Elections & Voting #
I’m a ‘murican, so this will be US centric, that said, the arguments here could likely be applied universally
Issue 1: FPTP Voting Sucks #
lower standards of removal, ranked, transparency Budget voting
Issue 2: Voters are really, really stupid #
voting based on if they like the person, how he/she looks, single issue voting
Issue 3: Two is the unfriendliest number #
Issue 4: Gerrymandering, Fraud, and Astroturfing #
[TODO] Comment on Citizen’s United
Issue 5: Turnout #
Issue 6: Disenfranchisement #
In 1959, fourteen years after the end of World War Ⅱ, both Alaska and Hawaii become states. Today, Hawaii has a population of 1.4 million and Alaska under a million. Puerto Rico has more people living there than Hawaii and Alaska combined. Washington D.C. has a higher population than Wyoming (~700k in DC to ~600k in WY ). Yet, these people don’t get representation in Congress.
When the soldiers we worship as minor gods were fighting World War Ⅱ, they did so thinking of a 48-star flag. Now, as that generation is nearly burred we’ve convinced ourselves that 50 is some God-given number, ingrained into our country’s identity. It’s not.
When I see our 50-stared flag, underneath the fabric and the dye, I see a country that has brutally conquered and slaughtered native people to claim the land for those stars. But I also see a country that has a past hardly different from any other at the time, a country that has and will continue to make mistakes, and a country where the core ideal of here people - even if it’s has been diluted, corrupted, and twisted - is one of Freedom. The USA is not a good country. Hell, we kind of suck. We have the largest prision population in the world, our education system forces teens into life long debt, our life expectancy is shit- probably in part because our healthcare is shit, and we waste enough money on military to make your head spin. But that’s below the surface.
Right on the surface of the flag I see those 50 stars as representing our failure to hold to the concept of democracy: That every person should have a vote.
We need to add a few stars.
There is a good argument that Puerto Rico should be given independence, but I’m not sure that would actually be great for the people there now either.
And sure, you can make the argument that this would just be a quick grab for left-wing votes, but two things to consider here:
- Are you saying that people should be disenfranchised because they always have been?
- Both Trump and Baby Bush lost the popular vote, only getting in because of the electoral college, which massively favors small, republican states, to the point where a voter in Wyoming is worth almost 3 times more than a vote in California. If you like this system is it because it’s actually just, or because it gets Republicans elected?
Online Voting #
Having just gone though the 2020 election, with what seem to be mass unfounded allegations of voter fraud, do you think electronic voting, potentially over the internet, should have been used?
What’s the failure mode for a hacked election? You can’t just roll back a political career advancement.
The threat model for elections is incompatible with the BYOB mental model of consumer electronics (which is what people imply when they talk about electronic voting).
Paper ballots. You need an audit trail that technology cannot tamper with.