Observation

Each country and district has electoral design challenges unique to their own system. For instance, the Electoral College counting distortion is unique to the United States. Many of the issues prevalent in the United States and many other English speaking countries like Canada and the UK, arise in any country using First Past the Post (FPTP) elections in Single Member Districts. The core distortion in US elections and systems of representation is caused by Single Member Districts. Any remedy that does not address Single Member Districts is not addressing the core problem with electoral distortions. FPTP is a huge distortion, but it's not the core problem. Remedying FPTP while leaving Single Member Districts in place only addresses the Spoiler Effect.


Institutionalized Design Distortions = Distorted Outcomes & Unequal Distribution of Power


All government and electoral systems in the US (with the exception of Cambridge, MA) are designed to produce distorted results, concentrate power in a wealthy elite, and exclude many or most of the electorate from decision making. This is a residue from 18th Century slavers who designed our present day systems.


Shortly after Somerset v. Stewart abolished slavery in England and Wales in 1772, word got back to the North American Colonies, where it scared the bejesus out of the wealthiest privileged classes. Slaves started suing for their freedom based on the King's Bench decision, and winning in Colonial courts, only to have their decisions overturned by slaver sympathetic Governors. The slavers understood a reckoning was coming. In 1776 they staged a coup, replacing the King and his minions with themselves, grabbing millions of acres of property and reinstitutionalizing slavery for another 93 years along the way. Slavers constituted 2% - 3% of the country, but comprised 73% of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.


To keep themselves in power they designed a series of overlapping distortions in government representation and election design that bent government to their will, while maintaining a facade of democracy. These privileged classes have ruled the United States since the beginning through the same system of distorted representation and election design, much of it frozen in 18th Century values by James Madison's insertion of Article V of the Constitution.


Madison’s principal goal while designing the United States government in 1787 was to “protect the minority of the opulent from the majority”, implemented through institutionalized distortions. Madison shielded the Presidency, the US Senate and the US Supreme Court from accountability and control by average citizens, excluded and marginalizing anyone (94% of the US population) who may have objected to his scheme, from feedback. He was largely concerned with protecting his and other wealthy slavers "property", aka "slaves", aka "people". Madison's 18th C. values, when people were treated worse than farm animals, his permanent distortions, his slavers mentality of predatory capitalism designed into the US Constitution, valuing property over human rights, still persists.


It's our generation's responsibility to recognize that Madison's values and governance systems are long outdated. We cannot make the necessary changes at the federal level due to the permanence of Madison's design, but we can adopt much better systems at local and state levels.



What are the main problems with US Elections?


Most elections in the United States are predetermined using institutionalized distortions.


Current systems use 4 major, institutionalized variables to predetermine elections:


1) Distort Who Votes: voter suppression, gerrymandered districts, off year and non-November elections.

2) Ballot Access Suppression: candidate suppression, party suppression, Direct Democracy initiative suppression.

3) Distorted Representation: Single Member Districts, At Large - Plurality “block” voting, the US Senate.

4) Distorted Outcomes through Vote Counting: First Past the Post (FPTP, aka plurality), Electoral College.



The cumulative effects of systemic electoral distortions are: concentrated power, limited accountability and exclusion of the majority from decision making.