Saturday, May 10, 2014

Indian Elections - Feeling cheated - time to add a negative vote as well

In the winner take all, I am reminded of the information asymmetry in Economics. While in economics, it can lead to market failures, in elections it can lead to failures in outcome of elections which can aggravate the differences in the social groups and lead to a worse environment for all people.

There are two ways I could use decide for whom to vote - for a specific candidate or against a specific candidate. This does not cause any conflict if there are just two candidates. But how to chose in a scenario with more than two candidates? There is no rational way for me to decide as there is no information. Polls may be useful, however, they may very well be unreliable and misleading.

The winner take all leads to obvious misuse of dummy candidates standing for election as seems fairly obvious in the case of Manpreet Singh Badal.

In a fragmented society like ours, it is extremely unlikely that we will ever evolve to a two party system. In fact, that may not even be desirable.

A simple option could be a rerun of the leading two candidates - so that in the first election I can vote for a candidate and in the second, I can vote against a candidate in case needed. I would not feel cheated of my vote.

We could avoid a rerun by having two votes in the beginning only - one for a candidate(positive) and one against a candidate(negative) and the winner is the one with the maximum net votes. This could create an environment in which cooperation is the preferred outcome.

The alternate way to avoid a rerun would be to use a proportional system similar to that of Germany.

I hope the system is changed no matter what the outcome of the election this year. The trouble is that how to get the elected majority to change rules which may be against them :(

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