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First Past the Post
minority rule elections
The current First-Past-the-Post (FPP) election system used in the United States of America for electing most of its government officials
does not allow the opportunity for all to be represented, nor for majority rule.
The term "first past the post" is derived from
horse-racing and most American elections are also referred to as "the winner takes all". If the "winner who took all"
was not someone you voted for, chances are you have no representation in your own government.
In this voting system the
single winner is the person with the most votes; many elections have no requirement that the winner gain an absolute
majority of overall votes. Votes not cast for the winner are called "wasted votes" because they do not help to elect a government
Where only two candidates are contesting election to a single seat (for such offices as Mayor or Governor),
the result with the rare exception of a tie is bound to be a majority - the winner gaining support from more than 50% of
When three or more candidates vie for a single office, there are three possible outcomes. One is that
one of the candidates achieves majority support and is therefore elected. Second is that the first place finisher will have
less than a majority of support, but will be declared elected by virtue of have gained more votes than any other candidate.
The third outcome is that a runoff election will be called between the two candidates who gained the most votes.
in the second instance (election by plurality rather than majority) is that most voters will have opposed the candidate who is declared
elected. Perhaps supporters of the third place candidate would have preferred the second place option to the first. A
majority of voters may find this an unsatisfactory outcome.
The problem in the third instance (additional election for
runoff purposes) is that this adds the cost of government administration of a second election for filling a single office, and
that it also adds campaign costs to the candidates who advance to the runoff round. Plus, in a standard runoff mudslinging often
These problems can be avoided by enacting:
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