Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Instant" "Majority"

48 days after the election, a statewide instant runoff vote in North Carolina has concluded. After applying the IRV method, which FairVote touts as always returning a majority decision, the win was awarded to a candidate with 28% of the ballots. So much for "instant", and so much for "majority."

It took 10 days for Oakland, California to count their "instant" runoff vote for mayor this year. The winner there received a "majority" consisting of 45% of all ballots.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fix Congress, Too

I firmly believe that, by using superior election methods, we can greatly improve our democracy. I think it's the single most cost-effective change we could make. But it's not the only effective change we could make.

Five years ago, I wasn't reading the New York Times and the Washington Post; I was reading Slashdot, Techdirt, and ArsTechnica. (Actually, I still read those, but I now also read political blogs.) I was concerned with copyright, free software, and the DMCA. It was only slowly that it dawned on me that my concerns about technology and culture were losing out because of a failure to influence the law, and the politicians and political parties that write the law.

Five years ago, one of the heroes of my world was Lawrence Lessig: copyright crusader. But today, one of the heroes of my world is Lawrence Lessig: election reform advocate. We've marched the same road. But Lessig's plan for change is different from mine. He wants publicly-funded elections, in order to take the money of out politics. If you're a fan of this blog, and you haven't already done so, please take a look at Fix Congress First. It's a good idea, and it would do a lot of good... even if it's not the only good idea. ;)