Why Constitutional party supporters need range voting

(Executive summary)     (Just one paragraph)

Peroutka's campaign slogan was "God, family, country," if I recall correctly, so let's take it in that order! (We'll omit the "family" part since voting systems don't have much to do with that.)

What does the Bible say?

Click here to find out!

What did the USA's founders think & what does the constitution say?

Click here to find out!

Welcome to reality: Meet the world's only actual data.

Here is the world's only actual data (as of 2005) about range & approval voting vis-a-vis Michael Peroutka – given in my paper (#82 here) coauthored with Doug Greene & Jacqueline Quintal.

This is based on a pseudo-election we conducted with real US voters (122 range voters and 656 approval voters) simultaneously with the 2004 presidential election (as an exit poll).

2004 results:
Candidate Plur RV AV
Bush(Rep) 50.7 40 39
Kerry(Dem) 48.3 55 61
Nader 0.38 25 21
Badnarik 0.32 9 0.6
Cobb 0.10 5 2
Peroutka(Constitn) 0.12 6 1
Total3rd 0.92 45 25

[Warning: last 2 columns are NY-state and Philadelphia suburbs only, hence different sample than the "plur" column which is nationwide; e.g. nationwide election was won by Bush, but Kerry won NY and PA state. The "Total3rd" row is just the sum of Nader, Badnarik, Cobb, and Peroutka results – which is admittedly somewhat meaningless – but anyhow as you can see it actually would have exceeded Bush's total under range voting. Please see the full paper if you want, e.g, statistical error bars, which are omitted here for simplicity.]

As you can see, under range voting (RV) Constitution party candidate Michael Peroutka would have gotten 6 times more votes than under approval voting (AV), and 50 times more votes that he actually got under plurality (plur).

Warning: It is not very valid to equate RV scores with "votes." One really should normalize the RV scores before comparing them to Plurality votes, because since RV vote totals can add up to greater than 100% the two are not directly comparable. But for the present election such normalization makes little difference because Bush and Kerry (the two top placers) were the same under either election system and got about the same scores under all elections systems. But since you insist:

Peroutka got 1/506 as many Plurality votes as Bush; under Approval Voting, he got 1/39th; while under Range Voting, he got 1/6.7 times as many votes as Bush. That's a total improvement in the Peroutka/Bush ratio of a factor of 64.

Peroutka got 1/403th as many Plurality votes as Kerry; under Approval Voting, he got 1/61th; under Range Voting, he got 1/9 times as many votes as Kerry. That's a total improvement in the Peroutka/Kerry ratio of a factor of 44 (or a factor of 7 if we start from that ratio under Approval Voting).

Both Badnarik and Cobb had supported IRV during the Badnarik-Cobb debates, a huge mistake by them both because IRV would simply continue to lead to self-reinforcing 2-party domination – the Democratic & Republican strategists must have been rolling in the aisles laughing when they heard the geniuses at the Libertarian and and Green parties had fallen hook, line, and sinker for IRV. (See this, this, and especially this for more understanding of hooks and sinkers.)

Later Badnarik moved away from supporting IRV=Instant Runoff Voting after it dawned on Badnarik that approval voting was better.

Excellent move, but the table shows Badnarik still has a factor 15 further to go in his own favor by endorsing range voting, and Peroutka also would get a huge gain (plus range voting is a better system objectively anyhow than approval voting).

Hello! If this data doesn't get your and Peroutka's attention, I don't know what will! (Worried about the nonlinearity bogeyman?)

And now a brief quote from the Constitution Party's 2004 candidate Michael Peroutka!

Dear Friends of the Constitutional Republic:

  1. There is an Almighty, Everlasting, Omniscient, God -- the God of the Bible -- Who is active in the affairs of men.
  2. Our rights, including our right to life, liberty and property come from Him.
  3. It is the purpose of government to secure, protect and defend these God-given rights.
(End quote.)

In view of those profound principles, how is range voting doing? If you checked the Bible link above, you've seen that biblically-speaking, range voting seems to be A-ok! In fact it looks rather more Godly than any other kind of voting. (Amazing how, after struggling to get some idea, you suddenly realize in retrospect that the fundamental principles behind it actually had been sitting in the Bible all along.) And then if you checked out what Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and Abraham Lincoln thought in the constitution/founders link above, now you're beginning to realize that the unGodly plurality voting system has really hijacked the USA and shut out your point of view, while largely giving you the illusion you still had democracy and freedom. It seems almost diabolical.

In fact, the government, by imposing that poor form of voting upon us all, has over the years too much become a festering sore of permanently entrenched, immoral, big money funded, self-satisfied, 2-party duopoly! And how the heck is the government "securing your God-given right to liberty" by forcing you to either vote Democratic, vote Republican, or resign? What kind of "liberty" is that? Basically, the plurality system prevents you from expressing your opinions anywhere near as fully as you want to (or if you try, it is futile and self-defeating). Range voting would have let you.

Range voting would not punish you for expressing your true opinions in your vote. If you vote Constitution, right now that actually makes the country worse because it denies your vote to the most-Constitutional among the two major candidates, helping the other win! Or if you vote major party, then the Constitution party gets no votes and dies out! See what we mean when we say the plurality voting system is "diabolical"?

But with range voting, you can both support the least-evil major party and support the Constitution candidate, with exactly as much or as little support as you want for each. Either way, you are working toward what you want, and not having to be dishonest about anything – and this is not a trick and not unfair to anybody.

That is why you've got to work to enact range voting. This is God's work. It brings true freedom and democracy to us all. Not fake freedom. Not fake democracy.

Third parties: Duverger's law says: enact range voting or die

Political scientists call self-reinforcing 2-party domination in plurality-voting governments "Duverger's law" after Maurice Duverger, a French political scientist.

In any voting system in which Duverger's law holds, third parties are going to be permanent doormats, and the corporate-corrupted and moneyed top-2 parties are always going to crush everything before them. And the rest of us consequently are going to suffer from massively reduced voter choice, massive idea-deficit, and massive quality deficit in our government.

Duverger's law is an experimental fact supported by immense amounts of data from governments around the world and across time. Several political science books present convincing tables and graphs of such data. Duverger holds both in plurality systems and in the IRV voting system. So third parties who want to break out of this vicious cycle should not support IRV or plurality. They should support Range or Approval voting. But as you can see from the real world data, range voting leads to a lot more pro-third party votes, at least initially. I mean, a lot more. That is enough to get third parties off the ground. It won't be enough by itself to make them actually win, but it will level the playing field allowing them to win if they have the best candidate once they have acquired enough funds and organization.

So in summary, the question for Constitutionalists when they consider "should we support range voting?" really is "do you like survival?" If you think survival is top priority, then range voting should be your top priority. And I mean top. Survival-priority. More important than every single lesser issue. If you waste your time on lesser-than-survival issues, your party is going to die. And as we know, the Constitution party is pro-life.

So join CRV now because it is the group pushing for range voting.

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