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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:53 am 
Avisaru
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If there's one thing this forum loves arguing about, it's political systems, so here's a question for you guys:

What would be the best/easiest/most interesting/??? way to ensure a democratically-elected government would have no political parties at all? If that's not realistic--certainly it makes sense for like-minded politicians to work together--then at least to result in a variety of political parties instead of just two major ones dominating everything.

Basically I just want to avoid a situation where it'd be likely only a very small number of parties matter for this concountry.

Current thoughts:
- alternate voting system (e.g. multiple rounds of voting or something)
- banning political parties?? (this seems unlikely to actually get rid of them in secret)
- historical tradition (also seems unlikely to persist for the long run)
- ...that's all I got.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:12 am 
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Avoiding first past the post voting would certainly help encourage multiple parties rather than just two. Party list proportional voting and Single Transferable Vote both tend to favor multiple parties because tactical voting is less important. You may still end up with 2-3 larger parties, but you'd get a decent number of parties overall from that.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:31 am 
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The best way to maintain more than one party is pillarisation, which is a social segregation of society. An example is Israel: Hilonim vote for Hiloni parties, Haredim vote for Haredis, etc. Each pillar (segregated sector) has at least party, often multiple for different economic wings if the population is large enough, and government has to be made by a coalition of multiple pillars. But pillarisation is only maintainable when people actively avoid merging parties with similar positions split across pillars (in Israel, Bibi wants to merge Likud with other right-wing parties, so Israel might not be a good example for long). Besides pillarism, (semi-)proportional representation of some sort, especially with allocation systems that favour small parties, also goes a long way.

My favourite system for single-winner elections is majoritan judgement, and my favourite for electing a lower house is Schulze's version of Single Transferable Vote. I personally think members of an upper house should be appointed by the governments (both executive and legislative branch) of individual regions, but this would probably lead to a two-party system in the upper house.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:41 am 
Smeric
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There was an intriguing idea in the Moon is a Harsh Mistress. (bolding mine)
“This is the traditional way; therefore it should be suspect, considered guilty until proved innocent. Perhaps you feel that this is the only way. Surely where a man lives is the least important thing about him. Constituencies might be formed by dividing people by occupation... or by age... or even alphabetically. Or they might not be divided, every member elected at large -- and do not object that this would make it impossible for any man not widely known to be elected; that might be the best possible thing.
[...]
But if representative government turns out to be your intention there still may be ways to achieve it better than the territorial district. [...] Suppose instead of election a man were qualified for office by petition signed by...” a minimum number of citizens. He would then represent those citizens affirmatively, with no disgruntled minority, for what would have been a minority in a territorial constituency would all be free to start other petitions or join in them. All would be represented by men of their choice. Or a man with twice as many petitions might have twice as many votes.”

I had toyed with it a little - it sounded as reasonable an idea as any other in a conworld devising a parliamentary system from scratch. I think the consequences would be that of proportional voting, writ large; there'd be no incentive for bipartisan voting. Taking the idea of petitions exactly as Heinlein meant it (which I don't think would be a great idea, but that's not the point) there'd be no point at all in having political parties; every representative would be, in effect, a one-man political party.

The costs of running and campaigning are also a factor; effectively, if you don't have political parties, where does each candidate gets funding?
Historically, this was a factor in defining parties as we know it; there had been parties of some sort for ages, but labour parties were the first, I believe, to get seriously organised, and for good reasons - unlike more conservatives candidates, labour candidates didn't always have enough personal funds...
Effectively, this means that in a society without parties, the interest of most representatives lies with the establishment. It's not a surprise that those politicians that spoke out against political parties were firmly conservative...
Conversely, strictly restricting campaign costs would help somewhat in limiting party rule.

(Another thing I find curious is that Ancient Rome also had a left-wing vs right-wing division, Populares such as Caesar or Marius could be construed as left-wing, Optimates such as Cato were obvious conservatives; and there were even reasonable centrists such as Cicero. Presumably, without political parties, there'd still be "conservative" and "liberal" factions).


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:48 am 
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Or making the government pay for each individual campaign

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:40 pm 
Smeric
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Actually, now that I think about it, the party system of an appointed upper house depends on the party system of the regional governments.

Also, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delegative_democracy

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:46 pm 
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alynnidalar wrote:
If there's one thing this forum loves arguing about, it's political systems, so here's a question for you guys:

What would be the best/easiest/most interesting/??? way to ensure a democratically-elected government would have no political parties at all? If that's not realistic--certainly it makes sense for like-minded politicians to work together--then at least to result in a variety of political parties instead of just two major ones dominating everything.

Basically I just want to avoid a situation where it'd be likely only a very small number of parties matter for this concountry.

Current thoughts:
- alternate voting system (e.g. multiple rounds of voting or something)
- banning political parties?? (this seems unlikely to actually get rid of them in secret)
- historical tradition (also seems unlikely to persist for the long run)
- ...that's all I got.


The key here is something called Duverger's Law, which says that plurality elections tend to result in two-party systems. However, the converse is not necessarily true. In an ordinary system, to have more than two parties you need two phases...


First, you need a society that wants more than two parties. The maximum sustainable number of (real) parties is generally the number of cleavages + 1. A cleavage is a division of society into two large parts with fundamentally differing values and priorities - people on one side of a cleavage oppose the people on the other side, and will if necessary unite together to oppose them. There is generally one major cleavage, and in some cases there may be other cleavages too. The big cleavage is typically class: rich vs poor. Rich and poor people have very different interests, so find it hard to compromise, particularly on economic policy. Other cleavages have included religious vs secular (eg France in th 4th Republic), one religion against another, urban vs rural, one region against another, one ethnicity against another, and so on. [there are cleavages on every issue, but only when lots of issues line up do you get society-wide cleavages that are politically significant.]

Sometimes cleavages are a little harder to get to the bottom of. For decades now, there's been excitement about the emergence of a new division - first in Europe, but now (thanks, Trump and Brexit!) in the UK and US too, between postindustrialists and postmaterialists. The former tend to be more socially isolated and anxious, often associated with the manufacturing sector and with economic decline; the latter tend to be more socially connected and optimistic, often associated with information-based and creative jobs.

But anyway, the point is: if you want lots of parties, first you need to have lots of division and argument.

--------

Next, you need to NOT wipe out those potential parties through your electoral system. The more votes your system ignores, the more it will tend toward two parties: because people won't "throw away their vote" or "split the vote" and let the enemy sneak through. Simple plurality (first past the post) ignores about half of the votes cast, which are either for the losing party in a constituency or for the winning party that would have won without that vote. The former are particularly important here: if my vote for X party is certain to have no effect, but my vote for Y party might at least stop Z from winning, I'm likely to vote Y, not Z. And if we all know that, then X has no chance (even if X gets really popular it may take a long time for this to result in seat wins, until people realise it).

What you need at the very least is a two-round majoritarian system. This allows you to vote for X in the first round without jeopardising the effort to stop Z, because Z only wins in the first round if they get more than 50% of votes. This allows for the occasional moment when X does better than expected in the first round and ends up winning in the run-off. the FN in France, for instance, has been helped by elections where one side (usually the left0) has fractured, letting the FN into the second round, with all the oxygen of publicity that that entails - famously that happened in the presidential elections of 2001 (was it?).

Better, though, is a proportional system. In proportional systems no votes are wasted, or very few - unless there's intentionally a limit imposed on small parties.
[generally systems are set up to discourage parties, not to encourage them, because systems with lots of parties tend to collapse.]

Specifically, you want the most proportional system you can get - Saint-Lague (unmodified) or Hare (which looks like Saint-Lague in almost all cases but sometimes throws up paradoxes). [Saint-Lague is never actually used, because of this problem of encouraging multipartyism - instead, "modified" Saint-Lague is used, which makes it more moderate]. You want no formal thresholds (eg many countries don't give seats to any party who can't clear 5% of the vote), and you want the whole country to be a single constituency, preferably with ten million MPs (reducing district size and reducing legislature size both are mathematically identical to introducing a formal threshold).


You also need to avoid powerful presidents. Presidential races are inherently winner-take-all, which encourages two-partyism. [the core of Duverger's Law is actually that for most electoral systems the number of viable parties tends not to exceed one more than the number of seats available in each constituency; so a 1-winner election almost always has only two (viable) competitors]. This is particularly true of plurality elections, but it's also true even for majority (runoff) elections. The result of this isn't necessarily to create an official two-party system, though it can help in that regard, but it does tend to cause the political parties to align into two 'blocs'. This is particularly noticeable in France, where for most of the Fifth Republic there have basically been two disorganised parties, the Left and the Right, who happen to contain a shifting (and self-re-naming) collection of actual legal parties.

Indeed, this tends to be the case even in parliamentary systems, because the concept of government inherently creates a pressure toward two-partyism. The government wants to do X - do you agree, or not? Yes/no. Over time there tends to develop a bloc who support this government and a bloc who oppose it, and when the other bloc wins then the roles swap around. [sometimes there is a bloc who support the government, and an array of parties who oppose it who can't organise a single coherent bloc. This is very dangerous, and results in one-party rule for long periods of time.]

So ideally, minimise the government/non-government distinction. An example here is Switzerland. Their government is seven people (the official 'presidency' rotates automatically among them), and it functions by essentially avoiding democracy as much as possible: four major partie have agreed to form a coalition government. The coalitiong between the CVP and the FDP has lasted since 1891; the government has never, in 150 years, been voted out, and only four members have ever been replaced due to an election. Between 1959 and 2003, the government consisted of exactly the same ratio of party members: 2 CVP, 2 FDP, 2 SP, and 1 SVP, completely ignoring the various elections that took place in between. The Swiss idea of a political earthquake is that in 2003 the formula was finally changed from 2:2:2:1 to 1:2:2:2. Having the four major parties all be in government has massively weakened the them/us government/opposition dichotomy, and there are 8 opposition parties as well, but all are small, and all but two have 2 or fewer seats in the legislature.



That said, SP doesn't automatically mean only two parties. There are sometimes 'two-and-a-half' systems instead, with a small third party, like the Lib Dems in the UK. These typically merge into one of the big parties - like the way the two right-wing parties have effectively merged in Australia, or the way the Co-Operative Party has been reduced to a technical appendage of the Labour Party in the UK - but survival is possible, in theory. These will to some extent be regional parties, either officially, like the Bloc in Canada, or unofficially, like the Lib Dems in the UK: traditionally the UK can be divided into different areas each with a two-party system (the Lib Dems survived because of regional strength in the southwest and scotland, and the weakness of labour in places like the southeast).

sometimes a region can be so politically distinct that it has its own set of parties, like Northern Ireland. It has lots of parties because of STV, but also because mainland parties have traditionally avoided competing there, not wanting to sully their reputations in the rest of the country.



Then there's the possibility of avoiding parties altogether, or at least avoiding big parties. There are two obvious possibilities here.
One is a politics of so-called "notabile" politicians: locally famous people who attract personal loyalty from the voters. This is associated with young democracies, and also with very, very small democracies, such as the democracies of the pacific island nations. It can occur with any electoral system, although of course those that are based on individuals rather than parties are best in this respect. So SP, or STV, or PR with panachage.
[Again, notabile tend to be seen as a bad thing, since they encourge politics based on charisma, clientelism, and existing undemocratic power structures.]

The other is that where you have a sufficiently massive or disunited country, you can effectively have different political systems in different parts, yielding a multiparty system at the national level. An example here is the US. Traditionally it was said to have 100 political parties: because the "Democrats" in Alabama had no more in common with the "Democrats" in Massachusetts than they did with the "Republicans" of Alabama, and the Republicans weren't much better. If you look at how people voted in Congress prior to recent years, it's usually been the case that Democrats from certain states have been further to the right than Republicans from certain other states. Which is why Congress as a whole was so moderate, and why so many votes didn't go along official party lines (and why supreme court picks didn't get fillibustered and the government didn't keep getting shut down, etc). For several decades it was even more extreme, to the extent that political historians often track "Southern Democrats" as effectively a third party. Gingrich was the first to launch a real national manifesto (though there had been attempts before).
A more extreme version is India, where each state has its own party system, and the parties don't even share the same names. It tended to result in a one-party state, because the Congress was the only party (or coalition) able to unify enough local politicians to be a unified naitonal force. This, however, has also trended toward two-partyism, and it's moving toward being a two-way Congress vs BJP fight throughout the country, even if they go by different names in different places.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:29 pm 
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An otherwise obvious way that I think probably goes unnoticed in most discussions like this is having very different sorts of government. our governments (burgeois liberal democracies) generally work in this one highly specific way: there's a president or something broadly similar, then there's a parliament or twom, with few hundred people who supposedly represent regions (and are elected by regions in some way, generally the same way across constituencies), and then there are minor and not very relevant local authorities. we might as well ignore majors and aldermen and whatnot. President + 2xParliament is probably the most common structure, but we also have uni or even tricameral assemblies, and also sometimes the president is elected by parliament. Having a president makes it so few parties, even two, sometimes even one, is the stable equilibrium cause third parties hurt themselves *and* whatever party is more similar to them, so everyone's scrambling for "the center" in order to win, and in presidents, winner takes all. presidents, thus, give you two parties.

parliaments are the same but in smaller scale, since each constituency typically elects a few or one person: if you have one, you basically have a bunch of tiny presidential elections with the same duogenic effect (made much worse by abhominations like the binomial system in my country). if you have a two or three winners by constituency system it looks like the effect is diminished.

Heinlein's idea works precisely because it is not a parliament-of-regional-representatives system, but a system where representatives actually represent relevantly different groups. in theory parliaments might be only locally duogenic but at the global level not be because its not necessary that all constituencies are similar enough to be served by the same two parties, but in reality it generally is the case that constituencies are not relevantly different: mormons are much more different from secular atheists than santiagoans from valdivians, or iowans from kansans. any group arrangement might do, since its easy to imagine the two-party systems of the catholic constituency <opus dei vs. liberation theology, for example> would not be the same as the two-party systems of the atheist constituency <say, the Chris Hitchens party vs. the Atheism plus party>. this gives you a vast array of parties probably structured in shifting, issue-based confederacies, *because* constituencies are different. you as a single person can be a memeber of a bunch of different constituencies, and why not, I cast a man vote, an atheist vote, a sociologist vote, an employed vote, whereas my gf casts a woman vote, a catholic vote, etcetera.

Another way to do it is to dispense with presidents entirely, and have functional areas directly elected: economy minister, magister militum, surgeon general/health minister, professor-in-chief, whatever. here elections are different not because of different electors, but different electees: its hard to imagine the same issues being relevant for a generalissimo election, a supreme justice election, a scientist-primum-inter-pares election and a national chief of parks and forests election, so you could have different, limited-scope parties. maybe the parties of the candidates send delegates to the legislative assembly, maybe legislation is nothing but juries and precedent, maybe electees have limited lawmaking abilities vested unto them by the constitution, who knows.

yet another way is to have very little national government: you elect a generalissimo to defend the nation and just have a bunch of local archons. if you have a diverse territory, maybe the political cleavages of valdivia *are* different from those of santiago, and since there's almost no one ruling over both, no reason to have national parties: maybe you can even ban national parties as oppressive or whatever.

____________________________

i guess this follows from Sal's number of cleavages principle: my proposals don't make more cleavages but rather stop the factors that obscure the cleavages that already exist in society: i don't think everyone can really be well subsumed by being lumped with the right party or the left party, but rather, right and left are the only groups that you can make most people meaningfully fall into one or the other. if you take smaller more homogeneous groups, more cleavages become clear.

I think my case here is that two-party systems are not caused by voting systems but by the kinds of jobs that are voted on.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:26 am 
Sumerul
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If the goal is to have multiple parties, a regular proportional system does that pretty well, but you're likely to get two blocs, and often two large parties.

One idea I had was, I think, quite similar to what Ars Lande described. Each person chooses a representative (a person or a group) to represent them in parliament, and they can be switched basically whenever they want (at least, say, once per week). Each representative votes with the power of their number of supporters. That way, you have something much closer to direct democracy, but a regular person doesn't have to look into each separate issue. A potential downside is that, in a sense, people might look into each issue, and force their misconceptions on the parliament, rather than voting by ideology and leaving the details to the experts.

In my conworld, the idea was that the system is an adaptation of an old direct democracy, where you are nowadays allowed to send a representative to stand in for you. That representative can then choose another stand-in, for when they're away, and so on. As a fun quirk, that means that if you are present, you get to vote in person, which makes for a fun tourist attraction when visiting the capital.

Here's another idea I used in a different con-government: You have a regular proportional election, which assigns somewhere around 90% of the seats in parliament. Then you have a separate (but simultaneous) election, where you use a condorcet method to elect what I've termed a "mediant". The mediant also gets to join in the parliament, along with a group of assistants, taking up the remaining seats. As usual, the parliament selects a prime minister.

The purpose of this system is to avoid the situation where you have two blocs each getting around 50%, and the majority shifting between them, leading to inconsistency, and decisions that are far from the consensus of the people. The idea is that since the mediant will almost certainly be centrist, a prime minister will likely need their support - no block will get a majority of their own - and the mediant will likely prefer a centrist coalition, rather than picking one side.

If you want to get more exotic, how about an upper limit on party representation? As mentioned, many countries have a lower limit (for example, you need at least 5% of the votes); you could set a limit that no party is allowed more than 20% of the seats. Would you get parties officially splitting up in multiples while effectively remaining single parties? Maybe, but they would have to have different spokespeople, so it doesn't seem unlikely that they would drift apart a little bit. We saw something similar here (in Sweden), where the four main right-wing parties formed a very close collaboration, almost becoming like a single party. By remaining officially separate, they could appeal to different groups of voters, while still pursuing a shared agenda. Still, this kind of system would do nothing to prevent blocs.

Another option would be to use, say, single transferable* vote, to pick, say, seven people, which make up a ruling council. Would the candidates form parties, saying "vote for this guy first, and this guy second"? Maybe, but I think people would be less likely to vote for a candidate whose only appeal is "agrees with that other guy I voted for". It should at least promote smaller parties.

On the very extreme end, there's the Random Ballot method. That could potentially lead to a very varied set of candidates, and has the added appeal of avoiding voting tactics.

* Fun fact: Apparently the OED lists eight acceptable pronunciations for "transferable".

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:59 am 
Avisaru
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Thanks for all the comments! The stuff about cleavages is definitely giving me food for thought.

Now let's throw a further wrench into things, given the remarks that have been said about how a single leader encourages two parties/blocs...

Suppose this nation has a legislature of some kind, and the legislature elects an overall leader for the country who has broad power (although in practice and by tradition this overall leader refrains from using much of this power, and the legislature in turn refrains from getting rid of them). Here's the catch: the overall leader is elected for life, or until the legislature forces them to step down (which is rare). How do you think that would impact political parties? How would it impact things if this leader had to be elected by a supermajority (say, 60-75%) instead of a simple majority?

The key factors I see are that these elections would be fairly rare (and thus probably wouldn't have as significant of an impact on the formation of parties as in a system where the president is elected on a regular basis) and that unless you only had one political party, no single party would be likely to dominate the vote--you'd have to form coalitions or else nobody would get elected.

Also, what would you call this leader? Would you call them a president or prime minister, or something entirely different? (elected monarch, perhaps??)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:59 am 
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The title of a leader is entirely based off of history, but prime ministers are very rarely directly elected. The only historical example I could find was the Israeli Prime Minister during the years 1992 and 2001.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:50 am 
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In my conworld, wars and nonviolent conflicts based on politics are very common. Ethnic conflict was entirely eliminated around the year 3700, but the people simply switched to fighting over ideology instead. Note that this planet has a medieval level of technology and a low population which ensures that the people never really progress significantly even over 10000+ years.

My conworld also has some unrealistic ideas, such as a large, hyperpacifistic empire called Nama that has for most of its history made it official policy to allow foreign nations to invade them and set up new colonies in the Naman countryside, even if they were hostile to Nama. For thousands of years, this policy worked well, and Nama's population swelled, because the vast majority of the colonists were loyal to Nama, and they kept the few that wanted to attack Nama in check. Eventually, though, an alliance of powerful anti-Nama colonists appeared, and set up parasitic colonies deep within Naman territory, in most cases enslaving or killing the previous generations of colonists. Even as they were being eaten alive, Nama allowed the invaders to have some representation in the Naman government, since the whole foundation of Nama's system of government was that foreign nations had a voice in Nama's government and Nama could not shut down their representation even if they were being violently assaulted. Once the parasites had eliminated any serious resistance within Nama, two of them turned against the third one, and after a few hundred years, more foreign powers launched opportunistic invasions of what had been Nama, because the two parasites' wars against each other had kept them too weak to prevent what they had done to Nama from happening in turn to them. All of these nations were officially political parties, which almost always corresponded to religions, because as above ethnic conflict had simply been eliminated and people were free to switch sides without being considered defectors.

Other hyperpacifistic empires existed. One was Paba, whose reaction to an invasion was commonly to send young women out to greet the invading soldiers in hopes that the soldiers would settle down and start a family. Over time, this resulted in a large number of parasitic colonies, the sites of former invasions. None of these parasites took Paba's own government seriously, since they were pacifistic, so they instead fought each other for control of areas of Paba.

Another one was Moonshine, which could be better described as hyperfeministic rather than pacifistic. Like the other two empires, Moonshine allowed enemy nations to intrude on their territory, even fully in the knowledge that there was no hope of an alliance and that the enemies were seeking to invade further into Moonshine the first chance they got. Moonshine sent its soldiers, both male and female, to pamper the invading soldiers in the hopes that at least some of them would calm down, but they promised that they would be nice to their enemies even if their enemies kept on killing them. Here, too, the invaders within Moonshine territory considered Moonshine's military irrelevant and fought each other for control, rather than fighting against Moonshine. However, unlike the other two empires, Moonshine's political ideology was often unstable, and at times they were at war with enemy nations such as Baeba (actually better described as political parties that had absolute power in certain territories) while at the same time trying to butter up Baeban invaders who were already in Moonshine.

I dont know if any of these ideas would work well, since they all rely on unrealistic kindness in the face of an unforgiving, merciless attacker. Yet within the context of my conworld this is simply normal human behavior and nothing seems amiss.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:39 pm 
Sumerul
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I've had some similar ideas to that, too. A symbolic leader, who may have quite a bit of power, but is expected to refrain from using it, and who is able to appeal to everyone by not being directly elected. I'm not sure what the best way of choosing them would be; in my version, the leader appoints some kind of group who would nominate a new leader in the event of their death, and the legislature gets the right to veto them with a supermajority (they may also get to veto the members of the nominating group). That way, the legislature can make sure you don't get a hereditary monarchy, or some other elite only picking each other, but since they don't get to choose the candidates directly, you can maintain a symbolic leader who is not associated with a political party.

alynnidalar wrote:
the overall leader is elected for life, or until the legislature forces them to step down (which is rare). How do you think that would impact political parties?
If I understand you right, and the leader is supposed to be non-partisan and not influence politics much, then hopefully there wouldn't be much impact on the parties, either. If anything, it should help avoid the two-party-gridlock, by encouraging a sense of unity that isn't party-dependent.

alynnidalar wrote:
How would it impact things if this leader had to be elected by a supermajority (say, 60-75%) instead of a simple majority?
That's not really an option, is it? I mean, what if no one gets a supermajority? It would make sense to require a supermajority to depose the leader, but when they die and they elect a new one, there has to be exactly one winner. I'm a big fan of condorcet systems, so I'd recommend one of those.

alynnidalar wrote:
Also, what would you call this leader?
I'm a big fan of elective monarchy. As I see it, it's mostly a matter of image - a monarch has fancier clothes, and gets to confer knighthoods and stuff, whereas a president has a suit and an office. But in real life, the best example I can find is the German president. Definitely not prime minister, that would be weird. Of course, you can always come up with other fun names for them, whatever fits your conworld. Maybe "the all-parent", or "the supervisor", or just "the leader".

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:11 pm 
Avisaru
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Well, my thought with the supermajority is that you'd do multiple rounds of voting. So you'd start off with a pool of candidates and if nobody got the supermajority, the one with the fewest votes would drop off and you'd vote again.

Buuut this does mean you could end up in a situation where you end up with two candidates and the votes are still split 50-50. Hmm. Maybe that [EDIT: requiring a supermajority] wouldn't be a good idea after all! (unless there's something else in play to prevent deadlock of this nature)

Also, the leader would have some real power (e.g. foreign policy), they're not just a figurehead.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:23 pm 
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Ranked voting is better, because it is cheaper than multiple rounds and does not extend campaigning season.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:51 pm 
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I mean, if the legislature is just sitting around casting votes, they could do it fairly quickly, couldn't they? There wouldn't have to be a huge delay between rounds.

EDIT: but yes, I suppose at some point someone might've come up with the idea of ranked voting as a faster but theoretically equivalent alternative. (I know it's not actually equivalent, but close enough from this hypothetical person's perspective)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:13 pm 
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I missed the part about them being elected by a legislature. In that case, prime minister can be appropriate as well as president or elective monarch. Although I'd call it a prime minister.

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