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Saturday, September 08, 2012

Expressive Voting published

Ever since my high school years, I have been interested in approval voting, and convinced that it could generate better results than our normal election system. After the two elections that George W. Bush won, I grew more frustrated with the status quo, and continued thinking about election reform.

Today I am excited and humbled to announce the publication of Expressive Voting, my short book on election reform. It begins with a quick discussion of approval voting, which I have re-branded as expressive voting. This system is simple to explain: the only rule is that you may vote for as many candidates as you want. From simple rules, though, a complex system can emerge. Although I have opted for brevity, the advantages I can see in this scenario are numerous. I believe that expressive voting could leave us with smarter candidates, more voter turnout, a shorter and cheaper election cycle, and a more accurate appraisal of the most pressing issues we face.

The book, which also introduces several other reform opportunities, is available for free as an iBook or PDF. I will continue to update it, so the iPad iBook version is recommended (so the updates will come to you when ready).

Expressive Voting is actually a lot like Liking things on Facebook. You can Like as many things as you want, but only once each. If something loses your respect, you can Unlike it at any time. We could apply this simple formula to our elections, releasing us from the games and the politics, and letting us see who truly has the respect of the most people.

As part of this project, I have planned to create a site that people could use to host elections of this form. While this is not yet ready, the coding is underway, and the system for counting votes is mostly in place.

Thank you so much for your interest in the book. I know that we each have limited time for reading, so I have kept the book short enough to read in 20-30 minutes. I hope you take advantage of the next half hour to take a good look at Expressive Voting. After that, if you feel comfortable, please share the link, or even just the title, with friends, colleagues, and people in your life. Since the book is free and no one is making any money off of it, we're all in this together. We have a beautiful country, as do many of the nations of the world, and we have a lot to lose if we don't heal our political diseases. We also have a lot to gain if we take the care to run our elections in the smartest way we can. No matter what, we are definitely all in it together.

Working on this project has given me a renewed love for this country, and the freedoms we have in the political arena. I know that if I lived somewhere else, I might not get to freely speak and write about reforming the government. But, the freedoms in the Constitution are a gift from our ancestors, and we can honor these gifts by continuing to perfect the incredible systems they pioneered.

I recognize that reforming a system is difficult, as it should be. My hope is just to start a discussion, or to bring these certain thoughts to th discussions already happening. Read the book with an open mind, and then use your critical faculties to evaluate the reforms I advocate.

Lastly, I appreciate voters, and I'd like to thank you for voting this November!