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US voting system needs an overhaul ?

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  • US voting system needs an overhaul ?

    At the moment the US voting system is set up that it favors a concentration into just two parties, minorities have no chance of beeing part of the government. Here in germany the situation is different as with our system more parties can make it into the parlament and if one party fails to get the absolute (>50%) majority of votes they have to coalition with smaller parties with a similar program. This way if people think one subject is important to them but isn't represented by the established parties, well they can simply create their own party and if they get enough votes (we have a limit of min. 5%) and are elected into parlament they get their seats in parlament and can coalition with the winner of the votes if those fail to get enough votes on their own.

    This system works pretty well in Germany, at the moment we have four parties who usually get more than 5%, the two big parties (similart to the democrats and the republicans) and two smaller parties, the greens who have a program focused on the enviromental and social issues and usually coalition with the SPD (that would be the democrats) and the FDP, a party whos focus is the economy, who want fewer taxes and more freedom for the Industry and who usually coalition with the CDU (thats the repulicans).
    This system gives voters a bigger freedom as they are able to give their vote to a party who closer matches their interests instead of having just one choice to vote.
    For example the green party, it was virtually non existant twenty years ago and both big parties completely failed to see the desire of the population to do more to protect the enviroment, so a new party was born who are now getting close to 10% during elections. They are part of the government and have a few ministers, such as the foreign minister and of course the minister of enviromental protection. With a 2-party system such a change would have been impossible because the big parties were unable to change and would have completely ignored this desire, thus ignoring the will of the population who elected the.

    Its the same in the US at the moment, with Nader increasing his popularity (he is at 6% at the moment) its obvious that a large part of americans dont feel represented by either of the big parties yet their opinion is completely ignored by the current system. Lets just assume for a moment that the USA had a system similar to germany and both big parties get 47% and Nader 6%, one of the big parties has a few votes more and get to rule the country, but because they fail to get absolute majority (the other party together with naders votes would be able to overrule them) they have to coalition to ensure they have the majority. Of course they got far more votes so its out of the question who would be the junior partner in this coalition and the big party will get mosts Ministries and a big say in how this government is going to shape but the Nader party will get.. say the Ministry of Consumers Protection, because thats the reason why voters voted for them in the first place and these voters therefor get a (minor) say in the new government aswell.

    Such a system is a whole lot fairer (in my opinion) than the current all or nothing system that you currently have. And for your right wings... imagine a right wing party who concentrates on.. uh, 'free guns for all' or 'more money for the military, we need Abrahams not schools' or something. If you feel the republicans arent caring about your belives enough because they try to be too far left for your tast to catch some votes from the democrats you could express your displeasure with the way the republicans are heading by voting for this new party, and if they get 5% and the republicans win they have to coalition with your party and pay extra attention to your interests (a member of your party would probably demand the position of Ministry of Defence).

    Please discuss
    "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

    Henry Alfred Kissinger

  • #2
    I don't have much time for a rebutal, but what you see outside of the Presidential elections is really set by the states. State laws vary greatly on this and it is harder for 3rd or 4th parties in some elections in some states than it is for others. I really do not like the coallition Idea as there is already too much under table, back room dealing going on as it is.

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    • #3
      Maybe I should explain our voting system a little more in deept, we actually have two elections, one were we elect the party that should rule our national government and one election were we elect the party that should rule our Bundesland (thats an american state). We can vote for the same party in both elections but don't have to and in fact at the moment our nation is ruled by a coalition of SPD + greens while the majority of our states is ruled by coalitions of CDU + FDP, sometimes even different coalitions such as SPD + FDP or CDU + Greens or even one of the big parties together with a small local party who got elected in a state but did'nt got enough votes to have a seat in the Bundestag (parlament). As there are some laws that need to be approved by the Bundesrat (thats a kind of secondary parlament were every state has a few seets depending on its size and of course which party won the votes), so the Bundesrat has some influence on the governments policy but its main focus is supposed to be his own state and there are some laws that are different from state to state (education for example) and there are laws that are made by the government and have to be equally applied in every state (laws of justice for example). To give you an extreme example: if I think the government should do a lot more to protect the enviroment I could vote green during the elections for the government of the nation and if I feel that that far to many aliens are hanging around my neighborhood and I want them all to be send away I could vote for a right wing party during the state-elections.

      Your system basically only allows you to choose between democrats and republicans, our system allows for a wider variety and 'strategic voting'. For example if I want the CDU to rule but I want them to pay more attention to the economy I could vote FDP, knowing that they usually coalition with the CDU if the CDU doesn't get enough votes on their own (but should win enough votes to win the election). The stronger the FDP is the stronger is their (economical focused) influence in the government. And even if the CDU should fail to get the majority of votes and the SPD wins the election they will probably need a coalition partner, and if the greens are to weak to grant them a majority they'd have to coalition with the FDP and the stronger focus on the economy will still make it into national policy.
      "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

      Henry Alfred Kissinger

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      • #4
        The U.S. presidential election system has different weight on votes from different states. In 2000 Bush actually got less votes in the country overall (if you just use the official numbers) but because a vote in e.g. Florida counts more than votes from other states, he won.

        This is a problem, IMHO, the U.S. president has not been elected by the majority of voters, plain and simple.

        The U.S. system is designed and optimized based on the assumption that the fastest way to get a message across the country is a rider, that makes it neccessary to "abstract" the voting by state like it is. Today, the means to get data from A to B have improved and it should have triggered an overhaul.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Redwolf
          The U.S. presidential election system has different weight on votes from different states. In 2000 Bush actually got less votes in the country overall (if you just use the official numbers) but because a vote in e.g. Florida counts more than votes from other states, he won.

          This is a problem, IMHO, the U.S. president has not been elected by the majority of voters, plain and simple.

          The U.S. system is designed and optimized based on the assumption that the fastest way to get a message across the country is a rider, that makes it neccessary to "abstract" the voting by state like it is. Today, the means to get data from A to B have improved and it should have triggered an overhaul.
          It's called "Electoral College."

          Interestingly enough, this system was originally implemented to provide smaller states a voice. So in a sense, it does provide some protection for minorities. Many people today think it's elitist, but in reality, it's not so. Look at 2000 election:



          See? This is why I like Electoral College. This prevents the larger states with bigger population centers from dominating USA and elections. This actually provides a voice for smaller states.

          Dan
          Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

          "Aim small, miss small."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cheetah772
            It's called "Electoral College."

            Interestingly enough, this system was originally implemented to provide smaller states a voice. So in a sense, it does provide some protection for minorities. Many people today think it's elitist, but in reality, it's not so. Look at 2000 election:



            See? This is why I like Electoral College. This prevents the larger states with bigger population centers from dominating USA and elections. This actually provides a voice for smaller states.

            Dan
            I was going to point out these FACTS when I saw your post. Why is it everyone outside of the US has a comment about our voting system, WHEN THEY DON'T HAVE A CLUE AS TO HOW IT WORKS?!

            The biggest asses are the ones who think Bush is in office illegally. F'ing retards.

            Comment


            • #7
              Theres no such thing as 100% democracy, theres flaws and strengths in every system. Near enough is good enough. But thats not to say there should not be efforts to improve systems.
              Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CPangracs
                I was going to point out these FACTS when I saw your post. Why is it everyone outside of the US has a comment about our voting system, WHEN THEY DON'T HAVE A CLUE AS TO HOW IT WORKS?!

                The biggest asses are the ones who think Bush is in office illegally. F'ing retards.
                your a fine one to judge
                Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

                Comment


                • #9
                  No Kraut, the US system doesn't need an overhaul.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CPangracs
                    I was going to point out these FACTS when I saw your post. Why is it everyone outside of the US has a comment about our voting system, WHEN THEY DON'T HAVE A CLUE AS TO HOW IT WORKS?!

                    The biggest asses are the ones who think Bush is in office illegally. F'ing retards.
                    I was merely pointing out that not every U.S. citizen has the same amount of vote, which is true.

                    If you want to protect minorities, I think minorities by region are the least of the problems. If that is so worthwhile don't you give extra voting weight by age, ethnic features, religion, profession or income?

                    Why the the place of living more important?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Redwolf
                      I was merely pointing out that not every U.S. citizen has the same amount of vote, which is true.

                      If you want to protect minorities, I think minorities by region are the least of the problems. If that is so worthwhile don't you give extra voting weight by age, ethnic features, religion, profession or income?

                      Why the the place of living more important?
                      Wrong. ALL and every US citizen has ONE vote, and that is enough in my book.

                      Why is the place of living more important? It's not place, it's people themselves. If Wymong had the population of New York, then it just got more important politically.

                      It depends where people move all the time, that's why we have census every 10 years. Its sole purpose is to make sure the electoral votes are meted out fairly to all states, thus a person's vote has the same power as another person living in larger state with bigger population centers.

                      Dan
                      Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                      "Aim small, miss small."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cheetah772
                        It's called "Electoral College."

                        Interestingly enough, this system was originally implemented to provide smaller states a voice. So in a sense, it does provide some protection for minorities. Many people today think it's elitist, but in reality, it's not so. Look at 2000 election:



                        See? This is why I like Electoral College. This prevents the larger states with bigger population centers from dominating USA and elections. This actually provides a voice for smaller states.

                        Dan
                        But shouldn't the vote represent the people and not the states?

                        I mean wouldn't a direct way of voting (everyones votes and then the majority) be better?

                        I mean I got it this way: if for example 51% of a county vote for one canditate he gets all the votes from the electoral collage (by tradition not by law), but the same is true when te canditate gains 100 percent of the votes.

                        If I am wrong please clarify and give a source that I can read on on it.
                        "A platoon of Chinese tanks viciously attacked a Soviet harvester,
                        which was peacefully working a field near the Soviet-Chinese border.
                        The harvester returned fire and upon destroying the enemy
                        returned to its home base."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cheetah772
                          Wrong. ALL and every US citizen has ONE vote, and that is enough in my book.

                          Why is the place of living more important? It's not place, it's people themselves. If Wymong had the population of New York, then it just got more important politically.

                          It depends where people move all the time, that's why we have census every 10 years. Its sole purpose is to make sure the electoral votes are meted out fairly to all states, thus a person's vote has the same power as another person living in larger state with bigger population centers.
                          Uh, I think you don't understand how the presidential election works.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Redwolf
                            I was merely pointing out that not every U.S. citizen has the same amount of vote, which is true.

                            If you want to protect minorities, I think minorities by region are the least of the problems. If that is so worthwhile don't you give extra voting weight by age, ethnic features, religion, profession or income?

                            Why the the place of living more important?
                            I wasn't referring to your post, but since you brought it up, the EC is based on the POPULATION of a state, which is a relation to the POPULAR VOTE. This guarantees that the states with the most people get the most say, as it should be.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Redwolf
                              Uh, I think you don't understand how the presidential election works.
                              Tell you what, why don't you go find something and cut & paste it here so we can be on the same intelletual level?

                              Comment

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