View Poll Results: Which is more important?

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  • One Man, One Vote

    4 33.33%
  • No Taxation Without Representation

    8 66.67%
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Thread: Which is more important? one vote vs. representation

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    Which is more important? one vote vs. representation

    Our national identity are based off of a few key concepts. These concepts are what makes America what it is. Two of these are "One Man, One Vote" and "No Taxation Without Representation."

    However, it seems to me that these two core beliefs don't mesh well with each other. "One Man, One Vote," calls for every person to get one vote in elections, so that every person has an equal say in the choosing of our leaders. No one gets more than one vote, so no person has more of an advantage in our political process than another.

    In a system that only allows a citizen to have one vote, a plurality system is the one most often used, and is the only one used in the U.S. besides some special elections. In a plurality system, whichever candidate gets the most votes, but not necessarily a majority of votes, is the candidate who wins the election.

    But Duverger's Law is a political scientific law that states that in a plurality voting system, a two-party system naturally emerges. Two parties are formed to prevent ticket-splitting or other spoilers. Each party is trying to get the most votes, and the most votes come from a two-party system. This is why the U.S. has the current party system that we do now.

    However, this prevents smaller third parties from becoming a viable force in politics. What tends to happen in a plurality system is that such smaller third parties are either incorporated into one of the larger parties or spoil the ticket so that their mutual opposition wins elections. This makes it very difficult for third parties to be viable.

    But what this does is cause members of those third parties to go unrepresented in politics. Members of smaller third parties in the U.S., such as the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and the Libertarian Party, don't have much of a chance of getting elected into office. This prevents de facto representation of their ideals in American government. It violates the idea of "no taxation without representation" because of the difficulty in getting their representatives voted into office because of our voting system.

    So my question is which is more important? "One Man, One Vote" or "No Taxation Without Representation." Should we continue our plurality voting system even though it means some political ideas never gain representation? Or should we institute a different system that would benefit third parties, such as Instant Run-off Voting, which would allow citizens to vote for several candidates for one office in a ranking order and whichever candidate is the first to get the majority of ranked votes wins the election?
    Last edited by samsmart; 03-23-10 at 07:51 AM.

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    Re: Which is more important? one vote vs. representation

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Our national identity are based off of a few key concepts. These concepts are what makes America what it is. Two of these are "One Man, One Vote" and "No Taxation Without Representation."

    However, it seems to me that these two core beliefs don't mesh well with each other. "One Man, One Vote," calls for every person to get one vote in elections, so that every person has an equal say in the choosing of our leaders. No one gets more than one vote, so no person has more of an advantage in our political process than another.

    In a system that only allows a citizen to have one vote, a plurality system is the one most often used, and is the only one used in the U.S. besides some special elections. In a plurality system, whichever candidate gets the most votes, but not necessarily a majority of votes, is the candidate who wins the election.

    But Duverger's Law is a political scientific law that states that in a plurality voting system, a two-party system naturally emerges. Two parties are formed to prevent ticket-splitting or other spoilers. Each party is trying to get the most votes, and the most votes come from a two-party system. This is why the U.S. has the current party system that we do now.

    However, this prevents smaller third parties from becoming a viable force in politics. What tends to happen in a plurality system is that such smaller third parties are either incorporated into one of the larger parties or spoil the ticket so that their mutual opposition wins elections. This makes it very difficult for third parties to be viable.

    But what this does is cause members of those third parties to go unrepresented in politics. Members of smaller third parties in the U.S., such as the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and the Libertarian Party, don't have much of a chance of getting elected into office. This prevents de facto representation of their ideals in American government. It violates the idea of "no taxation without representation" because of the difficulty in getting their representatives voted into office because of our voting system.

    So my question is which is more important? "One Man, One Vote" or "No Taxation Without Representation." Should we continue our plurality voting system even though it means some political ideas never gain representation? Or should we institute a different system that would benefit third parties, such as Instant Run-off Voting, which would allow citizens to vote for several candidates for one office in a ranking order and whichever candidate is the first to get the majority of ranked votes wins the election?
    I believe in a society of contribution and not automatic representation.

    I think the later has proven to be very destructive.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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    Re: Which is more important? one vote vs. representation

    I think the "one man one vote" principal is adequately served as long as each person gets the same chance at voting. The exact voting method, as long as it is fair to all parties, is less of a concern.

    I support this idea if it promotes more parties, because the idea of voters having more choice and a better chance to vote for what they want instead of voting against what they dislike most would be a good thing for our democracy (republic).

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    Re: Which is more important? one vote vs. representation

    Edit: Posted before reading enough to understand what you were asking.

    The problem with plurality elections are that they do not encourage compromise and coming up with a solution that a majority would want.
    Last edited by Groucho; 03-23-10 at 01:34 PM.

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    Re: Which is more important? one vote vs. representation

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    I believe in a society of contribution and not automatic representation.

    I think the later has proven to be very destructive.
    I'm not suggesting that representation be automatic. I'm suggesting that we have the opportunity for representation for third parties. Currently, we are not allowed even the opportunity for representation for third parties. Some other voting system, such as IRV, would allow the opportunity for third parties to be voted into office.

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    Re: Which is more important? one vote vs. representation

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I think the "one man one vote" principal is adequately served as long as each person gets the same chance at voting. The exact voting method, as long as it is fair to all parties, is less of a concern.

    I support this idea if it promotes more parties, because the idea of voters having more choice and a better chance to vote for what they want instead of voting against what they dislike most would be a good thing for our democracy (republic).
    So "one man, one vote" isn't as important as "every person should get an equal opportunity to vote." So even if IRV allows a person to "vote" multiple times, as long as everyone gets an equal ability to vote, it's okay. Is that what you mean?

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    Re: Which is more important? one vote vs. representation

    Quote Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
    Edit: Posted before reading enough to understand what you were asking.

    The problem with plurality elections are that they do not encourage compromise and coming up with a solution that a majority would want.
    This is true. IRV would allow more compromise candidates to get voted into office. On the other hand, haven't there been issues in the U.S. where compromise is a bad thing, such as abolition of slavery?

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    Re: Which is more important? one vote vs. representation

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    So "one man, one vote" isn't as important as "every person should get an equal opportunity to vote." So even if IRV allows a person to "vote" multiple times, as long as everyone gets an equal ability to vote, it's okay. Is that what you mean?
    Yes. I think the main thing is that it needs to be fair among all citizens.

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    Re: Which is more important? one vote vs. representation

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    But what this does is cause members of those third parties to go unrepresented in politics. Members of smaller third parties in the U.S., such as the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and the Libertarian Party, don't have much of a chance of getting elected into office. This prevents de facto representation of their ideals in American government. It violates the idea of "no taxation without representation" because of the difficulty in getting their representatives voted into office because of our voting system.
    No. Party identification is an arbitrary thing. Geographic location is not. "No taxation without representation" referred to a whole geographic territory - the 13 colonies - having taxes put on them and not getting to vote at all in Parliament. 3rd party members still have the ability to vote. That they don't want to vote for any candidates with a mainstream ideology is of no consequence in this matter.

    By your standards, I am being taxed without representation, because I am represented in Congress by a Democrat who I do not support.
    Last edited by Dav; 03-24-10 at 07:01 PM.

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