Potential Life for Third Political Parties?




View Poll Results :Would Automatic Runoffs Be a Good Idea?
Yes 2 28.57%
No 3 42.86%
Maybe 2 28.57%
Having Other Political Parties is a bad idea anyways 0 0%
Who Cares? 0 0%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

 
--
Boots
 
April 1st, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 

Topic: Potential Life for Third Political Parties?


Here's the idea. What if there were an Automatic Runoff in all situations where no candidate received a majority of the vote?

Here's how that would work. Lets take the 1992 election as an example. Because there were a lot of votes for Ross Perot (11% of them), neither Clinton nor Bush were able to achieve a majority of the vote. So rather than just taking the person with the most votes (Clinton) and declaring him the winner, we throw out all but the top 2 and have a runoff vote to determine the winner. So in that case, America votes again with only two choices: Either Clinton or Bush. With such a system in place, nobody can claim that they wasted their vote by voting for Perot, nor does it potentially steal away the victory from the "rightful winner". Most importantly, you can vote for the Green Party if the Green Party is something that you believe in, but you aren't handing victory to the Republicans in the process.

Bear in mind, a candidate who captures majority vote would not be subject to a runoff because there would be no point in doing so.

The example isn't the best because of the Electoral College and all, but it is a pretty familiar example to everyone. What does everyone think? It can easily be instituted in elections for Govenors, Senators and Congressmen. Would this be an effective means of allowing other Political Parties to grow into something, rather than just dying on the vine like they do under our current system?
April 1st, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
the problem i can see here is the sheer expense of a national election
April 2nd, 2005  
SigPig
 
The way I see it, your electoral college works similarly to Canada's "first past the post" system of electing members of Parliament, in that there is no direct correlation between popular vote and number of electors/seats gained.

If a candidate wins the most votes in a state, he carries that state and all its electors; if three candidates (say, Rep, Dem, and Green) run in the state, then all one candidate needs is 33.3% plus one vote -- am I right on this?

On the other hand, since the different states each have different numbers of electors, then it means that barely winning in the big states is better than landslides in the smaller states.

Supposing they went to a form of proportional selection: if you get 33% of the popular vote in the state of West Kentucky, you get 33% of their electors.

Would that work out closer to the will of the people?
--
Boots
April 2nd, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewie_nz
the problem i can see here is the sheer expense of a national election
You need not worry, the costs of elections in the USA is going to continue to escalate out of control without any extra help. Actually, the cost of setting up a runoff would be a pathetic drop in the bucket compared with how much any ol' candidate spends on a campaign.
April 2nd, 2005  
cPFC/SAJROTC
 
I can see it's use, but it doesn't really answer the fact that predominately, American's will still vote along Democrat or Republican lines, simply to avoid the chance that their 3rd party candidate could get last place and be eliminated. American's would want to avoid the expense (despite as godofthunder said, its drop in the bucket), and already, a huge amount of American's don't vote anyways, what makes us think those that do would want to participate in the system a 2nd time, it's a hassle.
April 2nd, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
How about make it alot easier and never have to worry about Perots or Naders spoiling elections again by just making a law saying two parties only? They may as well. Third parties have only once been of consequence in this country and that was when Teddy Roosevelt went to the Bull Moose Progressive Party (not to be confused with today's Progessives) when Taft wouldn't stand aside and let him run under the Republican ticket. That was disaster for the Republicans too as Woodrow Wilson was elected for the Democrats instead and you know what that got us - the IRS!
April 4th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cPFC/SAJROTC
I can see it's use, but it doesn't really answer the fact that predominately, American's will still vote along Democrat or Republican lines, simply to avoid the chance that their 3rd party candidate could get last place and be eliminated.
The point is, if you believe in what a Third Political Party stands for, you can vote for them without fear. Staying with Presidential Elections for the sake of familiarity: Everyone who voted for Perot could not be blamed for Bush Sr. losing to Clinton, because there would have been a runoff. The same would have occurred in 1996: no majority vote = a runoff between the top 2 candidates. Supporters of Al Gore in 2000 could not complain that Nader stole the election from the Democrats. The runoff for no majority vote would have settled the matter with certainty. And lets face it, two political parties cannot possibly cover everyone's political beliefs.

Quote:
American's would want to avoid the expense (despite as godofthunder said, its drop in the bucket), and already, a huge amount of American's don't vote anyways, what makes us think those that do would want to participate in the system a 2nd time, it's a hassle.
Do you know the excuse that the a huge portion of nonvoting Amercians throw at it? They won't bother voting because they have no confidence in either party. Many are convinced that their nonvote will be recognized as what they intend it to be: A vote of no confidence. A protest against what they feel is only a choice between two evils. There is a lot of fuel out there for new political parties, but they are all doomed to fail under the current system. The Green Party has some very good stances and ought to be allowed to grow, but how can they under the weight of "ruining the 2000 election and handing the victory to Bush."

The party that Perot started, whatever they call it these days, has faded into obscurity. And yet it captured 11% of America's vote and addressed a long list of things that Americans believed in. It was powerful enough that if Perot had not mysteriously dropped out, he probably would have been President. That party has been flogged into obscurity by the Republicans, condemning it for stealing the 1992 election from George Bush Sr.

Third Parties have very little chance of success in the system we have now, BECAUSE the current system has that political movement's extinction written right into it. You cannot vote for a third party that you believe in and which better represents your beliefs without jeaprodizing the position of whichever of the big 2 comes the closest to your convictions.

A runoff corrects that problem:
If Joe Republican has gets 53% of the vote, Jim Democrat gets 42% of the vote, and Fred Green Party gets 5% of the vote, no runoff occurs and the right man won the election outright.
If Jim Democrat Gets 44% of the vote, Joe Republican gets 46% of the vote, and Fred Green Party gets 10% of the vote .... well suddenly the runoff becomes incredibly relevant. Most of the Green Party vote is going to vote for Jim Democrat in the runoff, and Jim Democrat defeats Joe Republican 53% to 47% of votes. The current system hands the victory to Joe Republican, and the next several years will publicly flog the Green Party for it. But the runoff hands the victory to the man that best represents the voice of the people. The voice of the majority will truly have been heard. They that believe in the Green Party are not open to criticism. The Green Party can continue to exist and grow because there is nothing to blame them for.

The idea has far more relevance to elections for Govenors, Senators, state Legislators, Congressmen and local governmental leaders. Still, if a the State of Mississippi did not come to a majority on a Presidential Candidate, a runoff would ensure that Mississippi's electoral votes go to the right person.
April 4th, 2005  
behemoth79
 
 
runoffs are a horrible idea. there are more than enough controversies with just one election. also, if u took my idea of getting rid of the electoral college in the first place, there would be no need for any of the controversy.
April 4th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by behemoth79
runoffs are a horrible idea. there are more than enough controversies with just one election. also, if u took my idea of getting rid of the electoral college in the first place, there would be no need for any of the controversy.
What on Earth does it have to do with the Electoral College????
April 7th, 2005  
Red_Army
 
 
This might be a crazy idea for an Election.
Why not have a Playoff Format, similar to Sports?

Example
First Round Elections
2nd Democrats defeat 3rd Green Party, takes place in July

Finals Match
1st Republicans vs 2nd Democrats, takes place in November

*1st place will go to which ever party the current President represents.