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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Do you make a distinction between a true majority and a plurality?
    • Actually I was just pondering that the other day. Electoral systems are a complicated topic, but I basically think that, at least for single-member districts (i.e., positions where you only get to elect one person), plurality is not good enough. If nothing else, it does a poor job at manufacturing consensus, because you end up with everyone having to put up with a minority's choices -- the fact it was the largest minority's choice is not much of a consolation. So I think that if, in an election, there is
      • But without mandatory participation in the electoral process, it's very difficult to obtain a true majority, as the basis for such a determination much be a percentage of possible votes, vice those that participate. US elections are notorious for "number of people eligible to vote" > "number of people registered to vote" > "number of people who vote". You could lump these into a "they vote to not vote", but that's not the same as "none of the above", and more or less validates plurality as an electi
      • Re:Majority (Score:2, Insightful)

        One of the issues with our (U.S.) current voting system is that it's binary -- your vote counts just as much whether you think a candidate is the lesser of two evils or if you'd follow her into battle against Megatron. This is great for mindless robots who vote with the party, but stinks for everyone else, particularly since parties are much less powerful (and meaningful) than they once were.

        There are lots of academics talking about this issue. IMO one of the more implementable (and non-radical) proposals

        • What would happen if the cumulative voting proposal also allowed "none of the above"?

          We had a mayoral election here last November, with seven candidates ranging from Mr. Cannot Be Trusted with a Stapler to Ms. Literary Deconstructionism Ate My Brain. Unfortunately, of the two serious candidates, the incumbent had a questionable run-in with the police as well as the odd timing of pushing a foggily explained tax increase referendum a mere week before everyone discovered their property tax for the year had