Category Archives: Election

Can We…

Reduce the field of pundits by about 75%?

There’s an endless stream of breathless editorials whining that the Democratic field is too big and that it needs to get cut down really quickly or… the world will end.

Here’s one of today’s, from Donna Edwards:

It’s time for the Democratic field to start getting smaller

It’s after Labor Day and the race for the Democratic nomination is now well underway. Despite the fact that it’s a long road trip, the field seems determined to use the byways instead of the highways. Democrats know where they’re headed, but they aren’t so sure when they’ll get there. And at this point, they might be better off with fewer passengers along for the ride.

Whether by natural selection or volunteerism (and whether they know it or not), time is up for most of the field. Just because the rules allow you to continue to breathe shallow breaths into your campaign does not mean you should.

Are we there yet? It’s time to get on the interstate.

That’s all true; most of these candidates have no chance. And they should really just get out of the way and let those who do have a chance get more speaking time.

But you know what?

In 2008, there were eight Democrats going into the Iowa caucuses – January 3rd! Gasp! And the world didn’t end! By the end of January, five of them had dropped out, including Joe Biden. That left Clinton, Obama and not-a-chance-in-hell Mike Gravel (who changed parties in March).

Patience, pundits. I know this preliminary round stuff is boring, but that’s how the tournament works.

Put Some Votes On The Credit Card

Several senior White House officials have begun discussing whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to arrest an economic slowdown, three people familiar with the discussions said, revealing the growing concerns by President Trump’s top economic aides.

The talks are still in their early stages, and the officials have not decided whether to formally push Congress to approve the cut, these people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose internal discussions. But the White House in recent days has begun searching for proposals that could halt a slowing economy

Fiscal responsibility? That’s for suckers.

Bad Actor

I can’t believe I missed this at the time.

Turns out that the people in the crowd at Trump’s weird 2015 campaign launch announcement (when he descended the gold escalator) were paid actors. Well, since this is Trump we’re talking about, the actors were not paid until they filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, four months later.

And That’s That

Trump is off the hook.

I never thought it would turn out otherwise. He’s just not smart enough to have collaborated, nor would he be able to keep his mouth shut about it if he did.

Oh well. We’ll have to get rid of him the hard way… one vote at a time.

Will Of The People

FALL RIVER, Mass. — Jasiel Correia, 27, will remain the mayor of Fall River after being recalled and re-elected by voters Tuesday night, according to unofficial ballot results.

“We’re going to be right at City Hall tomorrow to keep doing the people’s business,” Correia said to supporters following the election.

Voters were given a two-part ballot. They first voted to recall the incumbent Correia by a 61 percent vote. Unofficial results show 7,829 voted in favor of the recall, while 4,911 opposed it.

Voters then chose between five mayoral candidates, including Correia. He appears to have won the election by 241 votes.

The Problem With Our Democracy Isn’t Gerrymandering. It’s Integers

Fractional voting FTW.

The root of our problem is that each Congressional district elects just one person, in a winner-take-all election where you only need to win by one vote. This means that the losers end up with a Representative who simply doesn’t represent them. This means that, in a close election, 49.9% of the voters can be effectively disenfranchised. Even in lopsided victories, where 70% of the voters support the winner, the remaining 30% are stuck with someone who doesn’t represent them.

The solution: elect TWO representatives from each Congressional district, and award them each a fractional vote in Congress. Each of the top two vote-getters would have a Congressional vote that is proportional to the number of voters who supported them. Thus if a district elects a Democrat (D) with 55% of the vote, and the losing Republican (R) gets 45%, both of them go to Congress, and D gets 0.55 votes while R gets 0.45 votes.

Interesting. It solves gerrymandering. It handles races with more than two candidates by dropping all but the top two finishers from the calculation to determine voting weight. And it will teach everyone about fractions, rounding and significant digits!