Different uses for voting
need different types of voting.
Tools Between PeopleVoting systems are "tools between people." They define a very public model showing us the way to treat each other. Thus voting affects our quality of life, not only in setting our policies but in setting the mixture of conflict and cooperation, the respect we give and receive. Do unto others...
A) "An election should give representation to the major opinion groups in the electorate. Give them a forum to debate and refine policies for the common good." This view emphasizes the integrating or networking purpose of elections and representative committees.
B) "The goal of an election is to give one group the power to rule. Give them a clear mandate to resolve necessary choices." We could call that the dominance purpose of an election. This path risks turning to dictatorship: If the biggest party should dominate a government, should the biggest subgroup control the biggest party? And should the biggest sub-subgroup... 1 side, 1 party, 1 faction, 1 leader.
Compromises must be made at some level, even if that is in the mind of one person. One-party states have many compromise policies, although the process is hidden. Democrats believe that political decisions are better when many minds work together, when the options are debated in public from many points of view, and when power is distributed fairly. This web site shows that inclusive decisions can be more stable.
Why Take a Vote
The chief goal of democratic government is still as Socrates said, "the greatest happiness for the greatest population." The best chance for that is in a system which tends toward political moderation with balanced polices.
Voting is sometimes accused of polarizing electorates. If many voters feel they are playing their cards to oppose other voters, then the community does indeed have a problem. Good rules by themselves cannot heal social rifts, but accurately showing all opinions can move the process forward. Bad rules exacerbate real and contrived conflicts.
Yes-no ballots and plurality rules count cards placed in direct opposition. Full-choice ballots and the rules explained in this ebook do not, so they do not encourage that way of thinking. These rules may change our fundamental concepts and expectations of voting and government from tools of cultural war between interest groups to tools giving institutional support to diversity and its freedoms.
Ultimately, voting cannot satisfy people with opposing values. Emigration, "voting with your feet," is the surest way to arrive at the policies you want. When that is not practical, build democratic organizations with democrats.
The next page asks, “Are there democratic personality types? ”
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