Preferential Voting would be to discourage a two party system while allowing votes towards third parties to count without votes being "wasted".
- Enhanced representation: Implementing preferential voting in the United States can lead to more accurate representation of voters' preferences. It allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, ensuring that the elected candidate has majority support and better reflecting the diverse political views of the electorate.
- Mitigation of the spoiler effect: Preferential voting reduces the spoiler effect, where a third-party candidate can split the votes of similar candidates, potentially leading to an undesired outcome. With preferential voting, voters can express their true preferences without the fear of wasting their vote or inadvertently helping a less preferred candidate.
- Encouragement of positive campaigning: Preferential voting incentivizes candidates to appeal to a broader range of voters. Since candidates rely on second and subsequent preference votes, they are more likely to adopt a cooperative and positive campaigning approach, focusing on building consensus and appealing to a wider spectrum of voters.
- Reduction of strategic voting: Preferential voting reduces the need for strategic voting, where voters may feel compelled to vote for a lesser-preferred candidate to prevent the election of a disliked candidate. With the ability to express multiple preferences, voters can genuinely support their preferred candidate without concerns about the impact on the final outcome.
- Increased voter engagement: Preferential voting can foster higher levels of voter engagement. Voters are encouraged to research and consider a broader range of candidates, as their preferences can extend beyond the traditional two-party system. This can lead to a more informed and engaged electorate, strengthening democratic participation.
- Decreased polarization: By allowing voters to express preferences beyond the binary choice of two major parties, preferential voting can help reduce polarization. It encourages candidates to build broader coalitions, seek common ground, and appeal to a wider range of voters, promoting a more collaborative and moderate political environment.
- Fairer outcomes: Preferential voting promotes fairness by ensuring that the elected candidate has majority support. It helps eliminate situations where a candidate wins despite not having the support of the majority of voters. This leads to more representative and legitimate outcomes that better reflect the will of the electorate.
- Promotion of diverse candidates: Preferential voting encourages the emergence of diverse candidates. It allows voters to support candidates outside the mainstream, including those from minor parties or independent candidates. This promotes a more inclusive and diverse political landscape, fostering representation of a broader range of perspectives.
- Confidence in electoral system: Implementing preferential voting can enhance public confidence in the electoral system. It demonstrates a commitment to fairness, accuracy, and representation, addressing concerns about the limitations of the traditional plurality voting system and reinforcing the integrity of democratic processes.
- Global adoption and success: Preferential voting is widely used in various countries around the world, including Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. Its successful implementation in these countries has shown that it is a viable and effective electoral system, which can serve as a model for the United States to consider.