Two simple modernizations

Here are two simple ideas for improving our democracy that are so obviously good that we should immediately start petitioning for their implementation.

1) Legislative Version Control
When we write software, complex or simple, we track the changes to the code line-by-line over time. When members of my development team commit a change to our codebase, I know exactly what the change is, who made it, when they made it and exactly which issue/bug/feature the change was made to address. The exact same technologies could and should be used to track the introduction, modification and amendment of legislative bills. Moreover, this information should be made publicly available. If transparency and accountability are principles that genuinely mean anything to us as a democracy, we should welcome the introduction of this technology to our legislative process.

2) Instant-Runoff Voting (IRV)
I, for one, am tired of the false choices I am forced to make by our antiquated system of voting. I don't want to be forced to make a calculated choice between candidates neither of whom represent my interests or positions. IRV is simple to understand and enables voters to vote for the candidates they genuinely want to vote for. The British House of Lords uses it, the Irish elect their President with it, the Australians elect their Representatives with it and municipalities like Minneapolis and San Francisco use it in their elections. It's a tried and tested voting method and it's long past time we started working for its implementation in State and Federal elections.

I'd suggest Condorcet voting - specifically, Schulze method (good enough for Gentoo, Debian and the Wikimedia foundation . . . good enough for me) - but I think it would be harder to convince an electorate to go with it.


It gets easier to explain the Schulze Method when you describe it as a set of one-on-one elections:

Schulze method for China too??

In all honesty, the way power is distributed within the Pary system and given the opacity of most of its processes, I'm not sure a change of voting method would make any difference. I don't even know what the current process is.

Add new comment