How Democrats can help themselves to win while starting the ball rolling to get Range Voting

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, DFA founder and present 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).
  4. Iowans will appreciate the chance to be world leaders in democracy.
  5. 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."
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

SUMMARY. 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.

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