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[PROPOSAL] Amendment to the Manners: Approval Voting Act (again)

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Alas, this legislation was previously crippled by an attempt to solve a problem it didn't need to solve, which unfortunately meant that the actual core of the proposal was also vetoed. As such, I am resubmitting this proposal, this time without the tiebreaker clause. My hope is that this legislation will improve the election process by making it fairer.

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Hall of Nations

5. All votes unless otherwise noted will be decided by a simple majority of voting nations.  There will be a five-day public discussion thread on all voting. It will be followed by a three-day voting period. All elections for officials will have a three day standing period, followed by a three day voting period. This six-day period shall be referred to as the election cycle. The Speaker will moderate all votes unless they concern the Speaker, in which case a member from the Hall of Nations will be appointed to moderate the vote. In the case of elections between three or more candidates, each citizen's ballot will indicate their approval or lack thereof for each candidate running, and the winner will be the candidate with the greatest number of approvals. Residents who become citizens during a voting period may not cast a vote during that particular voting period.

 

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I support this. I think this proposal is better than the provision it amends.

After having a look to the Manners, what I have to say is 'checks & balances'. The check & balance would come in the future if we find this amendment is too relaxed, but all in good time. 

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My only hesitation here ... and perhaps I'm looking at it wrong ... would be that voting in such a manner would not force one to make a choice. Might there be many voters who would signify approval for all the candidates?

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5 hours ago, Saint Mark said:

My only hesitation here ... and perhaps I'm looking at it wrong ... would be that voting in such a manner would not force one to make a choice. Might there be many voters who would signify approval for all the candidates?

Approving of all candidates would, in practice, be equivalent to not voting for any candidate, or abstaining. I find it more likely that most people would prefer to signify approval for only one or two candidates, instead of sending in the functional equivalent to a blank ballot.

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I would also note that we don't force people to vote now. It's not like HoN members are obligated to make a selection in every election. This would just allow people to express a preference for multiple candidates in some elections.

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9 hours ago, Bran Astor said:

Two options - most votes wins

Three or more options - most votes wins

What do we gain by adding a layer of complexity to a system that isn't broken?

I would argue that no "layer of complexity" is actually added - the poll system on the forum still works exactly as well to make the poll, and the way votes are cast and counted remains comparably simple.

As to the reasoning for the new rule:

Take an election between Candidate A, Candidate B, and Candidate C.

35% of voters prefer A>B>C

25% of voters prefer B>A>C

40% of voters prefer C and are split among their second choices.

Under our current system, C would be the victor of this election, with a plurality of votes, despite being the least popular candidate overall. Under approval voting, assuming most voters approve their top two choices and not their least favorite, A would be the victor, thanks to having the most actual approval.

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I like the idea of this amendment, especially because it can help promote 3rd (or more) party candidates in a two-party government. (I don't know enough about TWP to say if that applies here or not). I also like that you can vote for multiple candidates whom you think will do a good job.
However, I believe that one should make a decisive choice. Allowing voters to vote for multiple candidates running for the same position is similar to saying "I don't care who wins as long as its A or B." Surely there is something that you like about A that makes them stand out over B, or vice versa. This can very easily turn into voting against one or more candidates.
Overall, I think that this method would be useful to reduce a large number of candidates (5 or more) down to two or three. From there, it should be one person, one vote.

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In the final hours that this is at vote, I'll go ahead and put this up:

This isn't an effort to turn TWP democratic or convolute the voting process. Approval voting is incredibly simple. It's so simple, that, without any changes to our forum, it can be implemented via the exact same polling method we already use for voting.

Approval voting will help us primarily to avoid the problems of single-choice plurality when there are 3 or more candidates: it can prevent the infamous spoiler effect, and it can allow a citizen to signal confidence in more than one candidate. You're always still free to vote for exactly one candidate, and you can abstain (a choice we already allow) by casting a vote for all candidates. I hope people see that this really isn't changing very much, and it's a simple way of fixing a kink in the system.

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