it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time…
I read this wonderful post from ThreeBallot voting.
I’ve read it through twice, and I only think I understand how it works.
For all its flaws, First Past The Post is really easy to describe. You can explain how it works in a sentence. “The person with the largest number of votes for them is the winner.” I reckon you can do it in two words: “Biggest wins.”
Every other form of voting is complicated.
The attacks against paper-based FPTP are simple to understand – and simple to defend against. Here’s a 7 page paper from Princeton, and a follow-up 10 pager, discussing some of the subtle and complex attacks against ThreeBallot.
Even if you think ThreeBallot solves some problems, it is undeniable that it is complicated to teach and tricky to defend.
Recently, I was a voter in a ranked-voting election. All of us marked our favourite candidate as “1”, the next best as “2”, etc. Except for one voter, who thought we were assigning points! They gave a “5” to their favourite candidate and a “1” to the candidate they disliked.
In most democracies, people only engage with a ballot a few times per decade. Any complex skill atrophies unless regularly practised.
Is there a voting system which is simple to understand and robustly democratic?