The Transhumanist Party Needs STV

The Transhumanist Party is, by far, the political party in the US that best represents my own views for the future. They advocate for science, rights for all persons (human and non-human), ending the war on drugs, universal basic income, and other issues that will keep getting more and more important as time goes on. You can read more about their platform here.

However, there is a half-missing component of the platform that will hamstring it: first-past-the-post voting blocks out third parties, especially where they do have such extreme views for the future. I think Zoltan Istvan (the 2016 Transhumanist presidential candidate) is a fantastic candidate and agree with 99% of his views, but even I have a hard time agreeing to vote for him as it stands. A vote for a third-party candidate in lieu of a vote for a Democrat or Republican is essentially guaranteeing a win for the party you most do not want to win.

There is a voting system that would solve this: Single Transferrable Vote, or STV. The basic concept of STV is quite simple: You rank your candidates in order by most to least desirable. Then everyone’s votes are tallied, and it progresses in rounds until the candidate(s) are determined. At each round, one candidate is eliminated, and your vote transfers to your next preferred candidate.

What this means is even simpler: You can put your third-party candidate of choice as your top vote, but if they get eliminated in the election (which is probable) then that vote goes to your next favorite. You no longer have to think about how others are voting – just yourself.

CGP Grey has three amazing videos on this subject. The first is on first past the post, the second is on the alternative vote (which, by the way, is simply STV for a single seat, e.g. a presidential election), and the third is on STV. I can’t recommend these enough.

The seventeenth Transhumanist party goals is as follows: “Insist on campaign finance reform, limit lobbyist’s power, and include 3rd political parties in government.” It’s fantastic that the party recognizes that we need to work to make 3rd parties viable in the US, but we should be explicit. Implementing STV for all federal elections would drastically reshape the power that citizens have and make our government better represent us. This should be the #1 party goal.

Of all the things the Transhumanist party wants to do, this may have the widest impact. It’s time for STV.

 
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