Democracy and junk
Ari and I had this thing in the Journal today, about how stuff could be better:
IN MANY RESPECTS, it’s legitimate to scoff at the influential role that the Iowa caucuses play in the election of our president: Iowa is far from demographically representative of the nation as a whole; caucuses require a two-hour investment and the physical presence of participants, making it hard or impossible for the disabled, those who work at night, many members of the military, and countless others to take part; and on the Democratic side there are no secret ballots.
But in one very important way, the Iowa Democratic Party caucuses achieve the ideal form of representative democracy: They are probably the most influential example in American politics of a voting method called the “single transferable vote” (STV). STV is the best form of proportional representation — the election of a body of representatives who hold views in the same proportion as do the people who voted for that body’s members.