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United States Government Politics

New Hampshire Bill Could Lead To Adoption of Approval Voting 416 416

Okian Warrior writes "The people at FreeKeene report: 'Four Republican state representatives have sponsored a bill that would replace first-past-the-post voting with approval voting for all state offices and presidential primaries. Under this system, voters would select every candidate they approve of (regardless of party), and the candidate with the highest overall vote total wins. This reduces strategic voting, and would often make elections easier for moderate and libertarian candidates. The bill, HB240, will have a public hearing Tuesday, February 1st, with the House Election Law committee.'"
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New Hampshire Bill Could Lead To Adoption of Approval Voting

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  • Instead of the 2 "pre-selected" candidates, we get more choices. I think this system would give non mainstream candidates a better chance.

  • by commodore6502 (1981532) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @03:36PM (#35050070)

    The Legislature would still be dominated by the Rep and Dem monopoly.

    BTW in the late 1800s it was pretty common for neither the R or D party to have a dominant majority. And they had the same kind of voting we do now. What's changed is the Reps and Dems have rigged the ballot so other parties have to waste efforts trying to get approval to appear. (Which is ridiculous because there's plenty of room on the computer ballot to list everyone.)

  • Wonderful start (Score:4, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @03:41PM (#35050092)

    This is a WONDERFUL start. I have been saying, for so many years, that until the electoral college is removed and things are switched to approval voting: [] like Instant Runoff or similar: [] we will NEVER see any real change. The "two party system" ("Republicrats") we have is one of several factors that is slowly ruining the country.

    Citizens deserve more choice, more power, and more say in who is elected. People should not be forced to throw away their vote by voting their true position OR vote defensively for someone they see as the "lesser of two evils"... which is often their only choice right now.

  • by Kazymyr (190114) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @03:52PM (#35050144) Journal

    what you think as left there is WAY too much to the right of anything that is considered left in any other part of the world

    Perhaps you're right. Or perhaps the rest of the world is way too much to the left. Have you ever thought about that? It's a matter of perspective.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 30, 2011 @03:55PM (#35050160)

    Well we have a Communist party.
    And a Nazi party.
    And the Liberal party - all of these are pro-big government and pro-maximum control by a central authority.

    If you think a Nazi party belongs to the left you should get your definitions of left and right straight.

  • by orphiuchus (1146483) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:00PM (#35050194)

    They do. The Nazi's are national socialists.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:01PM (#35050210)

    Wow, 70+ years later and their propaganda still gets you.

    The NAZIs are about as National Socialist as North Korea is the Democratic Peoples Republic.

  • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:05PM (#35050222) Homepage
    The problem with the schulze method is that it is too difficult for the average voter to wrap their head around. People have a difficult time understanding how votes are counted with the systems in place today. At least with approval voting the method of tabulation is still clear cut and easy to understand. Nevermind the the fact that the Schulze method has a lot room for human error when it comes time to actually apply it.

    I agree that the schulze method is preferential to approval voting, however I prefer approval voting over our current process in any election.
  • by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:11PM (#35050256)

    I have to point out that politics, like everything else, is not "left" or "right". Trying to describe anything political in one measure is doing nobody any service. It is like trying to describe music, personality, biology as being left or right; or existing as only a single point on a line - it is crazy.

    Case in point- Libertarians MIGHT be described as "left" for civil liberties and mixing religion with state, and yet "right" for foreign policy or spending, center on environment, and off in some other direction regarding defense. Where does one place THEM on a single line?

  • by omfgnosis (963606) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:13PM (#35050280)

    That's not entirely fair. The nazis were certainly nationally oriented, for a certain extremely restrictive conception of nation.

  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Broolucks (1978922) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:18PM (#35050302)

    Even presented like that, I wouldn't necessarily say it's a step backwards. I'd rather have a party that everybody is fine with, even if it is not their first choice, than a party that 40% of the population despises. Over time, the net effect would be a depolarization of politics, which I would say is a good thing.

  • by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:23PM (#35050332)

    Your reasoning is probably not all that different from everyone else. Many people (probably you and certainly I) *WANT* more choices, and the ability to cast an approval vote for a "third party" without throwing our vote away.

    Voters are so apathetic, many don't even bother to vote- knowing that voting for a Republicrat or a Republicrat doesn't result in any meaningful change.

    I don't know which "approval voting" system is best- there are many, and they can be complicated. But with the current system, it is nearly impossible for any candidate not in the "big two" to win for anything other than small/local type elections. So in this regard, just about ANY other system of voting is better than what we have now.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:24PM (#35050338) Homepage Journal
    they were not socialist. they were basically fascist, seeing people as resource, and managing it. rest was total capitalism as fascism liked.

    SO that, even at the waning days of war when full mobilization was sorely needed, they never fully mobilized, and a lot of production capacity lay unused in private hands, and the government was still handing out weapon and vehicle design & production as contracts to private corporations, paying them.

    had they really been 'socialist' and actually mobilized, the war could take much longer.
  • The curious thing about many of Europe's "right-wing" parties is that they are really only on the right when it comes to immigration and cultural issues. Many nonetheless support a strong welfare state, which puts them squarely on the left. So even with the rise of the new European right, I'd say Europe continues to be tilted considerably more to the left than the US.
  • by omfgnosis (963606) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:47PM (#35050472)

    Did you even read my comment before responding?

    I want to clarify that I was making a joke (and thereby ruin it). h4rr4r said, "The NAZIs are about as National Socialist as North Korea is the Democratic Peoples Republic." The implication is that, since DPRK is neither democratic, belonging (in action) to its people, nor a republic, the national socialists were neither national nor socialist. My joke was that they certainly were national, for a certain deranged concept of "nation".

    I think, within that deranged national context, it's arguable that the nazis were "socialist" at least to the same degree the bolsheviks were. The state did ultimately claim ownership of the people and resources, as did the bolshevik state; the difference (within the "national" context) was hardly an economic one, but a political one, and largely on the basis of realpolitik. The nazis, in the context of a Germany which had been relatively free and open, calculated that it would be easier to manage a mixed economy than a command economy. And they were probably right.

    But I didn't advance that argument, because it's a tough sell (and I hardly feel strongly about it) and I didn't want to detract from the humor. Instead, I undermined that argument and deliberately conceded that the nazis were not socialist—but they were definitely "national".

  • by fermion (181285) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @05:04PM (#35050580) Homepage Journal
    This would really be very good because it would reduce the negative aspects of the recent elections. Take 2008. Obama received 52.9% of the popular vote and 67% of he electoral votes. This level of popularity has been reached very few times by a non-incumbent presidential candidate in a postwar era, yet claim he has no mandate. As a sitting president, in the previous presidential cycle Bush received 50.7 of the popular vote, but because he was liked here was a mandate. The Tea Party could not pull of a simple Senate Coup, yet they have a mandate.

    So my point is this. If we can choose who we like, then certain people will vote for most or all choices, and some will still stay home. If we can vote a dislike, then more people would vote and we could quantify this mandate thing. If Bush had low disapprovals with respect to approvals, then he would have the mandate. If Obama had high disapprovals with respect to approvals, then he would not.

    We could even quantify this into the count. Take a fraction of a point off for every negative point. Doing a whole point would render he process moot. It might be interesting to model a systems of partitioning a vote depending on how many people are voted and not voted for.

  • by n6kuy (172098) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @05:12PM (#35050626)

    I think a lot of the problems with the current voting system could be fixed if states would quit officially recognizing political parties, and quit pandering to them by sponsoring and financing party primary elections, and quit registering voters as members of parties.

    Let the parties maintain their own membership lists, and if the parties want to have primaries to decide who their representative will be in the general election, let them finance and run them privately.

  • by ISurfTooMuch (1010305) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @05:48PM (#35050898)

    If I had to guess, I'd say that it's a way to keep the Tea Party from splitting the Republican vote. The guy probably figures that, as it stands, those who would want to vote for a far right candidate would end up costing a more mainstream Republican the election because they can't approve of both candidates. With a system like this, they could.

    However, you can get other interesting outcomes. Suppose, for example, that you had an independent, centrist candidate that many people liked but that they were afraid to vote for because they aren't sure he can win. Currently, they'd likely hold their noses and vote for the major party that they object least to, figuring that, at least that way, the party they dislike most won't win. With a system like the one proposed, the independent candidate would stand a better chance because people could vote both for him and a major party candidate as a fallback position.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @05:54PM (#35050956) Homepage Journal
    your knowledge on this matter is incomplete. nazi party adopted socialist rhetoric because socialist votes in german were approx 30% of the voterbase. not to mention they adopted the nationalist jargon, AND on top of it, they especially adopted the army cult due to army being revered by all segments of the society.

    in short, they had said whatever would get them votes.

    in practice, their 'socialism' was a political control of everything. there was nothing socialist in regard to economic aspects, other than a few shows of sending workers on an overseas cruise a few times with a state cruiser as propaganda.

    moreover, ussr had openly stated that they have adopted a 'socialist' method until true communism was possible. not surprisingly, their 'socialism' was also only political, meaning for the sake of efficient government control over economy for warfare, instead of PEOPLE controlling the economy and decision making for their own well being.

    it is moronically ignorant to propose that either of these outfits were socialist, just because there was the word 'socialist' in their name. see, united states of america claims democracy, freedom, yet, we daily discuss on violations of these as a common practice, which the government and corporations dont even bother to deny anymore, but instead justify. so, does that make what is taking place 'democratic' ?

    really. im tired up fixing the propaganda/conditioning american right has put in a lot of you people.
  • Re:Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @11:24PM (#35053080) Homepage

    Actually, that is the correct and desired outcome. 49% of the voters considered the D candidate to be "Satan incarnate" and the other 51% considered the R candidate to be "Son of Hitler". 100% considered the 3rd party candidate to be "OK", so he won.

    The objective is to find a reasonably acceptable candidate, not to enforce the tyranny of the (barely) majority. The alternative is to split up into the Red States of America and the Blue States of America and put up a wall between them.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.