Last evening, before a DDR-off and after the hail storm, the topic of Instant Runoff Voting was mentioned in conversation, and I want to post a brief description of it today to help continue spreading the word.
How do we fix our two-party system that tends to be unfair (for countless reasons) due to the presence of 3rd parties? Simple - with Instant Runoff Voting.
The easiest way to understand it is by watching this simple animation. Note the inclusion of a certain 3rd party candidate (the green bar) and where those votes go after this candidate is eliminated.
This procedure seamlessly allows for multiple candidates and doesn't change the way an election runs if a candidate gets a simple majority. But, if a simple majority does not occur, any votes that were "wasted" on an eliminated candadate automatically get redistributed to a voter's "second choice." This eliminates the negative effects of "Nader spoiler candidates" and prevents the need to vote only for a pragmatic candidate that you don't fully support.
Sounds pretty smart to me.
And, if this voting stuff gets your heart racing, be sure to check out multi-seat districts, which would allow a "red" state (or "blue" state) to be represented more adequately in proportion to its residents. The idea is to have one big district with 5 seats, instead of 5 smaller districts that may all be won (e.g. 52%-48%) by one party. The end result changes from 5 Republicans (or Democrats) easily winning, to the strong possibility of at least 1-2 of the minority party getting a seat.