The Arithmetic of Voting
The trouble with the "one person one vote" rule is that
two candidates on one "side" divide it; some voters must
agonize over whether to vote for the one they really prefer or the
one who has more chanceiand both have less chance. After analysing
three "solutions that don't work," we discover one that
does: casting any number of single votes for different candidates.
This surprisingly simple "costless reform" turns out
to have no real flaw and several other great advantages. This article
(first written 1968, first published 1977) was the first statement
of the idea and remains the most lucid and cogent short description.
Later the idea was independently proposed by several other writers,
and under the name of "approval voting" is the subject
of a book and a draft bill. It is applicable to all kinds of elections,
and might hold out hope for resolving the mess of the American and
British electoral systems.
The 2000 U.S. presidential election (Gore-Nader-Bush) was an acute
example of the "voters' dilemma" that this system would
heal. A majority preferred Gore over Bush; but because a minority
of them preferred Nader even more, Bush won.
As a public service, we offer this pamphlet at less than the cost
of printing! Copies were sent (by Prof. John Flanigan of Hawaii and
friends) to all members of the U.S. Congress.
6½ x 9½ in., 8 pages; diagrams. 1987;
reprinted 1999, 2001, 2004. ISBN 978-0-934546-42-3.
Now sold out. Please see the link at the
top of this page to a FREE online version.