The current election system in a ‘democratic’ government with checks and balances can be arguably be defined as the majority ruling over the minority, and we can spiral down from there to a oppressive state with a democratic mandate to continue. You also get into the situation where you end up with large powerful political parties that have the power in themselves to continue to rule.
I was thinking of a system where people voted for their candidate, even wright in candidates, and every vote is thrown into a hat, of all the votes one name is randomly selected and that person would be the one who won that position. This would seem to give minority opinions far more voice, yet preserve free and fair elections. It would also challenge the major political party machines and I would think such a system would give much power back to the people.
What are your things on such a system? Has anything like this been tried?
Also I wish to leave out the details of how to implement such a system, just to keep it in a ideal state, though if you would like to comment on how to do it feel free because I have though about that also. I figure 25-30 coin flips would take care of a national election, each time dividing the votes in half.
According to Wikipedia, it hasn’t. They also have some information on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Random Ballot versus other election systems here.
It’d scare the hell out of me.
Assuming you can handle the accountability issues (which are potentially major), this election system is fair in the long run, but it makes it much less likely we get to a long run.
The problem is that it’s incredibly high variance. Variance is not something you want in political leadership. Consider how much of an issue it is that we have an upcoming “fiscal cliff”. It’s not clear what taxes and policy will look like into the future. Uncertainty makes people nervous. Now imagine what it would be like if come January, we had a 4% chance that the new president would immediately recall all troops from all foreign soil, a 2% chance that he’d launch nukes at Iran, a 7% chance that he’ll begin dismantling all the administrations under the executive branch, and maybe a 0.5% chance that he’ll do who the fuck knows what else some crazy person might do. And then we might get the complete opposite in another 4 years.
There are plenty of deterministic political systems that allow smaller parties to have a proportional say in government but don’t occasionally result in completely schizophrenic behavior by the state (cue jokes about your least favorite politicians).