A very simple plan for California
The state of affairs
Bad ideas are winning all over U.S politics, and especially in California.
In the last 4 years, our state government has done little to manage our forestry, keep our utility providers accountable, and protect small businesses from the impact of the pandemic. It has given up on raising those at the bottom and focused on handicapping our brightest, all while managing to potentially misplace 31B USD.
As a response, the republican opposition presents this guy as their best alternative.
Surely we can do better.
The root cause
It is wrong to ask who will rule. The ability to vote a bad government out of office is enough. That is democracy - Karl popper
We have an election system that favors extremist, highly ideological, and incompetent candidates. Here’s how:
- Political candidates select their candidates in primaries
- Few voters participate in primaries. Of those who do, most are highly ideological and extremist.
- Naturally, candidates who pander to extremes win primaries in both parties, leaving the general population with two bad options.
The first step is to vote on primaries.
California has open primaries, meaning you don’t need to declare a party affiliation to vote on them.
For the November 2022 elections, we need to move primary participation from 10% to > 50%. The vast majority of Democrats and Republicans are moderate; they just need to go out and vote on the primaries. Add to that, non-party affiliation represents 25% of the total California voters so if we all go we can get sensible candidates on both parties.
Action item #1: We need to run an aggressive campaign to get people out to vote in the primaries of 2022.
The second step is to do stack rank voting.
We proposed some criteria for what a good system should be: what is it you want from a voting system, and impose some conditions. And then ask: can you have a voting system that guarantees that? — Kenneth Arrow.
We need to let the top candidates in a primary all pass to a general election, and in the general election, we need to do stack rank voting. That is, we need to select not just our favorite candidate but our second, third, etc. And if our favorite does not win, our vote goes to our second, and so forth. You can model this out and see how to stack rank voting yields the candidate that most people want.
Action item #2: To achieve this we need to finance and run a voter initiative to change our election system to stack rank voting. Alaska is doing it, we can do it too.
Ps: Katherine Ghal has been doing some awesome work with this; check it out here