Different uses for voting
need different types of voting.
Democracy Quotations Game

Social Goals for
Voting Rules

 Arguments Against Democracy
These democratic goals for elections and legislation preview topics on the main pages.  (Mathematical criteria for voting systems appear in the supplementary math pages.)


Give voters real choices of candidates who can win,
      by electing fair shares of reps from all big groups.

  This supports a wide variety of candidates,
      debate of issues and turnout of voters.

Reduce wasted votes and so end weak mandates.
      Cut the influence of spoilers and gerrymanders.

  Reduce the number of districts with safe seats.
      Reduce attack ads and social schisms.
      Reduce the payoffs from private campaign funding.


Give fair representation to all major groups;
      so the council will enact laws with real majorities.

  Elect a central chairperson with wide appeal; she will
      be the swing vote between reps from interest groups.

Reduce deadlocks and upheavals in budgets or policies.
      Make shifts in power small, frequent and smooth.

  Cut the chances for agenda scams: Speed-rank all options
      at once to detach poison and free-rider amendments.

  Give all reps equal funds for projects and agencies.
      And make each rep's spending visible to the voters.

Strengthen Democracy:  Expand the popular base of power.

In a one-winner contest, the best rules raise the number of votes the winner needs from a plurality to a majority, increasing the winner's mandate.

In a multi-winner contest, the best rules raise the total votes needed to fill all the council seats, increasing the mandate for the council's majority.  (These rules also lower the share of votes required to win one seat at the council.)

Voting for Old rules New rules
Chairperson   the plurality   a majority
Council   pluralities   over three quarters
Budget   a few power blocs    all members
Policy   a one-sided majority     the over-all majority  
These rules are fast, easy and fair.
They organize big groups backing popular choices.

The #1 goal is "the greatest happiness for the greatest number."
The best means are broadly-popular, centrally-balanced policies.
To enact those inclusive well-centered policies, councils need diverse reps, central reps, and fair procedures.

The diverse reps form an inclusive and balanced council.
The central reps form a balance point for council majorities.
The policy procedure finds the 1 bill a majority supports over any other.

We can create a new type of democracy between adversarial and consensual:
Multi-winner rules to elect reps and fund proposals give each group their fair share of power without letting a minority block action.  Policy decisions by ensemble councils using Condorcet's rule also may follow a less adversarial path than winner take all.

   Steering Analogy

When it comes to voting rules, a new Mercedes costs little more than an old clunker.  The added cost is certainly worthwhile if the vote leads to important budgets or policies.  Each dollar spent to count ballots may steer $10,000 in taxes.

Does your car have an 1890 "steering tiller" or a new, power-assisted steering wheel? Does your organization have an 1890 voting rule or a new, balanced and centered rule?

Today's drivers need the skill to use power steering — but they do not need the skill to build a car or the math and logic to engineer one.  Same with voters and voting rules.

Three Propositions for Accurate Democracy

Democracy's greatest risk may come from inside: from systems that work poorly.  Teach your friends and associates:

Accurate representation selects central and diverse reps.
Accurate legislation enacts the 1 policy that beats all others.
Accurate democracy gives power in proportion to popularity.

Many people are excited to learn that democracy does not have to mean winner take all.  Instead it can lead to everyone having their fair share of representation and power.  It is easy and it works.

The next page contrasts two about the purpose of elections. 

Search Accurate Democracy