posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 01:10 PM
I've observed that a lot of people say they're going to vote for Kerry because he's not Bush, and vice-versa. This made me think of a competitive
fundraiser we have on campus called "Penny Wars." It raises money for a charity by pitting groups against each other, which adds a fun twist to
fundraising. There's a box for each group, let's say for each school. A penny counts as +1, and silver counts as -1 (sometimes more). So, I'd
throw my pennies into the Engineering box and my other change into the Liberal Arts box.
Extending this idea to the presidential election, what if you could cast a vote either FOR or AGAINST a candidate? This way, if you don't really
like either candidate, but say you dislike Bush more, you could just vote against him. I wonder what the results of such an election would be. Would
all the Republicans go and vote against Kerry and all the Democrats vote against Bush? "And the winner, with negative 50,134,000 votes, ..."
Maybe that wouldn't work out too well. However, there are several serious voting systems which have a similar effect. There's the ranking system,
where you rank all the candidates from best to worst. Along the same lines there's the system where you vote for the top three candidates. Probably
the best system I know of is where each person is given ten or so "votes," and they get to distribute this among the candidates as they see fit.
For instance, if you really like Bush, you can give him all ten votes, or if you like Kerry and Nader, you could give Kerry seven and Nader three.
The question is would people actually distribute their votes, or would they give all of them to one candidate to make sure the other guy doesn't get
A system like this would be great for third parties, as people could support a "realistic" candidate and an alternative party at the same time. Of
course, seeing the trouble some people had with the simple one-vote system last election, the systems I mentioned above would probably be too darn
complicated for them.