't really opposed to, but aren't much of a fan of either,you can give it a 10/10 or 7/13 split.   

       Politics shouldn't be a black and white decision.
Feba, Jan 19 2007
  

       I find a little super glue applied to the voting switch in front of a candidate's name works wonders as a negative vote.
phundug, Sep 14 2007
  

       I'm ignoring the marked-for-deletion tag, since negative votes may exist, but aren't widely known.   

       The linked-to negative vote under discussion is one against *all* options; the one this poster suggests is a negative vote against a single candidate.
jutta, Sep 14 2007
  

       Although some people feel that fairness requires that people who would mark multiple candidates should have to diminish the weight of their votes accordingly, there's no basis for that. Except in the highly unusual scenario of a multi-way tie, the only parts of a person's ballot which will be meaningful will be the marks related to the top two contestants. If a person votes for both of the top two contestants, the votes cancel and the 'weight' of the ballot is meaningless. The 'weight' of the ballot is also meaningless if the person votes for neither. If the person votes for one but not the other, that vote should not be diminished by the person's other selections.
supercat, Sep 17 2007
  

       //I'm ignoring the marked-for-deletion tag, since negative votes may exist, but aren't widely known.//
And anyway, bosco's idea precedes boysparks' link by seven years.
ldischler, Sep 17 2007
  

       Isn't a spoilt ballot paper sufficient evidence that you're (1) engaged in the process (in some way) and (2) not happy with any of the above? Writing 'None of the above' across your ballot paper (assuming its paper rather than electronic) and posting the ballot slip does get it reviewed and registered as part of the counting process. A high enough number of spoilt ballot papers would start to get some press coverage. There's google evidence that at least some official regional government polls count and record these...
Anchovy, Sep 17 2007
  

       Any reputable voting system should keep a tally of spoiled, no-candidate-selected, and uncounted ballots, if for no other reason than to ensure that all ballots are accounted for. The total of those ballots, plus the total number of valid votes, should remain constant and should always equal the number of voters. For whatever reason this isn't always done, meaning that ballots can appear and disappear without being noticed.
supercat, Sep 19 2007
  

       //What's supposed to happen when "no confidence" wins?//   

       I suggest that all those candidates are disqualified from standing for office for ten years, and new candidates need to be found whom the public actually agree with.
vincevincevince, Jan 18 2008
  

       You're Brilliant ! Love it.
Monty6, Jan 18 2008
  

       I love this idea, but it would eliminate 3rd parties
pauiel, Oct 14 2009
  

       I rarely make it to more than two in one evening anyway.
normzone, Oct 06 2014
  

       I was just going to post a similar idea - in my system however, negative votes would be the only votes - so you'd be voting for the person you'd least like to be in office. Then, the person with least votes would 'win'.
hippo, May 18 2015
  

       I refuse to vote. In fact I have for many years refused to even register to vote.
xenzag, May 18 2015
  

       I stand outside with a "Magic 8 ball for Rent" sign. Gets some laughs, not much business though: most people bring their own dice.
FlyingToaster, May 18 2015
  

       A candidate called "Ron": The Green Party in New Zealand always has "re-open nominations" on its ballot papers, like the NOTA in Nevada. Creates an interesting situation when a candidate is running unopposed, but lacks support.
sofacrat, May 19 2015
  

       [Ian], my music library has halfstars enabled, so I have ten possible options for rating a song. I use a combination of both of the systems you described: songs I dislike get the lower half, while songs I like get the upper half. That way, I have five degrees of liking, one degree of neither liking nor disliking, and four degrees of disliking (because 0 stars is unrated, not a rating). Will soon post something showing the distribution of ratings in my library—all of the software that once did that is either no longer available, no longer runnable, or Windows-only, so I am having to write a Python script to do this.   

       (I'm an outlier.)
notexactly, May 31 2015
  
      
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