Bi-Valent, Fractional Voting is a method for ensuring the greatest amount of voice of the voters is heard and that special procedures occur if no one believes enough in them. It works even if there's only one candidate, because of the special handling in case of a negative vote. In this way, it is "bi-valent", allowing negative votes. This solves the (USA 2000AD) Nader problem of displaced votes helping the rejected Republican candidate. These two techniques make it a cheaper voting method, also because it eliminates the need for "primaries" to weed out all possible contenders on a given side. The special handling ends at the highest level of your government, such that if there is no positive vote at your highest echelon, the office remains vacant.
- Each voter gets a number of tokens equal to the number of candidates on the ballot. They are not obligated to use them all, if they don't feel they have enough information. Once people are familiar with the new style of voting, you can move to two (or more) tokens per candidate to give voters more precision in their voting.
- The voter can allocate these tokens as they wish FOR or AGAINST. They can put all the tokens for a single candidate, against, or distribute them amongst any number of them.
- The winner is decided by summing all the values given to each candidate by each voter.
- The highest candidate wins, unless your at the top-level of government and have no positive candidates. This is called "no contender" or nolo contendre. See below.
Nolo Contendre: A negative result (no candidate sums above 0) is called no contendre (no contender or "no one got high enough") and sets in motion procedures to correct the deficiency. These procedures are that the next higher-level office is responsible for oversight of the lower-level Executive. This includes reviewing any Bills and passing any Budget changes by their desk -- being a Mentor. Details need not be given of lower governments, but budget allocations (like project expenses) are good. If it turns out the candidate was actually very qualified and did not deserve the special action, the higher Executive should publish this fact and the People (by way of the Legislative Branch can vote again). The extra work of mentoring engages higher-level offices to ensure processes are going well down below and instigates training for new leaders to emerge. The case of nolo contendre can only change after with an election, not by any Executive.
A negative result at the top indicates that there is not enough confidence in any of the candidates -- the timing is wrong and you should not decide. Your world is overpowered and not producing qualified leaders.
A positively-elected candidate should be re-imbursed by the governmnet for election expenses, in addition to salary.
Fractional voting can be adapted to assist with assigning governance in meritocratic systems or choose options within an adhocracy. It would also remove the need for "primaries" preceding election, in fact it would get rid of the two-party system altogether.
Total number of votes counted and the name of the winner can be published or communicated (w/total # voters if you kept track), but individual results for each candidate should not be published, out of respect for privacy (No one needs to know that candidate Z was negative on the votes). Simple ranking (1st, 2nd, 3rd) can be communicated only to the candidates. This is their little bit of bonus feedback for participating, so they know how they stood in relation to the voters, allowing them to assess themselves.
The number of tokens should be equal to the number of candidates in the initial period. After the public has gotten used to the new voting method, it is superior to use double the number for finer-grained representation.
This voting system solves >4 major problems with existing voting methods:
- the expense and trouble of holding primaries as mentioned (via allowing votes proportional to # candidates and grouping of votes)
- the Nader problem as mentioned above (via grouping & negative votes)
- the election of incompetence problem (via rejection of candidates who don't get a positive total at the top and oversight from above)
- the feeling of powerlessness of the voter (from greater expressivity of the voting system)
- for government: prevents lifetime appointments of judges by incompetent executives, making a higher-quality Judicial Branch.
- the paucity of leaders in the world. They'll have to rise up to the top.
Be a freedom fighter and implement this in your local government for the next election cycle.