SocraticGadfly: Ranked choice voting and the 2016 presidential election (updated)

August 27, 2016

Ranked choice voting and the 2016 presidential election (updated)

Various types of alternative voting, other than "first past the post" or "first past the post plus a runoff if no majority" (ignoring the Electoral College in presidential elections) get regularly touted by third-party backers, sometimes to the point of heated argument about which is best. (Common Cause compares a few.

Ranked choice, also known as instant runoff voting, is already used in a few places in the U.S. Approval voting, the normal second-most-common touted option, isn't used anywhere.

That said, in the world of the actual, these event aren't the only ways of voting.

For Congressional, state legislative and local races, FairVote looks at three multi-seat options.


But, back to this year's presidential race.

Let's say we had no Electoral College, that we insisted the winner have a majority, not just plurality, of popular vote, and that we didn't want a messy, time-consuming physical runoff.

I think ranked choice/IRV (some particular Jesuitical types may still claim they're different things) is the best option.

With a mix of actual and idealized options, voting here in Tejas, here you go on my rankings.
1. The Science and Reason Party. This is an idealized desire.

2. Green Party, candidate and party faults and all. (For now)

3. Some Socialist Party. Problems: there's none on the ballot in Texas, and those that exist elsewhere are highly factionalized against each other. That said, I'd gladly not vote in the 2018 Texas Dem primary, should I still be in this state, to sign a Socialist ballot access petition.

Update: The Socialist Party USA candidate is trying to get write-in standing in Texas. If he and his Veep do, you'll get a blog post with analysis of their individual and party positions. If they pass the smell test ...

Update 2: Nope, nope nope. S-USA's party platform looks like Occupy Wall Street on Quaaludes, or flower children embedded in amber. Among the nuttier "wants"? Unilateral disarmament, and NOT just nukes — all weapons. Public referendums on every declaration of war. Soldiers' unions.

SIX weeks paid vacation, which goes beyond even the nice five weeks of Western Europe. Social Security at 55 with $25K/year minimum.

Others I disagree with? Repeal the Hatch Act? Wrong; I do NOT want federal employees having partisan involvement. Yes, this hurts the "little guy" federal employee, but, unless one would say "Hatch Act doesn't apply below GS-7," a unilateral repeal is stupid.

Given that other socialist parties are even more minimalist than S-USA, which has only four statewide affiliates in the nation, and most assuredly does not have more local elected officials than Greens, since the party's website doesn't even list local officials it's gotten elected, that's minuscule indeed. That means smaller Socialist parties aren't at all in play.

Oh, and, as busted on Reddit, it's anti-GMO, as much as Greens, and has a presidential candidate who may be almost as pandering as Stein on the issue. That's in the platform. Also in the platform is opposition to radiation of food.

4. Justice Party. Problems? Besides not being on the Texas ballot, I don't think it's as far left as Greens, and it was created in party from Naderite spite at the Greens.
5. Not voting. I've long said this is an honorable choice if done with due consideration.
6. Libertarian or Democrat. Yes, this is a coin toss. Gary Johnson's not as nutbar as some LP candidates, but the party is still "way out there" on many economic, and even more so, on many economic justice issues. BUT .... Hillary Clinton is Hillary Clinton.

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