3rd parties in America and IVR

I wrote this in a response to a question raised about 3rd parties in America.


But there is a solution, I don't expect anyone here to buy into this as a way of saving democracy or justifying it, or any of the above, but at least it may help.

It's the idea of an instant voter run off. you get one fewer votes than there are candidates running for the office. You vote first for the person you would most like to see win, and you have the option of selecting your second favorite candidate to the right.


so my ticket might read

                          1                    2                3           4

McCain             (   )                (     )           ( )        (  )

Obama             (    )               (     )             (  )       (    )

Hoppe              ( x )               (    )              (   )       (     )

Barr                  (    )              (     )             ( x  )       (    )

Paul                  (    )              ( x )              (   )        (    )


if after the ballots are read and no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes for the 1 column, then the candidate who recieves the fewest # of votes will be dropped and those whose ballots had the least popular candidate ranked first would be read again under the 2nd column. so if Hoppe came in last my vote would be changed to Paul. if there were still no pure majority, the next least popular candidate would be dropped again and the process would repeat.

This would allow people to vote their conscience instead of  for the lesser of two evils, and would protect the would be winner from the spoiler effect. It does not fix democracy, but perhaps it is a little better that 51 rule over 49 than 23 rule over 77.

If nothing else it would be a legitimizing tool for getting the message out about Libertarianism and Austrian economics.

one last note. this would be a little tricky when it came to the electoral college, and I don't know how it would play out exactly. supposing this were implemented in all 50 states, we could have a design such that the electors might be recalled and the next most popular candidate would be elected by that state in the event that the candidate initially elected did not get a substantial number of electoral votes from other areas. So that even if Hoppe won Oklahoma straight away, his electors might be recalled in favor of Paul's if Obama is leading Paul 268- 264, Oklahoma would not send Hoppe electors if Paul was voted more popular than Obama.  In this case Oklahoma's 6 electoral votes would make difference 270-268.

Again, I'm not claiming that this will fix the world, but it may alleviate some of the pain. And most importantly, as I mentioned before, it would provide people a real incentive to take a good look at the issues, both economical and ethical and that would be the best for us, and for liberty.