Most people don’t fully grasp the complexity of electoral systems. The simplest idea—that the one with the most votes wins—only really works in binary decisions. As soon as a third option appears, the one with the most votes can reflect a minority rather than a majority. Worse, we can often intentionally manipulate such a system by strategically adding candidates.
The design of elections must facilitate fair representation, rather than skewed or arbitrary victories. Systems such as first-past-the-post plurality carry an enormous incumbent advantage, and even a party primary system locks out voters from much of the determination of who will govern them and gives control to few hands.
Outside the design of elections themselves, the manner in which we conduct elections impacts voter participation and the integrity of the election. Election security requires not only a manner of election resistant to strategic manipulation and propaganda attacks designed to influence merely a small handful of voters, but also technical measures to prevent direct tampering—and, optimally, to allow voters as a whole to verify no such tampering has occurred.
Over these past centuries, we have invented a host of new methods to conduct and count elections via ranked ballots. We must use them to provide truly-representative elections resistant to all forms of dishonest manipulation. The most comprehensive election structure thus far involves:
- Nonpartisan Blanket Primaries conducted by Meek-STV, fitting the candidates offered to the ideologies of the voters;
- Condorcet single-winner general elections conducted by Tideman’s Alternative, selecting the most-representative of the whole population of voters; and
- Proportional multi-winner general elections conducted by Meek-STV, ensuring each subset of the population identified by their shared ideological viewpoints has representation.
With this foundation, democracy represents the will of the people, both overall and as individually as we can.