Thoughts on the September Democratic Debate

  • It will be interesting to see if the only 2 candidates left who still support IRV mention it tonight.
    • In fact, I have not yet seen ANY candidates talk about even “stereotypical” voting reform (gerrymandering, money, electoral college)…
  • I emailed many candidates about Score Voting but never got a response, but we will have to see.
  • I write this about an hour before the beginning; feel free to post your thoughts before, during, and after!

Why not something with more momentum? It just seems you’re more likely to get a response for something that passed (Approval) or even nearly passed (STAR), rather than a theoretical concept.

I actually have sent emails about Approval and STAR to some candidates, but I found Score easiest to argue.

Maybe try arguing for some kind of PR? That’s somewhat viable and good, and it’s easier to draw a positive response from politicians for that with FairVote’s advertising going around.

The federal government has little power to promote electoral reform, since state governments decide how to run their elections. Dividing the state into single winner districts for each Congressional rep is mandated by federal law, but so far I don’t think anyone has tried to challenge that. A federal law mandating that states shift from plurality voting in Congressional elections would likely be challenged in court.

The Constitution says:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

So it seems they could force something, though it’d be hotly contested by supporters of federalism. An idea of how it could happen: What Happens if Every Ballot Measure State Adopts Voting Reform?

[21:25] It appears that, for the third time in a row, the moderators will NOT ask about reforms to voting.

I do not like STV and there is still no real consensus for a cardinal PR method. PR cannot elect the Senate or the President.

If there was an agreed-to cardinal PR method, would you say it likely has more importance than cardinal single-winner changes? The legislature has the potential to be the dominant governmental body if freed of two-partisanship, after all.

Score PR would be more difficult to promote than standard score in places without preexisting momentum for PR.


It’s a good way of getting cardinal into the discussion in PR-interested areas though, and potentially even getting some of them to look into single-winner cardinal for their single-seat offices.