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View Diary: Morning feature: Plurality voting and better methods (124 comments)

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  •  *Perks up* (4+ / 0-)
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    plf515, NCrissieB, kktlaw, FarWestGirl

    Now that is interesting.  Having just changed my thoughts on coalition, you've given me more food for thought.

    We need to encourage third parties.  I honestly believe that.  But we need to find a workable way.  

    "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

    by winterbanyan on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 06:43:47 AM PDT

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    •  Well, there's another (subtle) benefit.... (4+ / 0-)
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      plf515, winterbanyan, kktlaw, FarWestGirl

      Let's say you're Lorna Leftie running on the Progressive Party ticket in 2012, in this system.  You know you're going to be a minority party.  In the campaign, who are you least likely to antagonize, and who is least likely to want to antagonize you ... President Obama (Democrat with whom you may need to form a coalition), or Mitt Palin (the GOP candidate)?

      Parties who are natural allies - who vote together on many issues anyway - would have less reason to scream at each other during the campaign ... because there's a good chance they'll have to form a coalition after the votes are counted.  There's less incentive for both "purity trolling" and for labeling disagreement as "purity trolling."

    •  In fact ... (4+ / 0-)
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      plf515, winterbanyan, kktlaw, FarWestGirl

      ... the more I think on your idea, the more I find reasons to like it.

      Let's say you're Really Big Issue is climate change, and the only party that really represents your views on that is the Green Party.  So you vote for the Green candidate, knowing you'll probably get a Democratic president ... but that if enough other people vote for the Green candidate, you'll likely see at least one Green appointed to the cabinet because the Green candidate will give his/her votes to the Democratic candidate (to get a majority) in exchange for some cabinet seats.  Like, Secretary of the Interior (which ironically handles the outdoors), or some other position where the Green Party's concerns would be most relevant.

      It gives voters the option of basing their votes on a specific issue or set of issues, knowing if enough others do likewise, those issues won't be entirely put on the back burner, because POTUS will have to keep his promises (appointing and listening to minority party cabinet officials) in order to keep the coalition intact for the next election.

      The tradeoff is that if there does arise a fracture point policy question, POTUS is still POTUS and he won't be kicked out of office if your party breaks away (but he may regret it at the next election).  That both ensures stability - POTUS still gets the four-year term - and means the minority party cabinet officials have to be reasonable ... as they gain nothing by forcing an unreasonable showdown.

      I'm not articulating that as clearly as I'd like, as I'm imagining scenarios playing out and trying to capture the gist of a mental movie running in VERY fast-forward.  But I think I said what I think I meant....

      •  This does appeal to me :) (3+ / 0-)
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        NCrissieB, kktlaw, FarWestGirl

        If voting third party could mean a seat at the table and the President's ear, then we could have viable third parties based on a difference in issues... and maybe some of those candidates would have a particular expertise that could bring something valuable.

        John Anderson comes to mind.  I voted for him in 1980 because he had the best grip on economic issues which I felt were important, and voodoo economics scared the hell out of me.

        I kicked myself afterwards, wondering if we got Reagan because of the third-party votes.  But if we'd gotten Anderson in a position to argue for his economic ideas in a cabinet position, maybe we wouldn't have run up the biggest deficit (at that time) since WWII.

        Interesting idea.  Thanks!

        "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

        by winterbanyan on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 07:28:07 AM PDT

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