So, in a few weeks we have local elections, and I just got the card that allows me to vote. Local and EU elections are the only ones I am allowed to vote in because Denmark has horribly undemocratic voting regulations. I briefly considered who to vote for but I don’t really know any of the candidates: there’s been a lockdown, so none of the candidates have given me beers, one of my preferred ways to decide to vote for, and local elections are, like, one step above voting for who gets to regulate the local church: unimportant. I’ll probably just vote based on party, but there must be a better way…
That’s when it hit me: keyword-based elections. Let’s do away with voting based on people and parties, and instead vote based on topics. Let each candidate pick up to, say, 5 topics they want to work for.
I then get to pick as many topics I find important as I please. My topics share my one vote (so, if I pick 3 topics, each get ⅓ vote), allowing me to water down topics as I please or to focus on one or two topics I really care about. Heck, let’s allow picking topics more than once, so I can pick Britney twice and nightlife once, yielding ⅔ votes to Britney-focused politics and ⅓ to nightlife-focused politics.
Each politician gets votes based on matches with voters’ keywords. My votes are shared among all politicians picking each keyword (so, if I have ⅓ vote for nightlife and 2 politicians have picked that topic, they each get ⅙ vote from me), incentivizing picking popular topics few others work for. Politicians can of course match with voters on multiple topics, simply accumulating the votes.
If we want to further confuse things, we can also allow both voters and politicians to select topics they are against, because we all need a bit more negativity in our lives. Scoring those works as the natural extension: if I have marked a topic as negative, it counts as a positive vote for politicians that have done the same, and if I (or a politician) have marked a topic as negative while the politician (or I) have marked it as positive, it counts as a negative vote.
The final bit, and this is genius, is that after the election period, possibly together with the next election, people get to judge politicians’ effort on their chosen topic. It could be “guess the keywords they picked based on their work” or “rate how well they did on their listed keywords.” The lowest scoring politicians (say, the lowest 50%) gets taken out back and shot, to incentivize actually working for what they promised to instead of just picking freebies few would disagree with. This also ensures that only politicians that consistently work for their voters remain in politics for a prolonged time, and it deters people from becoming politicians because they have no actually useful skills. People can of course try voting down politicians they disagree with, but we’ll only allow judging keywords they previously voted for or limit people to, say, 10 votes on performance, so each negative vote for a disliked politician is a vote that cannot be used to protect liked politicians.
Of course, if we also allow negative votes, any politician that ends up with a negative number of votes after an election also gets taken out back and shot for having bad opinions.
I have given this almost 10 minutes of thought while watching a Youtube video, so it is perfect as is and has no possible downsides!
Time person of the year 2006, Nobel Peace Prize winner 2012.