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A concerned citizen and former mathematician/engineer now retired and living in rural Maine.

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48 Articles, 25 Quick Links, 1079 Comments, 11 Diaries, 1 Series, 8 Polls

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02a.WMATA.RRWNA.VA.18February2 013 Sunday, June 18, 2017 (3 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Vote Yes or Yes? Thursday, June 1, 2017 (8 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Make it Balance Thursday, April 6, 2017 (3 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Ranked Choice Voting -- DFL Duluth Exposed Tuesday, March 7, 2017 (3 comments)     

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Ranked Voting "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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

War. What is it good for? Thursday, December 15, 2016 (7 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views), Balanced Voting (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Image created from image crediting Thursday, October 27, 2016 (3 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Governor Votes Early Friday, October 7, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Who Will Win this Election? Part II This is a continuation of an earlier article that surveys the consequences, for a particular election, of using each of eight different voting systems.
Series: Balanced Voting (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Waiting to vote Friday, September 30, 2016 (7 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

218988_10151229937735272_19641 50006_o Wednesday, September 14, 2016 (3 comments)     

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Counting Votes to Make Voting Count This article suggests some ways that vote-counting in our elections can be made more secure.
Series: Balanced Voting (25 Articles, 32821 views)

George_Washington.jpg: George Washington Wednesday, June 15, 2016 (14 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

IRV Ballot Sunday, April 10, 2016 (10 comments)     

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Isn't IRV a Great System for Voting? A basic flaw in the concept behind IRV is presented.
Series: Balanced Voting (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Ballot for Balanced Approval Vote Tuesday, February 23, 2016 (2 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Voting Friday, February 19, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Range Voting 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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Vote_12345.jpg: IRV Ballot Tuesday, February 16, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Self-Expression Versus Actual Effectiveness in Voting IRV is used as an example of some important criteria for a good voting system.
Series: Balanced Voting (25 Articles, 32821 views)

P012710CK-0328 Wednesday, January 13, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Polarization is the Problem - and Balance is the Solution The fundamental problem in Washington is our two-party system. Balanced voting is the solution.
Series: Balanced Voting (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Balanced Voting? Monday, November 9, 2015 (2 comments)     

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Approval Voting and Confusing Language Some confusion has developed over the term "balanced voting" that this article tries to clear up.
Series: Balanced Voting (25 Articles, 32821 views)

How to Vote? Wednesday, October 21, 2015 (10 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

2 Dollar bills Tuesday, July 8, 2014 (9 comments)     

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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.

State Opening of Parliament Wednesday, June 25, 2014 (11 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Voting is the Issue Tuesday, June 17, 2014 (3 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Voters_at_the_voting_booths_in_1945.jpg: Still Using The Same Old Voting System Tuesday, June 3, 2014 (2 comments)     

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Instant Runoff Balanced Voting (IRBV) As promised in the previous article of this series, IRV is modified so as to be balanced and thereby offer minor party candidates a better opportunity.
Series: Balanced Voting (25 Articles, 32821 views)

How to Vote Monday, June 2, 2014     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Replace Insecure https://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadphotos/s_300_opednews_com_1890_Balanced-Partition-and-Runoff-1890-2014_05_24_09_15_27-38_992.gif Thursday, May 29, 2014 (9 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Ballot for a Balanced Election Thursday, May 22, 2014 (3 comments)     

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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 (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Voting Thursday, May 22, 2014 (4 comments)     

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What's Wrong with First-Choice Voting? This is the second article in a series on voting. This article takes a critical look at our traditional way of voting.
Series: Balanced Voting (25 Articles, 32821 views)

Monday, September 17, 2012 (15 comments)     

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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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 (4 comments)     

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Should Nader have Won the 2000 Election in Florida? As often as a voter likes one candidate another voter may dislike one of the candidates for an office. So why are voters never asked about their dislikes and what would elections look like if we did?

Friday, January 14, 2011 (8 comments)     

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Incendiary Speech 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.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 (2 comments)     

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Relics of a Buddhist Temple II What has the Supreme Court done to us? This article explores some implications of the Citizen's United decision.

Monday, July 12, 2010 (8 comments)     

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Centralized Power is Always a Danger Conservatives always focus on the dangers of government power while liberals tend to focus on corporate power. Both present a danger.

Saturday, May 29, 2010 (1 comments)     

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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)     

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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)     

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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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009     

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A Review of Thom Hartmanns Book: Screwed This is a review of a book by Thom Hartmann

Sunday, July 5, 2009 (6 comments)     

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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)     

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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)     

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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)     

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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

Thursday, October 9, 2008 (2 comments)     

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Illegal? So What? What good is a law if it cannot or will not be enforced?

Thursday, September 11, 2008 (5 comments)     

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Sinister Forces 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)     

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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.

Saturday, June 21, 2008 (5 comments)     

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Liberate Yourself from the Mainstream Media This article is intended as a tutorial on web radio and its potential for spreading the word about progressive ideals and objectives

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 (2 comments)     

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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.

Monday, May 5, 2008 (1 comments)     

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Must Lapel Pins Remain Only the Refuge of Scoundrels The flap about Obama not wearing a flag lapel pin is part of a more general attack that conservatives have long made on liberals. A way to fight back is proposed for discussion.

Sunday, March 9, 2008 (5 comments)     

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Delegates Count 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)     

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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)     

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A Funny Story? A story making the rounds of right-wing conversation reveals some interesting assumptions.

Monday, January 28, 2008     

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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.