Why is District Voting so Bad?

Because your power as a voter is diminished by more than half.

Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

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Would you accept the following?

In your city, there are five council seats and they are elected by voters after they got segregated by age. Then, each age group selects their own representative.

To add some realism to the story: No one in town sees anything wrong with this picture. Everyone is saying that this is the correct way to vote because each age group must get its own representative.

The focus that gets much attention is about the exact age-group definitions, because the baby boomers, for instance, are a much larger group than the other groups. Should the baby boomers get more say about the seats?

The point of this example is to quickly show that establishing groups in which people can vote is actually really strange. Not the individuals and their political ideas are valued but a superficial aspect is valued first. That superficial reality (age, geography, or what have you) is used to separate individuals from their individuality when people are placed into groups.

Divide, and someone else will benefit from that division, no matter what that division is.

[If you want to eliminate district voting in your city, click here.]

Let’s review what else is bad about voting in districts.

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Majority rule applies with voters deciding who gets the single district seat. Next, the ones that were picked by the majority of the voters they represent, they make a majority decision as well. Majority rule is compounded by another round of majority rule.

Example:
If an average of 60 percent of the voters picked their representatives, and if these representatives passed a resolution or bill with 60 percent of them, then the total voter support is 0.6 times 0.6 which equals a paltry 0.36 percent of the voters.

District Voting means most often that a minority of the voters supports the resolution or bill. Next, the representatives have the audacity to say that the majority of the voters wanted this. That is a lie when majority rule is compounded.

To get to 50 percent of the voters supporting a bill today, two aspects need to align. For instance, if the representatives were voted in with an average of 71 percent of the votes, and if these representatives voted for a bill with 71 percent as well, then we would have 0.71 times 0.71 equals 0.5041 percent of the voters. Then, and only then could the representatives say that the majority of the voters wanted this.

In Proportional Voting there is no compounding. The level of actual representation is already above 80 percent of the voters receiving their political choice when there are just four seats on the council. This jumps to above 90 percent when there are just nine seats on the council. That’s the minimum number, guaranteed.

In District Voting? Fifty percent plus one vote. Always the same answer.

The minimum guaranteed level of representation is already forty percent higher with Proportional Voting when there are nine seats on the council. That means your vote is worth just about half that value if you have to vote in a district instead.

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This is actually very easy to explain.

— The two best candidates in an entire city can end up in one district, and one of them is then not going to get picked.

Contrast this with Proportional Voting in which there are no districts. All seats are selected by all voters at the same time, with each voter picking just a single candidate in total. That way, both best candidates will end up with a seat on the council.

— The same tragedy is happening at the bottom end of the scale. Some districts will have nothing but undesired candidates. The voters cannot boot them all out. One of them is going to make it into that seat.

Contrast this with Proportional Voting in which there are no districts, so all undesired candidates fall out from underneath the stack and none of them gets a seat on the council.

Your vote has about half the value in District Voting than in Proportional Voting, plus you get to pick a representative that is on average less desired than the representatives picked with Proportional Voting.

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Envision yourself a bicycle aficionado and you want someone to represent you on the city council. If you are the lone voice in the desert, nothing will happen in either system. But if your are part of a group that amounts to a portion of the population equal to one seat, then you can obtain a seat in Proportional Voting.

The portion of the population that is large enough to equal a seat gets a seat on the council. If the portion is large enough for two seats, then it gets two seats on the council. That’s why it is called Pro-portion-al Representation. All voter portions are expressed proportionally on the council.

Yet this is not where it ends. When a candidate is looking around to serve the people (i.e. looking around to getting elected), then saying favorable things about bicycle infrastructure can make this candidate obtain more votes. Just a segment of the population can then already be heard by a candidate or representative. The candidates end up looking for what you want.

If that candidate says nice things and then does not deliver while in office, that group of aficionados will vote for another candidate next time. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. That way, representatives will learn to not offer too much and speak with their hearts about the issues they find important. Otherwise: they get booted out forever.

The representatives in Proportional Voting are on average younger than the representatives in District Voting. It is easier to boot them out.

In District Voting, the voters are not that lucky. To win a seat, a very high threshold needs to be climbed first. Fifty percent of the voters (plus one) have to agree with you that, for instance, bicycling is the best thing in the world. That is not going to happen unless you are lucky. Bicycle aficionados are generally muted in our political process. No wonder that movements such as Critical Mass came about; these activists could not be represented by anyone speaking on behalf of their needs on the board or council.

Similar groups in society are muted, closeted, ignored, swept out of sight for no other reason than the rigid voting system itself only paying attention to the majority of voters. District Voting segregates voters into portions and these portions cannot show themselves in their natural proportions, except for their generalized majority-supported needs and wants.

That is why District Voting is called District Voting. We are restricted to a district. We are divided first, and only the issues we all agree on will indeed conquer the day. Meanwhile, the issues we consider important for ourselves, but that are not seen (by the representatives) as important for the majority in the district, are snowed under by these other issues we all agree on. That is why some things are done real fast and other things get done, well, never. It is an ignorant voting system because we cannot express ourselves in an ordinary way; we have to ask the ‘representative’ if our issue is important enough for his royal highness to bring to the table for discussion.

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More women are elected into a seat when the voting system is fair. The US Senate can be used as an excellent example to show how District Voting does not deliver an equal and fair outcome. Not only are there mainly white old guys in there, super-rich to boot, but the few women that made it in there are on average richer than these guys. Discrimination rules the day, but if you have more mullah than the others, then even the boldest bald guy will bow to his queen.

You as the voter have very little say in the matter. Not only must the candidate be well-connected and very wealthy for the largest of districts, the voting system picks (yes, the voting system is doing part of the picking) the one that ends up least pock-marked. The voter in the middle, who is actually not all that interested in voting but showed up, hands the win to the guy with both the mullah and the wisdom that comes with aging. It’s all the same after all, right, no matter who you pick? And that is correct. Voting in districts ends up with candidates that are all the same. A particular political elite is voted in, and the few that aren’t truly like the elite are tolerated because they aren’t part of the majority most of the time — in other words, harmless in the eyes of the political elite.

http://archive.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm

The US is 76th on the list of female representatives at the national level. Not the brightest light shining, right?

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If you are part of the winners, then the answer is definitively yes. If you don’t care about many issues, then the answer can be left blank. If you are repressed by the majority, then the answer is no.

Voting in districts restricts the voters, but there will be winners taking it all.

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Don’t get your hopes up to change voting at all political levels, but district voting at the local level is unconstitutional. The US Constitution does not mention cities or counties, but they do mention you. Powers are given to the Federal government, the States respectively, and to you, the People. So you exist in an empowered position whereas your city exists in an empowered position one level below you. Best of all, separate-but-equal is not allowed by local governments if there is a better system available (and there is).

If you want Proportional Voting in your City, then follow the linked article below. You can have an official Invocation sent to your City after which they are obliged to put Proportional Voting in place. It’s the law.

District Voting is not a fair system. It discriminates among voters; it diminishes the power voters have over their representatives by about half, and the lower quality of our representatives demoralizes us. The district voting system does not ensure that the highest ideals of democracy are expressed. That honor befalls Proportional Voting, which was first devised as a voting system by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. So, we can be proud that this nation brought the brightest shining light of Democracy to the world after all. We just need to get it for ourselves now.

Follow the article, and read how you can apply pressure to your local representatives to represent you better.

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