Probably the most known name, among theorists, for the choose-one plurality voting system is "First Past the Post," even though this term doesn't seem descriptive in any known sense and no one knows what the "post" might refer to.
I am bringing, below, a backup copy of Warren D. Smith, Ph. D.'s "Why score voting should decrease the importance of money in elections." I attach great importance to this document. It is one of the two that I cite most often in trying to get people to see voting reform as the switch at the center of the difference between certain death and a possibility of life. Even though Dr. Smith's title for the writing mentions Score Voting, and even though within it, he specifically promotes Score Voting as the solution to the problem he describes, I do not promote this writing of his specifically in order to promote Score Voting as the sole solution. Rather, I promote this writing because it explains the current political predicament of the American people, which I think is substantially shared by UK residents and likely those of several other countries as well, but as a resident of the US, I concentrate on US politics. I believe that for a reasonable person, reading and understanding this writing of Smith's leads to an understanding that the general public in the US has almost no political power, and that all political power in the US rests with the super-rich. Because I want to emphasize the aspect of this document that it describes the problem, and de-emphasize its recommendation of Score Voting as the only solution, I tend to cite this document not by its title, but rather just by the name "Cash3" because the last slash-separated name in its URL is "Cash3.html". I see the document as describing, although in quite crude terms, a mechanism whereby the rich maintain power and exclude the public from power, and so I refer to this mechanism as "the 'Cash3' mechanism" because this document is the earliest, to my knowledge, to describe this mechanism in public. Reading it with somewhat Marxist glasses leads me to go further and say that all political power rests with capital itself.
I think it is important to store and publish backup copies of the "Cash3" document because I know nothing about how the online presence of the original is maintained. Maybe Smith does it by himself and when he reaches the end of his life, there might not be anyone positioned to take over, and so the domain registration and the servers might just get recycled.
Why score voting should decrease the importance of money in elections
If score voting were adopted, then it automatically would decrease the importance of money. We first must ask the underlying question: why is campaigning so absurdly expensive? When today's technology makes it easy and cheap to publicize your message? The reason is that
- if you vote for Ralph Nader, you are, strategically speaking, an idiot. Hence it does not matter that Nader can make his message available, nor whether that message is good – still few will vote for him. Studies showed 90% of voters who regarded Nader & Buchanan as the best US presidential candidate in 2000, voted for somebody else. That's an insurmountable hurdle for everybody like Nader and an enormous distortion of democracy.
- The reason for that is the plurality voting system's "wasted vote" mathematical pathology...
- which does not exist with the "score voting" superior system...
- in which there is no such thing as "vote splitting" and "wasted vote" hence no inherent strategic need for candidates to expensively convince voters they are one of the "2 most likely to win" so that it is non-idiotic to vote for them. Instead, voters can, with no idiocy at all, just score the good candidates high, not caring one whit about how much money they have or how likely or unlikely they are to win.
This all is a fact which the media virtually never talks about. Indeed they virtually never mention the importance of other voting systems even when it is staring them in the face, such as Donald Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger (/Trump2015.html). In those cases, the entire real story was the voting system, but the media would simply not talk about that actual story. Not even for 1 sentence.
The strategy to stop money-corruption of politics must be 2-pronged: not only try to get money out of politics – a noble idea, but one which nobody has managed to do in 200 years of US history and even if done would be very vulnerable to cheating and backsliding and the fact the FEC almost never enforces even the lame laws we do have – but inherently decrease the importance of money. The latter idea is one almost nobody in the media talks about, and hence almost nobody knows about. (And if money mattered little, then that'd remove the incentive for cheating, partially solving the cheating and non-enforcement problems.)
If we abbreviate "Choose-one Plurality" as "COP", that can remind us of the "Good Cop, Bad Cop" scenario imposed on the Americans by the ruling class.
In conversation after conversation about the single-winner context, my interlocutors express doubt in the importance of balance.
In defending my position that balance matters, I invite you to join me in analyzing how Choose-one Plurality Voting empowers the ruling class. In talking about such an analysis, I will highlight a role played by lack of balance. I contend that this role is central to the mechanism.
- The "Cash3" document by Warren D. Smith, Ph. D.
- "The Equal Vote" by probably substantially Mark Frohnmayer and his father.
- The "Prisoner's Dilemma" thought experiment and paradigm for real experiments, from Game Theory.