Can Less be Better?
Often we use shortcuts to quickly come to a conclusion. Unfortunately, these shortcuts sometimes lead to a wrong conclusion and we never go back to examine the reasoning more closely.
In this article we examine a couple instances of this and we show through examples how this shortcut-thinking has been misleading. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Voter Emotions Matter
Discussions about voting often become overly technical, accidentally treating voters as machines that will perform in predictable ways. Here we argue by example that this can be very misleading. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Thursday, June 1, 2017(8 comments)
Rethinking Which Voting System is Best
Probably no voting system really is best for all situations. Sometimes simplicity is more important than other considerations but sometimes more complexity is in order.
This article takes the position that the number of candidates is a prime consideration in this regard. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Thursday, April 6, 2017(3 comments)
Instant Runoff - Balanced once Again
The voting system described in the previous article, IRRV, was not a balanced system. Here we convert IRRV into a balanced system as a way of illustrating that kind of conversion. And we note that the result is, in essence, IRBV. So IRBV is the balanced version of both IRV and of IRRV. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Tuesday, March 7, 2017(3 comments)
"Ranked Voting" and Instant-Runoff Voting ("IRV") are often used incorrectly as synonyms, but IRV is actually only one of many possible systems of ranked voting. This article points up a curious facet of IRV and it offers a similar system that corrects that curious feature. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Thursday, December 15, 2016(7 comments)
Parties -- What Are They Good For?
Using balanced voting methods in our general elections is likely to bring about an end to the two-party duopoly. But these voting methods would also be beneficial in primaries.
Primaries may well be the place to start experimenting with better voting methods. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views), Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Thursday, October 27, 2016(3 comments)
Who Can Compete in Our Elections?
In the previous two articles in this series, we looked at a single election to see how the election would likely turn out. In this article we continue that exercise with a different makeup of candidates and voter attitudes.
A purpose of this exercise is to contrast the behavior of traditional voting systems with balanced systems. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Who Will Win this Election?
This article provides a quick review of the many different voting systems that have been discussed earlier, in other articles of this series. It considers each system in turn to suggest how an election would or might turn out. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Are Political Parties Consistent with Democracy?
Here at the end of a primary season, many feel that insider meddling and election fraud have colored the results and that the consequences may be grim.
Both major political parties are considering reforms. But this has happened before, but solutions seems illusive.
Perhaps it is not the political parties, but the very notion of a political party that needs to change. We explore one vision for such a reform. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Balanced Ration Voting
The virtues of balanced voting are reviewed, leading up to the introduction of a new balanced voting system that, like range voting and IRV, allow a voter to distinguish between favored candidates (and between disfavored ones).
Unique to this system is that it takes into consideration that voters cannot typically be very familiar with an unlimited number of candidates. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Friday, February 19, 2016(1 comments)
Range voting is described in two different ways to show it offers little real advantage over approval voting.
The great advantage of balanced voting remains, however, and that is illustrated in what may be found an amusing example. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Neither Positive nor Negative but Balanced Voting
Our voting system has evolved naturally over time but it clearly delivers less than it should or could.
This article is the latest in a series on Balanced Voting and it addresses what seems to be a confusion in some quarters.
Specifically, it makes the point that Balanced Voting is not a voting system. Rather, "balanced" is a very desirable characteristic of a voting system. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Tuesday, July 8, 2014(9 comments)
A $2 Bill
One of the curious old habits we cling to is the denominations of our coins. It may not be the most important facet of how we resist change but surely it says something about how we cling to the past.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014(11 comments)
A Parliament in Washington?
The twelfth Amendment to our Constitution requires that the Electoral College must choose presidents by a majority vote. While a truly deliberative body might be expected to reach a majority decision, our present-day Electoral College no longer deliberates. This poses interesting implications for a true multiple-party democracy in the U.S. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Tuesday, June 17, 2014(3 comments)
Instant Runoff or Approval?
Among the voting methods that have been proposed to reform our two-party system are two that stand out - Approval Voting and Instant Runoff Voting. In this series we have proposed improvements to both of these systems and in this article we discuss how it might be possible to choose between them. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
What's Wrong With Instant Runoff Voting?
This is the fourth of a series of articles on the concept of balanced voting. This article introduces IRV as a preamble to the fifth article which will describe a balanced improvement to the traditional IRV. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Thursday, May 29, 2014(9 comments)
What Might be the Best Voting System?
In this third article of a series we introduce Balanced Approval Voting and argue that it is not only a better system of voting but one that we should seriously consider using. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Thursday, May 22, 2014(3 comments)
Are More Political Parties Possible Here?
Is there some way for this country to ever have more that two parties in serious competition with each other? This article argues that we need only change the way we vote to get such an improvement in our politics. Series: Balanced Voting (27 Articles, 20898 views)
Let's Have More Political Parties
Is another electoral system possible? In the U.S. might it be possible to adopt an electoral system that insists on more than two polarized parties? This article suggests that the answer is yes.
As hesitant as we should all be to restrict our freedom of speech, there are times it has been done in the past. It is argued here that today it is again appropriate to place a further restriction on this important First Amendment right.
Protecting our environment
Future oil spills need not be as severe a catastrophe as the Deepwater Horizon spill is apt to be. Here is a proposal of an approach to this problem.
Saturday, May 15, 2010(2 comments)
Skin in the Game
Why are corporate executives so free to take risks for our environment, for our economy and for innocent bystanders without taking any personal risk? What can be done about changing this?
This article is an invitation to discuss these issues.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009(3 comments)
Maine's Moderate Republican Senators
The two moderate Republicans that Maine has sent to the Senate have played a critical role in the health-care reform efforts. This article examines the effects of their positions on health reform.
Why I Am Not a Liberal
Conservatives have taken much from us in the last thirty years. One important item is the very meaning of the word "liberal". We should take it back.
Sunday, December 14, 2008(1 comments)
Who Pays Taxes II
This is a follow-up to an earlier article, Who Pays Taxes?
It presents charts to illustrate both income and total taxes paid according to income level.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008(5 comments)
Who Pays Taxes?
This article provides a number of graphs to illustrate how income and income taxes are distributed in the U.S. More emphasis is given to the data than to any attempt to interpret that data.
Thursday, November 6, 2008(4 comments)
Now What? More Piracy?
The slightly larger number of Democratic Senators in the next Congress will not eliminate the threat of filibuster that has so crippled the current Congress.
This article suggests some changes to Senate rules that could help with this problem
Most of us think of elections as an opportunity to choose the best candidate for an office. In normal times this may be a good approach, but these are anything but normal times.
Today we must look at elections as an opportunity to keep sinister forces out of government.
Sunday, July 13, 2008(2 comments)
Face Value or Saving Face
Should we take at face value John McCain's claim that he was tortured in Viet Nam. Certainly if this is held up as an important qualification for his becoming President then it should be considered more carefully.
The Strongest Democratic Candidate
The MSM has often focused on the fraction of Clinton voters who might fail to vote for Obama when he becomes the Democratic candidate. Here we focus on whether Clinton voters might vote Republican even if Clinton became the candidate.
Statistical anomalies in the New Hampshire primary led some to question the integrity of the vote count there. There are other anomalies to consider when comparing caucus results with primary results.
Sunday, February 17, 2008(1 comments)
Conservatives Without Conscience
Are the neocons destined to return to the Democratic party and to attempt a take-over there? It could happen.
A book by John Dean is intended as a study of the conservative movement, but it also provides good food for thought about where the country has been and where it might be headed.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008(2 comments)
A Funny Story?
A story making the rounds of right-wing conversation reveals some interesting assumptions.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Relics of a Buddhist Temple
Globalization and unprecedented borrowing by the United States has turned many formerly American companies to have questionable citizenship.
This article questions whether representatives of companies with foreign ownership should be allowed to make political contributions in the United States.