Flatfingers wrote: Dinosawer wrote:
This is not an Electoral College "problem." This is simple math: if only one party splits their vote with multiple candidates, that party loses.
Easy to fix though: make the presidentship go to the most popular nominee of the most popular party instead of just the most popular nominee overall.
That leads to the plausible possibility that the office could go to someone from a really extreme party who was supported by only 15% of the country. I'm not sure that's better than the current structure, which promotes coalescing around a generally acceptable (if still imperfect) candidate.
I think you misunderstand me. Or I don't quite get how that would happen, unless none of the mainstream parties managed to get more voters than the extreme party?
Take your example:
party 1 has nominee A and B, party 2 has nominee C.
Nominee A gets 31.3%. Nominee B gets 21.2%. Together that party collects 52.5% of the total vote.
Nominee C of the other party manages to score 40.1% of the vote.
First we look at the most popular party. That's party 1.
Then we look at the most popular person of that party. That's nominee A.
Thus, A would become president.
Our system here works different yet (better, of course *cough cough*):
we can vote for either a party (out of about 10) or one or more people of one party. (And, though the party leader will probably be most popular, we have the option to vote for whatever people we want).
Voting for a person also counts as vote for their party, and the personal votes are counted aside from the party votes.
Then our parliament is made, where each party gets a number of seats according to how many of the votes they got (where, for us, 20% was the largest party last election).
After that, negotiations start for the government. Due to the nature of Belgium and our complex system of different factions that don't get along, we can't just do it the same way as for our parliament as we would get nothing done, so the rule is, the government needs to consist of a group of parties that together represent more than 50% of the votes.
(As an example, our local semi-racist nationalistic party never gets into the government despite getting a fair share of the votes because nobody wants to work together with them and vice versa)
So after a few weeks (or in 2011, nearly 18 months
) they reach an accord, and that is that.
We don't really have anything akin to a president (because what's the point of having one person hold that much power in a democracy); closest is our prime minister which is also appointed in those negotiations. Not nearly as importan as a president though - I didn't even know the name of the current one
In those, the personal votes are taken into account, though it's not necessarily the case that the person with the most votes becomes prime minister (last time it was the guy who lead the negotiations succesfully)