|I've seen the idea suggested before, but the Free State Project seems like a better researched and considered version of the theme. There are two major weak points; overestimating people and, oddly, a really unsound voting method to decide on a target state.|
Unsound? Yes. The Cumulative Count method, as described, encourages strategic voting that even a precocious five-year-old knows to exploit. There is no personal advantage in splitting your vote-points, ever; hedging your bets towards your favourite is best, unless you're fairly sure your favourite won't win, in which case all points should be allocated to your second choice (or whichever is your best choice that has a chance). This is horrible, because it causes the two party system that we're probably all familiar with, but that's not the fault of the voter; the purpose of voting is to get the best candidate you can, and this abusive method is the best way, with this system.
A better system is approval voting, in which you can vote yes or no to every candidate independently, which means you can vote for a 'third party' without it weakening your 'useful' vote in any way. However, there is still an element of strategic voting available here, as if candidates A and B are both quite good, but both likely to win, it might be in your favour to vote against your second choice of the two even if you like them.
Better still, in my opinion, is preferential voting as implemented in Australia. With this method, you put all the candidates in order of preference. The nice thing about this method is that it's rarely damaging to your 'useful' vote to have a 'useless' vote before it. If B and C are the candidates likely to win, voting A, B, C will have no more or less effect than B, A, C or B, C, A; the fact that you prefer B over C will most likely still register. While it is possible that stating your true preference could weaken your 'useful' vote, the votes have to be in a complicated and extremely unlikely configuration for this to happen, and the benefit of having your 'real' vote cast first outweighs this, in my opinion. This is the only voting method I've seen for which I wouldn't distort my actual preferences for strategic purposes.
Despite these two objections (not my only objections, of course), the Free State Project still seems like a worthy cause, especially in light of my being unable to find anywhere I'd actually like to live. [09:19] [5 comments]