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What Happens After the Massive Demonstrations in Every City?

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What Happens After the Massive Demonstrations in Every City?

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As society continues to unravel, there will be more and more massive demonstrations in major cities over issues such as the never ending wars, environmental catastrophes, lack of jobs, and inadequate healthcare. These increasing protests will occur when large numbers of people realize that our elected leaders only represent the one percent who financially help get them elected and re-elected. Our currently elected leaders are not public servants who represent us, the 99 percent.

Therefore, it is important that various dissidents agree on basic demands to change the system--demands that can be endorsed by individuals from many political groups such as the Greens, Socialists, Libertarians, and even discontented Republicans and Democrats. If the demands are too radical, or if nobody can agree on anything, they will not win broad support and the movement will fall by the wayside. This has happened many times throughout history.

Three Demands that masses of Americans can agree on:

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1. We demand that corporations not be allowed to make contributions to political campaigns for presidential elections.

2. We demand that the political spectrum be broadened by equally empowering multiple national political parties, not just the Republicans and Democrats. The 7 largest national political parties must be represented in all presidential public debates that involve more than one political party in all future presidential elections.

3. We demand that the Electoral College System for electing a president be abolished, and that a presidential candidate can no longer become president unless he or she captures a 51-percent majority of the popular vote, using the system of Ranked Choice Voting.

(Note: in my original #3 Demand of this article, I did not advocate Ranked Choice Voting. Based on reader responses in the comment section below, I decided to change #3. My original #3 Demand can still be read in one of my comments in the comment section below so that readers can compare, and also so that readers can understand the dialogue of comments better.)

Many people can agree with these 3 demands. Their rallying cry can be: Maximize Democracy! Moreover, as dissidents clearly stick to just these 3 demands, it will help the protest movement grow stronger. Other improvements in government can be made after these 3 demands are implemented into law.

Cities throughout the country need to have nonviolent protest rallies and marches until these 3 demands are implemented into our laws by the federal legislature. Elected officials who do not support these 3 demands shall be voted out of office, as an ever increasing number of Americans join the movement. Various organizations that help organize the mass rallies and marches can be allowed to speak briefly about their organizations at the rallies, but the main focus of the protest rallies should be to Maximize Democracy by advocating the above 3 demands.

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Ideally it would be good to advocate a semblance of these 3 demands in the election of state governors and in the state elections of federal members of Congress. But each state legislature will have to pass laws to implement these demands at the state level.

(Article changed on June 4, 2019 at 00:50)

(Article changed on June 4, 2019 at 01:42)

 

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June 4, 2019: I grew up in a church that said you had to speak in tongues to get saved and go to heaven. I often prayed fervently for the experience in the prayer room at church, where people would cry and wail, and roll on the floor. One (more...)
 

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5 people are discussing this page, with 12 comments


June Genis

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Sorry but this Libertarian can't go along entirely with #3. First if you want to have multiple rounds for electing the president it would be much more efficient to have a single Ranked Choice Vote rather than several elections where some candidates get dropped. We already know that in states where run-offs are required that less people will participate than in the first election if their preferred candidate has already been eliminated. Thus the winner will be elected by a smaller percentage of the population than in a single RCV election.

Further, while I acknowledge that there are severe flaws in the current Electoral College system I worry that going to a simple national popular vote would mean that small states would be virtually ignored during campaign season because the winner would always be determined by the densely populated urban areas. I really don't know what he best solution to that is. The best I can offer is to keep the EC but use RCV in each state to elect EC delegates.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 2, 2019 at 2:04:05 PM

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Roger Copple

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Reply to June Genis:   New Content
June, thank you so much for responding. You make some excellent points. You know I have always advocated Rank Choice Voting (RCV) in the past. I thought the method I described here might be simpler for some people to understand. But if it is true, as you say, that some people would not participate in a second or third round of voting once their preferred candidate is dropped, then RCV is the best method. And it is certainly more efficient to have one round of voting rather than have two or three rounds.

Moreover, your recommendation for keeping the Electoral College (EC) system intact while using RCV with the EC is certainly better than using the EC system in a way that allows the candidate who wins a plurality (not a majority) in a state to take all the votes of that state. These are minor points of disagreement. If the consensus is to use RCV in the election of a president and also keep the EC system intact as long as RCV is used with the EC, I could certainly agree with that. I hope more people at OpEdNews will respond to this discussion.


Submitted on Sunday, Jun 2, 2019 at 5:25:11 PM

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Roger Copple

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Here is how a Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) system is described at BallotPedia.org : "A ranked-choice voting system (RCV) is an electoral system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority. This system is sometimes referred to as an instant runoff voting system.[1][2]"

Here is how a Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) system is described at FairVote.org :

"Ranked choice voting (RCV) makes democracy more fair and functional. It works in a variety of contexts. It is a simple change that can have a big impact.

With ranked choice voting, voters can rank as many candidates as they want in order of choice. Candidates do best when they attract a strong core of first-choice support while also reaching out for second and even third choices. When used as an "instant runoff" to elect a single candidate like a mayor or a governor, RCV helps elect a candidate that better reflects the support of a majority of voters. When used as a form of fair representation voting to elect more than one candidate like a city council, state legislature or even Congress, RCV helps to more fairly represent the full spectrum of voters."

My question would be if there are 500 individuals getting first choice votes for president, and the candidate who gets the least amount of first preference votes is dropped, and then a new tally is made, does that mean there could be about 500 separate tallies? It may be a computer can figure this out. Or maybe there is a cutoff point: the tallying process begins with the top 10 candidates who got first preference votes. Many Americans, including me, will find RCV complicated.


Submitted on Sunday, Jun 2, 2019 at 6:55:45 PM

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Roger Copple

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I am willing to accept Ranked Choice Voting if that is the consensus among those who want to improve our current voting system to make it more democratic. However, right now I still prefer what I stated in the third demand of this article. June Genis, above, makes a good point that if we abolish the Electoral College system, then presidential candidates would only campaign in the densely populated cities. But then it could be argued that even with the Electoral College system currently in place, many candidates are already not campaigning in sparsely populated areas or in areas where the population is unanimously Republican or Democrat.

As I have stated in a previous comment above, I think Ranked Choice Voting is more complicated for many Americans, including me. And if it relies more on the use of computers to do the complex tallying of votes, it seems there might be a greater likelihood for fraudulent tampering.

June Genis, above, also astutely mentioned that in states where runoffs are required that less people will participate in a second or third round of voting if their preferred candidate has been eliminated, which means that whoever the winner is (after two or three rounds of voting), that winner will be elected by a smaller percentage of Americans voting. But then you could argue that if people choose not to go to the polls to vote in a second or third round of voting, then they can't complain about the outcome. Am I being insensitive?


Submitted on Monday, Jun 3, 2019 at 9:22:35 AM

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Steve Chessin

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Roger, RCV has been in use in Australia since the 1920s, and in Cambridge, Massachusetts, since the 1940s, long before computers existed and were available to speed up counting. (In fact, Cambridge didn't switch from hand-counted paper ballots to computer-counted optical scan ballots until 1993.) (I don't know when the Republic of Ireland first started to use RCV to elect their President, but as late as 1997 they were still counting the ballots by hand.)

I'm curious to know what it is about RCV that confuses you. The voter experience is very simple: You rank your favorite candidate first, by writing the number "1" next to their name (or however the ballot lets you indicate your first choice). You then decide who you'd like to win if your favorite can't, and rank that person second. You then decide who you'd like to win if neither your first nor second choice can win, and rank that person third. You repeat this process until you don't care who wins among the remaining candidates.

It's like asking a friend to get you some ice cream. "I'd like a scoop of mocha almond fudge. If they're out of that, get me mint chocolate chip. If they don't have that, I'll take vanilla."

As for counting the ballots, they get sorted by first choice. If someone has a majority, they win (although for political reasons we (CfER) recommend continuing the tally to the last 2 candidates). If no one has a majority, you eliminate the person in last place, and transfer each of those ballots to the next choice on that ballot. The process is repeated until someone has a majority of the remaining ballots (although for political reasons we recommend continuing the tally to the last 2 candidates).

Please let me know if you find anything confusing in the above.

As for 500 candidates, ballot access laws in the various states make that extremely unlikely.

Submitted on Monday, Jun 3, 2019 at 8:28:06 PM

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Steve, thanks for sharing. You mentioned CFER. Is that Cfer.org-- Californians for Electoral Reform? I tried to go to the website, but it said "Not secure. Your connection is not private. Attackers may be trying to steal your information from cfer.org."

When I mentioned in my comment about 500 candidates, I was thinking of all the write-in-the-blank candidates, but I agree that it would only make sense to start the tallying process with the candidates who are officially on the ballot.

If candidate x has to be dropped, that means every voter who chose candidate x as their #1 choice would have their 2nd choice move to their 1st choice slot, and their 3rd choice would move to their 2nd choice slot, and their 4th choice would move to their 3rd choice slot, and so forth. To do this for every single individual who chose candidate x as their first choice seems like a lot of work if it is not done by computer. But I don't have a problem with it, if we can get large numbers of American voters to support it.

What is your opinion about the Electoral College System for electing a president?

Submitted on Monday, Jun 3, 2019 at 10:02:30 PM

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Hi Roger. It is cfer.org. We switched to a new certificate supplier that only issues 3-month certificates and we hadn't a mechanism to automatically renew them. The problem has been fixed, at least for now, so you shouldn't get that warning for at least three more months.

As for counting, we don't move candidates in their slots. I think you're using the wrong visual image.Think of it this way. On a table you have a place for each candidate, marked with their name, and a space for piling the ballots allocated to them. Above that is a counter that says how many ballots are in the pile. You sort the ballots into piles by first choice, one pile for each candidate. Above each pile you have the number of ballots in the pile. If no one has a majority, you take the smallest pile (putting a big X in the spot where it used to be), and move each ballot to the pile for the candidate next listed on the ballot. You repeat this process, skipping over candidates who have a big X in their spot, because they have been eliminated.

As for the Electoral College, CfER supports the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jun 5, 2019 at 9:55:17 PM

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David Cary

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1. Grade school children learn to count votes with RCV, even play games that involve counting RCV contests. Using RCV for presidential elections would be a great simplification over the current process.

2. Almost all votes for federal office are counted by computer already. RCV doesn't preclude hand counting. Computer tabulations of RCV can be and often are subject to public verification. The same things that are needed for secure, trustworthy elections are largely the same regardless of whether RCV is used, for example: paper ballots, open-source voting systems (to the extent that computers are used), extensive election observation, and publicly verified, comprehensive election audits.

3. If you want a real democracy, you can't be giving some people extra votes just because of where they live. The EC has to go or be bypassed. Nearly every state has within it some differentiation between rural and urban voters and voters of nearly every political persuasion. Fearmongering about significant groups of voters being ignored by campaigns fails to recognize the basic realities of high profile, competitive elections.

Submitted on Monday, Jun 3, 2019 at 11:05:13 PM

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David, thanks for sharing. Tell me if this is a correct way of understanding Ranked Choice Voting: Based on an election, if Candidate X got 10 voters who chose her as their number one choice; Candidate Y got 20 voters; Candidate Z got 30, and Candidate A got 40. That would make a total of 100 voters, so one candidate would need 51 votes to get a majority.

First Candidate X will have to be dropped. After she is dropped, her 10 voter's names who voted for her as their first choice will be put into different boxes according to what their 2nd choice for president was.

Here is the new tally: Candidate Y gained 5, and now has 25 votes; and Candidate Z gained 5 and now has 35; and Candidate A still has 40.

So now in the next tally, candidate Y will have to be dropped, and his now 25 votes will have to be divided among Candidates Z and A. So, with the new count, Candidate Z gained 20 votes and now has 55 votes, and Candidate A gained only 5 votes, and now has 45 votes. So Candidate Z will be the next president, even though Candidate A was leading in all the previous rounds.


Submitted on Tuesday, Jun 4, 2019 at 12:09:17 AM

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I think you've got it. That looks like a valid example of tabulating an RCV contest. It is why single-winner RCV is sometimes referred to as Instant Runoff Voting -- it simulates the effect of doing multiple runoff elections but otherwise with only the logistics (campaigns, voter turn out, actually casting and canvassing votes) of only one election.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jun 4, 2019 at 1:46:52 AM

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Roger Copple

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Based on the comments I received about my original #3 Demand, I have decided to change my original article above in the following way:

3. We demand that the Electoral College System for electing a president be abolished, and that a presidential candidate can no longer become president unless he or she captures a 51-percent majority of the popular vote, using the system of Ranked Choice Voting.

Below is my original #3 Demand, so that readers who read all the comments here will understand how the change came about:

3. We demand that the Electoral College System for electing a president be abolished, and that a presidential candidate can no longer become president unless he or she captures a 51-percent majority of the popular vote. If in the first round of elections, no candidate captures a 51-percent majority, then a second round of elections will be held among the top 3 candidates who captured the most votes in the first election. If no candidate captures a 51-percent majority in the second round of elections among the top 3 candidates, then the candidate who received the least votes among the 3 contestants will be dropped from the race. Then a third round of elections will be held among the 2 remaining candidates, and the candidate who receives the most votes will be the next president.


Submitted on Tuesday, Jun 4, 2019 at 1:03:57 AM

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Neal Herrick

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Our Framers relied on two "checks" that they thought would make an honest and enduring democracy feasible:(1) the easy, rapid and energetic impeachment and removal of offending civil officers and (2) a fair and representative election system. Hamilton destroyed all hope for an effective impeachment - removal system when he persuaded his fellow - Framers to assign its administration to a political body (Congress). Good luck, Mr. Cpopal (and others), on election reform and stopping the flow of money to the Members of Congress.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jun 4, 2019 at 2:39:27 PM

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