(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 10, 2008 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.
(10 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 29, 2014 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 17, 2008 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.
(8 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 1, 2017 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 20, 2020 Making Choices
Deciding which voting system to use in elections is a topic of increasing interest. In an earlier article of this series, two criteria are suggested for making such a selection and this article argues for a third criterion. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, November 27, 2017 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(10 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 15, 2019 Older Ranked-Choice Voting Systems
The popularity of IRV as an alternative to plurality voting is perplexing. Historically there are many other ranked-choice voting systems that seem, if for no other reason than complexity, preferable to IRV.
This article explores those older systems, suggesting reasons for IRV's popularity. Some insight is gained but without really settling that question. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views), Ranked Voting (15 Articles, 17939 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 14, 2008 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.
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 9, 2020 How Electability Frustrates Democracy
Three important features of a good voting system are that it should be logically complete, it should be balanced, and it should be evaluative. In this article we explain the importance to democracy of the last of these features. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(8 comments) SHARE Friday, October 19, 2018 Opposites
Some confusion still exists concerning what voting methods are or are not balanced. This article explores one area of reasoning that is a common source of error. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(13 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 7, 2018 One Man, One Vote
How much weight should we give to
this old saying? This article argues for not putting much weight at all to it. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(7 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 15, 2016 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(7 comments) SHARE Friday, September 30, 2016 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, July 27, 2020 BAV Now Appears in Wikipedia
This article is a review of an entry that recently appeared in Wikipeda. While accurate, the article is terse at times and this article in Op Ed News is intended to clarify some of the points in the Wikipedia article. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(8 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 6, 2020 Does the Constitution need Amending?
The last few years have forced us to question the functioning of our government. Solutions to some problems appear to require tinkering with our Constitution, but others do not. This article presents some examples of each.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 22, 2014 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 7, 2017 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views), Ranked Voting (15 Articles, 17939 views)
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 30, 2020 What About STAR Voting?
STAR voting has recently been getting a lot of attention, particularly in Oregon. It is a system built on Score Voting by adding an instant runoff stage at the end of counting ballots.
This article provides some observations about this voting system, along with a more detailed look at Range (Score) voting and a few words about Approval Voting and Balanced Approval Voting. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(14 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 15, 2016 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 20, 2020 The Electoral College
One of the strongest reasons for adopting a balanced voting system is that doing so will undermine the two-party duopoly. Unfortunately, for presidential elections, the traditional plurality voting system in the Electoral College seems to present a barrier to this particular benefit.
In this article we show that this should not be seen as an insurmountable difficulty. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 6, 2017 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views), Ranked Voting (15 Articles, 17939 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 18, 2017 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(6 comments) SHARE Friday, April 26, 2019 Establishment and Exercise
Most amendments to our Constitution come through changes in the interpretation of its words by the federal courts. The meanings of the words, so assigned, often drift away from their common usage. This article suggests such a change through a change to the interpretation of the word "religion".
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, June 2, 2014 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views), Ranked Voting (15 Articles, 17939 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, October 7, 2016 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Arrow's Theorem and Overstatements
Several articles in this series on balanced voting have focused attention on Instant-Runoff Voting (IRV). These articles have been scattered in time and could be challenging to track down without some help.
A major purpose of this article is to provide a brief survey of these articles for someone who might be primarily interested in IRV. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views), Ranked Voting (15 Articles, 17939 views)
(15 comments) SHARE Monday, September 17, 2012 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.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, December 10, 2018 A Voter's Quandry
A voter is faced with making choices and the right path is not always clear. Should a voting system not strive to avoid making the choices difficult? Series: Ranked Voting (15 Articles, 17939 views), Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(8 comments) SHARE Friday, January 14, 2011 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.
(10 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 21, 2015 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(8 comments) SHARE Monday, July 12, 2010 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 23, 2016 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(11 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 25, 2014 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 27, 2016 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(17 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 7, 2021 Is Democracy Worth Saving?
In earlier articles we have assumed, without much explanation, that more political parties would improve democracy and that would be a good thing. Not everyone accepts this premise, however. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 21, 2012 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?
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 23, 2009 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.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 6, 2008 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
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 23, 2021 Just Think about Runoff Voting
IRV, sometimes referred to as simply "ranked voting" has gained considerable popularity. In this article we attend to some details about this voting system that perhaps have not been so widely noticed. Series: Ranked Voting (15 Articles, 17939 views), Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 5, 2008 A Funny Story?
A story making the rounds of right-wing conversation reveals some interesting assumptions.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 11, 2021 Partisanship
Would more political parties improve our politics? People do argue both sides of this question.
Trump's impeachment trials provide some food for thought on this question. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 14, 2020 Can Vote Suppression be Suppressed?
A promising voting system that applies a statistical approach is seen to suffer from a tendency to discourage voting. Modifying election procedures to help diminish this tendency leads to a way to make vote suppression ineffective. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 17, 2014 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views), Ranked Voting (15 Articles, 17939 views)
(8 comments) SHARE Friday, February 5, 2021 Should Balanced Approval Voting be Simplified?
In earlier articles of this series, the first criticism I offered against instant runoff voting was that it was too complex. Although there are other problems with IRV and more generally with ranked voting systems, it is a problem.
BAV is much simpler to explain and to use as a voter. And BAV is much easier than IRV for those who tally votes. Still, it is worth re-visiting this issue of complexity, asking now about BAV. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 17, 2020 What Could Go Wrong With Balanced Plurality Voting?
Evaluative voting systems are preferred for many reasons but one good reason is to avoid the spoiler effect. This is the message of this article, which also shows by example how the spoiler effect can take an unfamiliar form. Series: Balanced Voting (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 15, 2010 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.
(6 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 5, 2009 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, February 19, 2016 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 (52 Articles, 58097 views)
(9 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 8, 2014 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.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 11, 2008 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 4, 2010 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 9, 2008 Illegal? So What?
What good is a law if it cannot or will not be enforced?
(5 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 9, 2008 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.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 29, 2010 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 13, 2008 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.
SHARE 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.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 14, 2008 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.