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"Elections are at the core of democracy, and voting rules are hugely important in explaining variations in political outcomes and representation," argues Lee Drutman.

Why RCV beats approval voting

Drutman is a senior fellow at the think tank New America and author of the forthcoming "Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America."

Electoral reform is hot these days. Ranked-choice voting is getting most of the attention. But approval voting advocates are generating some buzz, too.

So what's the difference between the two, and which deserves your vote? The answer is easy: ranked-choice voting.

Both improve on our existing system of first-past-the-post plurality elections. But ranked-choice voting, or RCV, is superior for simple reasons: It makes more realistic assumptions about how voters and candidates behave. It assumes voters have meaningful preferences among their candidates, and that campaigns are strategic.

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A one-bedroom, one-bath apartment totaling 460 square foot will run you $1,950 on Capitol Hill.

Congress should get a pay raise, whether they deserve it or not

Drutman, a senior fellow in the political reform program at New America, and Kosar, vice president of policy at the R Street Institute, are co-directors of the nonpartisan Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group.

You've surely heard the old line, "The best Congress money can buy." Typically, it's said sardonically. In the classic formulation, it's not your money doing the buying. It's special interests and lobbyists forking over the dough. In exchange, they get the best Congress they can buy – for them.

But what if it were your money? How much should you, the taxpayers, be willing to pay? If you want a Congress that works for you, can you get it on the cheap?

The debate is not an academic one. House Democrats and Republican leaders have proposed boosting legislators' pay by providing a cost of living adjustment of $4,500. The current annual salary of $174,000 has not changed since 2009. Adjusted for inflation, that amounts to a 16 percent decrease.

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