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."
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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- Ranked-choice voting wins Democracy Madness tournament - The Fulcrum ›
- Ranked-choice voting would create a more representative USA - The Fulcrum ›
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- RCV should be a part of the coronavirus elections fix - The Fulcrum ›
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.