How Democrats can help themselves to win while starting the ball rolling to get
I hope my previous post, and/or the
CRV web site
has convinced you of the vast superiority of the "Range Voting"
system (essentially the one used in the Olympics to select gold-medal Gymnasts)
over the present flawed "plurality system."
So the question now is: how should we try to get it?
Well, first of all, if Democrats do not even adopt Range Voting
in their own internal primaries and caucuses, then they can forget
about getting it in real elections! So I suggest doing that.
In fact – I suggest that the Democratic Party
ADOPT RANGE VOTING IN ITS 2008 IOWA PRESIDENTIAL CAUCUSES!
This can be done without change to either federal or Iowa state law.
All you need is to change your own internal Dem-party rules.
It will get a lot of free publicity, all of it positive (since you will
be reformers) – an essential prerequisite to wider adoption of Range Voting.
It will reform a system which is presently very screwed up. The present Dem Iowa
caucus rules are quite insane. They are even worse than a "plurality vote" since
there are a lot of "20% cutoffs" and "deals" going on, which cause the reported
totals to be extremely distorted. For example in 2004,
DNC national chair Gov. Howard Dean
got only 18% of the Iowa caucus vote, a huge unexpected defeat, which ended up
torpedoing his presidential bid. But I claim Dean really should have gotten
substantially more Iowa caucus votes – because Caucuses with less than 20%
Deanies automatically cut their Dean vote to zero, for one thing (the cutoff
"20%" depended on the caucus, but you see my point). There were also other effects,
such as strategic plurality voting dishonesty (same effect that stops voters
from supporting Nader – if voters thought Kerry & Edwrds were leading they would not want to "waste their vote" on Dean) and a "teaming" effect for Kerry and Edwards (if Kerry were
threatening to fall below the 20% cutoff, but Edwards was not, in some caucus, then
Edwards voters could step into "save" Kerry in preference to Dean, which since Kerry
and Edwards were very similar, was likely). Never
mind that. The point I am trying to make it, Dean suffered a distorted artificially "low"
vote total, due to the fact your Iowa caucus rules were stupidly subject to many
distortionary effects, and he never recovered. I am not saying Dean "should have won." I am
saying, distortion happened and distortion is bad and likely hurt the Democrats
(after all, the Kerry/Edwards ticket did lose).
Iowans will appreciate the chance to be world leaders in democracy.
With Range Voting, the Democrats will get a substantially improved (on average, according
to our computer simulations)
presidential contender Iowa-winner. That will substantially
improve their chances of winning the 2008 presidency versus the Republicans.
And then the whole Democratic party will do better due to "coattails."
Unlike adopting IRV in Iowa, Range Voting is simple and screwup-free.
Analysis on the CRV site indicates there are many
risks and downsides to adopting IRV
in Iowa, but those risks and downsides do not happen with Range Voting –
so Range Voting is the way you want to go.
In 2004 there were about 1 million votes for third-party candidates, and our
studies indicate true third-party support far exceeds 1 million voters – it is just
that most of them refuse to vote for their true favorite third parties out of
fear of "wasting their votes."
Now. Suppose the Democrats please these voters by supporting Range Voting visibly,
by doing it in Iowa 2008 caucuses. Hello. You've just pleased at least 1 million,
and more like 10 million, swing-type voters, at no cost to you. They'll see
the implications, believe me. That could easily
swing the election toward the Democrats all by itself.
And it could get the Nader voters you made extremely angry in 2004, to perhaps
at last feel that the Democrats are doing soemthing they like. Remember,
Nader is not your enemy, and with range voting "vote splitting" would no longer
exist so you could start regarding Nader as an ally.
The true enemy is the
unfair plurality voting system.
Look. I'm asking you, as Democrats, to pave the way toward a massive improvement of
democracy, while at the same time substantially improving your 2008 chances and costing
you nothing. I mean, this is a total win-win. You do not have to be Albert Einstein to
see what you should do here. This is a no-brainer.
And if you disregard my advice,
it might be even worse than that: suppose the Republicans get the same
range voting idea for their Iowa caucuses. We at CRV are not exactly keeping
this idea a secret – we're in fact lobbying Republicans also to do it.
Then they will be the reformers and reap the improved presidential chances in 2008.
Then we'll be once again hearing about another
"unexpected genius political move from Karl Rove and the GOP" which the Democrats
were just too stupid to match, boo hoo, like usual. I think it'd be nice if
you Dems, just once, were to do something politically
smart and unexpected instead of the GOP doing it, so that you'd be the ones being
lauded as the political geniuses, for a change. And it'd be very simple
for you to do. Nearly cost-free, win-win, improves your votes and makes you reformers,
improves democracy, improves president, gets you swing voters, gets you free positive
publicity, gets those who do it lauded as political geniuses.