Lesson 15: Voting Systems (optional)

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    Tyler Hogan

    This lesson barely scratches the surface of government, politics, and economics. You can get PhD’s in any of those fields — so there’s lots of interesting areas we could discuss here. It was very hard to limit myself to one discussion question. So here’s a second, optional topic.

    Almost every nation allows voting of some kind, with possible the exception of extremely authoritarian dictatorships. It may be a small number of people who vote, as in an oligarchy, or practically the whole population, as in a popular democracy. (There’s even a humorous saying: “In a democracy, it’s you vote that counts, but in a feudalism, it’s your count that votes!”) Regardless, voting is a nearly ubiquitous phenomenon.

    But voting isn’t as simple as it may seem. Voting science is a fascinating and complicated field of study. Two links you should look into: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_system * and https://electology.org/library**. Both of these links can get rather technical quickly. Try not to get bogged down, and just see if you can skim the main ideas.

    Based on your research, what kind of voting do you think is most appropriate for electing candidates to either a single office (like president) or offices with multiple seats (such as 2 senators per state)? Why? What would some of the other voting methods be useful for?

    * Wikipedia links aren’t authoritative and shouldn’t be cited as sources in research papers, but they do usually provide a helpful introduction to many topics.)
    ** This non-profit is dedicated to election reform. Consider their arguments, especially about approval voting, and come to your own conclusion.

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