Democracy Lost: the Iowa Caucus, the New Hampshire Primary, and the Shortchanging of American Presidential Politics

Posted on November 23, 2011

Although balloting in the 2012 Republican nomination battle has just begun, the race already appears to be over after just two contests:  Iowa and New Hampshire. Such a result, in which the vast majority of the nation's voters are reduced to irrelevancy by an abbreviated primary process, is the newest chapter in a disturbing narrative of democratic ideals lost. Unlike most commentators, FairVote examines the preeminence of Iowa and New Hampshire with a critical eye, asking why two states with a combined 1.4% of the national population should possess a stranglehold on American presidential politics.

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Tunisians Hold Arab Spring's First Vote

Posted on November 04, 2011

 The election is seen as a democratic success for new Tunisia, with some 4.1 million registered voters voting to select the members of the Constituent Assembly – using a method of proportional representation that ensured nearly every participant elected someone, and no one faction earned the winner-take-all power to dominate other factions.  Tunisians have fulfilled their duty peacefully and with great pride, whether in the capital or in provincial towns. European Union observers saluted the election’s “transparency.” Clearly, the strong desire of Tunisians to be governed by democratically elected authorities guided the electoral process.   

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Irish presidential election with instant runoff voting: Voter choice without "spoilers"

Posted on November 04, 2011

Our political leaders are again rolling the dice with the American people. Rather than pursue statutory solutions to potential electoral landmines, they've left intact a set of electoral rules that aren’t designed for elections where voters have more than two choices. Ireland last month showcased a better way in its elections. As with all other well-established democracies with presidential elections, Ireland elects its president based on a national popular vote. It uses instant runoff voting to uphold the goal of majority rule. 

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No More Gerrymanders: California's Commission Plan versus the Fair Voting Alternative

Posted on November 03, 2011

For the first time in California's history, a Citizens Redistricting Commission has drawn the lines for congressional districts. Despite having taken control away from partisan state legislators, the commission's map has been controversial, both among racial minority groups and Republicans who are concerned about fair repesentation. Most disticts also will not be competitive.The root of the worst problems associated with redistricting lies with winner-take-all elections, in which 50% + 1 of the vote can elect 100% of the representation. Fair voting systems, relying on a form of proportional representation, are a far better way to achieve public interest objectives and allow all voters to participate in meaningful elections. As part of an ongoing series, FairVote has produced a "super-district" plan designed for elections with a fair voting system. Our California plan upholds U.S. Supreme Court rulings on apportionment while providing fair representation and voter choice for California voters.

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Presidential Tracker: "Show Me the Money"

Posted on October 14, 2011

Fundraising played a large role in the events of the past month, but swing state visits are also gearing up. Check out this update for an analysis of the latest visits and a color-coded map state events. The disparity between state visits just may surprise you. 

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A guide to French Socialists' presidential primary

Posted on October 07, 2011

 With less than one week until the first round of the socialist primaries on October 9, the haziness presently reigns about voter participation in the first-ever open primary..  According to a poll conducted by CSA (Conseil Social Analyse) 67% of supporters of the Socialist party (PS) admit to not knowing on which issues to vote during the primaries,   which are to take place on October 9th and 16th. 

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French Socialists to hold their first US-style primary

Posted on September 21, 2011

The French Socialist Party (PS) is defined as the main opposition to the ruling party. It is one of the largest political parties in French political life. On October 9th and 16th, the PS will hold the first open presidential primary in French history. Privately administered by the party itself, the election will be in two rounds, unless one member obtains an absolute majority in the first round. The winner of the primary will be the Socialist nominee for president. 

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