Different uses for voting
need different types of voting.
PoliticalSim software

Review Goals

Tools for developing democracy
This page lists democratic goals for election and policy-making rules, to review topics on the main pages.  (Mathematical goals appeared in the supplementary math pages.)

The #1 goal is the greatest happiness for the greatest number of voters.
The best means are broadly-popular, centrally-balanced policies.
To enact inclusive, well-centered and moderate policies,
councils need diverse reps, central reps, and valid 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 one 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 or fund proposals give each group their fair share of power without letting a minority block action.  Policy decisions by ensemble councils using Condorcet's Pairwise rule also may follow a less combative path than winner take all.

1890 Ransom E. Olds steamer car

Steering Analogy

When choosing a voting rule, a new Mercedes costs little more than an old jalopy.  That price is a bargain when the votes steer important budgets or policies.

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

Today's drivers need the skill to use power steering —
but they don't need the math or logic to engineer it.  Same with voters and voting rules.

A group may test drive a new rule in a survey.
Or they may form a “committee of the whole” to vote, tally and report a result to enact by the old yes-or-no rule.

Mercedes-Benz Telligent Lane Assistent

Which is more stable and quick?

Steps Toward Accurate Democracy

1) Organize voters, through Movable Votes.
2) Represent everyone, through  Full Representation.
3) Center majorities, through Ensemble Councils.
4) Resist manipulation, through  Clear Legislative Votes.
5) Empower everyone, through Fair-Share Spending.

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.

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  

The best legislative rules follow the patterns of the best electoral rules.  The best voting rules are fast, easy and fair.  They organize big groups backing popular choices.

Some Ethical Goals

Pop Quiz: Name the best voting rule to satisfy each goal.


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.

In this era dominated by corporations and economic consciousness, it is important to be aware that our quality of life depends in part on the quality of our democracy.

Three Propositions for Accurate Democracy

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

Accurate representation selects central and diverse reps.
Accurate legislation enacts the one 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.        U.S. Reforms

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