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What is your opinion of ranked Choice voting?

I like the idea. I think it would provide voters with more options, and maybe we'd start getting better candidates running. I think it would also make voters more open to voting for third party candidates. 

10 Answers

  • Tmess2
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    It works well in Australia and so far has worked well in Maine.  There are several key things to remember -- which are often misrepresented by the opponents.  

    First, while ranked choice tends to increase the number of votes for "third parties" in the first round, it does not automatically increase the number of seats that go to third parties.  In Australia, third party candidates won two seats which they would have lost in a first-past the post system.  So it does not necessarily make it harder to from a government, but it does allow a true measurement of the support for various platforms.  And the major parties can (and) do adjust their policy platforms to account for the need to get support in the second round.  Again using Australia as an example, the two main parties are still dominant (getting around 74% of the voter and winning over 95% of the seats).  

    Second, every voter gets the same number of votes -- 1 vote per round.  It's just that voters who supported a losing candidate in an early round get the option of switching to a different candidate (just as if your preferred candidate drops out before the election).  

    Third, while ranked choice is functionally equivalent to having run-offs, the run-off is instantaneous.  Obviously, having few races on the ballot or a small district size makes it easier to do the additional counts, but most areas with ranked choice voting complete the counts within days of all ballots being received.  (In Ireland, which uses single transferrable vote which is similar to but not the same as ranked choice voting, the count is normally done within three or four days of the election.  Australia takes longer but most of the time is spent getting the ballots to the right counting place as Australia allows "out of division" votes.)

    Ultimately, the real benefit of ranked-choice voting is that it eliminates the concept of "spoiler" candidates.  You can vote for your first choice in the first round without fear that doing so will cause your last choice to win; so you don't need to guess at who are the "viable" candidates and can simply vote your preferences.  The other benefit is that it makes it harder for "extreme" candidates to win.  In a first-past-the-post system, you can win with 40% of the vote if the other two candidates are strong enough to split the votes.  One reason that Maine went with ranked choice voting was that the Tea Party candidate won the governor's race with 37.5% of the vote because the Democratic-leaning independent candidate and the Democratic candidate split the vote just barely enough (the 35% to 18%) to turn a majority of the vote into a defeat.    

    The real issue is whether first past the post is "fair" or whether ranked choice is fairer.  Simply put, the concept behind ranked choice voting is that a candidate who is strongly opposed by the majority should not win just because the majority is unable to unite behind one preferred candidate.  While the exact impact on a country is hard to determine, if, for example, Canada had ranked choice voting, there are at least twenty seats that the Conservative Party won even though the left of center parties combined for over 55% of the vote.  To be competitive in a ranked choice system, the Conservative Party would have to move back to the more centrists positions that they took in the 1980s.

  • 1 month ago

    third party candidates, in the USA anyway,   remains a pipe dream---because at the end of the day,   any support for a 3rd party HAS to come from   The Hatfields or the McCoys. .....the two evenly decided sides.  (dems and cons) 

    Trump talked a whole bunch of BULL about starting his 3rd  Patriot Part and then quickly did a RARE  backtrack on all that. 


    simple math........ You have two halves of a pie...evenly split. 

    Now a third person shows up .....and wants a you break your half into two pieces......(spilt your own party)........

    so now , who has the numerically largest piece of pie.? 

    Your new party,  the half reduced old party.....or your freaking ENEMY.....who still retains their full 50% of the pie. 

    So you go to election and the results are.......New Party maybe 25% , Old Party 25%......and those dreaded Hatfields,  still at 50%-. 

    so who wins?   what did your new party get you?  except  failure? 

    In order for a 3rd party to ever succeed in would need to drain voters from BOTH parties, in equal numbers,  to make it a fair 3 way race.........with each side having  33.33% of the vote. 

    And in a Hatfield vs. McCoy atmosphere.....where are you going to find someone to appeal to BOTH sides? 

    No such creature exists.........

    everyone stepping forward.....from Bloomberg, to Trump,  once claimed affiliation with one side or the other. 

    No one will ever believe them to now be this magicial 3rd middle of the road candidate..........when they have republican or democrat stain still all over them .

    This is why a 3rd party simply cannot emerge in the current political climate, and perhaps never will. 

  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Anything that would dilute the two-party system would be helpful. 

  • 1 month ago

    it works in Australia.  the major parties are opposed since it dilutes their control of elections.

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  • 1 month ago

    The current system  is broken because its too easy to manipulate.

  • Jeff D
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    More viable political parties just leads to the situation where no party has a majority and more legislative deadlocks.

    There's no point wishing for better candidates unless/until you're willing to throw out the bad ones already in office.

  • Elaine
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Here in Canada we have 4 major political parties with a 5th gaining votes and our government is still functioning quite well. In our political system the political party presents its platform and its leader presents it to the public.. We Canadians don't have a problem with more than 2 political parties or electing members of parliament from each of these parties. 

    Having more than 2 political parties is more likely to produce better candidates if the Americans do a complete overhaul of their current method of choosing candidates.    On paper ranked choice sounds like a great idea but the problem is the implementation as is seen in many countries where there are several run-off elections. Ranked choice is the method the Academy Awards use to select the winners. 

    You also mention better candidates.  That is the responsibility of the voters to demand better from candidates. How many voters actually vote based on issues, how many vote for a party because they always have, their parents did?  Individual members of the electorate have to become more involved in the political process beginning at the local community level. It is not enough for people to show up to vote on election day and then sit back and do nothing until the next election comes around. 

  • James
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It is a great idea and a much fairer system. While we're at it, we also do away with gerrymandering, and re-draw districts using the shortest split line method. Unfortunately, don't expect it to happen any time soon. Politicians, especially those on the Republican side of the aisle, will fight against any such change.

  • 1 month ago

    It's not a bad idea at all. But first we have to make sure that everyone can vote.  With all the vote-suppressing state laws Republicans are pushing, candidates pick their voters instead of vice versa.

  • 1 month ago

    You know who complains about wanting more options?

    People who don't do anything but show up on election day and then whine about candidates on social media.  Want options?  Actually get involved in politics, rather than just whine about how they're not "giving" you options.

    If third parties were actually viable then they'd have real world supporters who contributed their time and money to win elections, and not just national elections, but elections at all levels of government.  You're not a real party just because every four years five hundred people claim to nominate a slate in a Ramada ballroom somewhere.

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