Voting In Bed

Voting in Bed 2: New Ballots Can Fix Our Broken Democratic Republic

We score public policy solutions, and the voting ideas in the lead are open primaries, a fraud-free guaranteed vote, and new ballots. Recent polling shows 63% of Americans want a third party, but that will never happen with voting systems from the 18th century. Welcome to Politically Strange Bedfellow Wednesday. In this sequel to Voting In Bed (a Fraud-Free Guaranteed Vote), we dish on all the pillow talk and pillow fights between the odd couple for and against Replacing Plurality Voting with modern ballots.

Electoral Reform

What’s the Flap
over Voting Methods?

Plurality voting, or First Past The Post (FPTP), often distorts democratic representation by allowing candidates to win without majority support. It discourages independent candidates and stifles third-party and independent voices, leading to a two-party dominance that perpetuates a cycle of polarization and political stagnation.

Approval, Ranked Choice, Score, or Star ballots means voting for all the candidates you approve of and/or in order of most to least. You can find links to all these voting methods in the Fly Higher section at the end of the article.

Shortly, we’ll also be scoring Proportional Representation. We rank solutions by individual components whenever possible. Before we get started, here are our values.

Politics 4.0
PolicyKeys Values

  1. Be open to private and/or public sector solutions.
  2. Talk about public policies, not public figures.
  3. Score any solution (but leaderboard-worthy solutions first).
  4. Show our work (be transparent).


If you’d prefer first to role-play this week’s puzzle, then swoop on over to the…

Puzzle of the Week

Puzzle Drop Introduction
First Past the Post Voting is WAY past its Due Date

Voting Methods, Mudslinging, and Parrot ‘n Boots

Now, with tongues firmly in beaks. Here are the…

Odd Couples
Leaning In Favor
of Replacing Plurality Voting

Activists (19) &
Gun Owners (5)

How They Met: Amidst the fervor of a political reform rally, Activists and Gun Owners found themselves locked and loaded with the desire for change, their hearts aiming towards a target of electoral reform where every vote truly counts.

First Fight: Their alliance misfired at a town hall, where the Activists rallied for comprehensive background checks while Gun Owners defended their right to bear arms without bureaucratic entanglements.

Makeup Kiss: Eventually, they holstered their differences, realizing that modern voting methods could safeguard the values they each hold dear.

Ethicist Democrats (3) &
Digital Republicans (17)

How They Met: In the digital arena of an online policy forum, Ethicist Democrats and Digital Republicans engaged in a passionate debate, both advocating for a system where voting isn’t just a binary choice but a multidimensional expression of will.

First Fight: The spark flew when they clashed over free speech and hate speech, both retreating to their corners with definitions and the devils in their details.

Makeup Kiss: They patched the code of their relationship by recognizing that, much like the internet, they could score with hi-tech voting methods such as Approval or Ranked Choice or STAR or Score, which would free them from the tyranny of the ‘lesser of two evils.’

USA Made (13) &
Exporters (23)

How They Met: At a bustling international trade show, USA Made and Exporters bantered over quality and quantity and discovered a passion for a voting system that reflects the fine craftsmanship of policy over the mass-produced mandates of the old guard.

First Fight: They traded barbs over tariffs, with USA Made championing domestic protection, while Exporters argued for boundless open expression.

Makeup Kiss: Realizing that their core value was choice—the choice of consumers and the choice of voters—they embraced voting methods that promised a marketplace of ideas as rich and diverse as their goods.

Urban Full-Time (25) &
Rural Professionals (13)

How They Met: At the crossroads of a suburban arts and crafts fair, Urban Full-Time and Rural Professionals sketched a shared vision of a future where the voting landscape is as varied and vibrant as the communities they serve.

First Fight: Discord struck over agricultural subsidies; Urban Full-Time criticized them as wasteful, while Rural Professionals saw them as the lifeline for America’s heartland.

Makeup Kiss: Yet, in the tranquility of a compromise, they saw in new voting methods the seeds of growth for their ideals, a chance to cultivate a more fertile democratic republic.

Odd Couples
Leaning Against
Replacing Plurality Voting

Republicans (2) &
Rank and File
Democrats (4)

How They Met: In a grand old library, Moralist Republicans and Rank and File Democrats found an unexpected kinship in the dog-eared pages of tradition, valuing the straightforward certainty of the FPTP ballot.

First Fight: Their unity frayed at the edges during a spirited debate on educational reform, where morals and methods clashed, leaving both sides banning books and each other.

Makeup Kiss: Eventually, they reached across the stacks, realizing that while change can be intoxicating, the time-tested dance of FPTP had a rhythm they both could turn to, ensuring a predictable partner in the waltz of governance.

Pro-Immigrant (2) &
Landlords (26)

How They Met: At a community fair, Pro-Immigrant groups and Landlords discovered a shared taste for kettle corn and the stability FPTP voting offers.

First Fight: They clashed over lease restrictions, rents, and repairs—where Pro-immigrant fervor for tenant rights met the immovable wall of Landlords’ bottom lines.

Makeup Kiss: But as the dust settled, they realized that the devil they knew in FPTP could be the angel safeguarding the order and predictability that otherwise benefited their communities and investments.

Free Press (32) &
Republican Hawks (24)

How They Met: In the bustling newsroom on debate night, Free Press journalists and Republican Hawks found a shared adrenaline rush in the cut-and-thrust of a FPTP election, where every story and strategy had clear winners and losers.

First Fight: The alliance almost capsized over defense spending, where the pen of the Free Press and the sword of the Republican Hawks slashed very different autobiographies.

Makeup Kiss: In the end, they shook hands, recognizing that the drama of FPTP elections fueled the narratives that kept their respective audiences hooked, turning the page together on a chapter they both relished.

Rural Part-Time (2) &
Billionaires (20)

How They Met: Over the bar at a pastoral charity gala, Rural Part-Time workers and Billionaires found a shared interest in the status quo of FPTP voting, treading familiar ground with kitchen clogs and boardroom loafers.

First Fight: Their solidarity was tested over tax reforms, with the Billionaires’ champagne clinks drowning out the Rural Part-Time’s call for financial fairness.

Makeup Kiss: However, they soon swagged and swigged from the same bottle of the FPTP voting that kept their worlds and heads spinning predictably on their axes.

Super Nonpartisan Score
Should We Replace Plurality Voting?

POLI found VAST SUPERMAJORITY support. Our editors were a bit less convinced. Nevertheless, we predict a 67% ±5 (13 roles) STRONG SUPERMAJORITY of roles in this country to support Replacing Plurality Voting including a majority of each of the four sides of the political tablemaking this a US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) worthy idea. 

90% and up Near Unanimous
80% – 89% Near Consensus
60% – 66% Supermajority
50% – 59% Majority

By Contrast

SCOTUS’s approval rating is 40%,
the media is 27%, and
Congress is 13%.

The average score of the policies on the PolicyKeys™ US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) Sweet Sixteen is 76%, with many above 80%Politics 4.0 is already a 2x to 5x better model of US political sentiment and direction than politics as usual.

Last Week’s
Flight of Articles:
Pro-Family Act

Puzzle Drop Introduction
Giving Thanks by Taking Care of Our American Family

Feathering Our Future: The Pro-Family Call

Politically Strange Bedfellows
Which Odd Couples Are Starting Families Soon?

Political Digital Twin
Families Agree On Lots More Than We Are Led To Believe

BOX Score
Marriage Down 60%: The Pro-Family BOX Score

Both Political Parties Squawk About Family Values, It’s Time to Roost

Cue the
Patriotic Music

Imagine an America not paralyzed by political squawking. A Parrot-opia oasis in a desert of division. Where the sounds of the silent super-majority drown out the droning of the hyper-partisan parrots.

We’ll be freed from the cages of entrenched ideology to fly higher in the big sky of American beliefs, attitudes, values, and ethics. To boldly go where no political parrot has gone before—rating solutions with a nonpartisan score.


Where Can We Agree? 
(Why Don’t You Want To Know?)


Politics 1.0 is each party wanting to be a one-party system. Then, Politics 2.0 is the two-party gridlock that blocks the silent supermajority from getting what it needs. Next, Politics 3.0 is all the noise from special interest groups trying to influence us to see things their way. Finally, Politics 4.0 ranks solutions with a nonpartisan score and lets the best ideas rise up the leaderboard so people can choose.

The Four Laws of
Public Policy Formation

The First Law of Public Policy Formation is that people with short-term focus will naturally protect their wages, jobs, status, profits, and wealth.

The Second Law of Public Policy Formation is that people with a longer-term focus place bets to make life better, longer, easier, or different.

The Third Law of Public Policy Formation states that the short- and long-term clash causes noise, angst, and conflict.

The Fourth Law of Public Policy Formation is that a nonpartisan score can rank ideas.

(OPNT) One-Page
Narrative Tool

Uses the following ground truth:

There’s a time to save
and a time to spend,
a time for freedom
and a time for laws.
Where can we agree?”

This yields four legs of the political table: Abundance, Thrift, Governance, and Commerce, poetically our Political DNA, ACGT.

A Level
Playing Field

The four sides of the table are…

Abundance Governance (AG)
National Public Sector and NGOs,

Abundance Commerce (AC)
Technology and New Businesses,

Thrift Government (TG)
Local Municipalities, Guilds, and Consumers, and

Thrift Commerce (TC)
Established Supply Chains and Jobs.

Each side has a bias for change and a bias for the status quo. We scan these eight Information Walls for Key YES and NO Reasons, no cherry-picking.


The Political Parrots have a key reason they don’t want us to know about because it ruins their argument. We search for these, like a treasure hunt, and sort them using our EMIT format: Emotions, Money, Information, and Timespan. We listen for these key signals in the political noise.

Key Reasons can look similar, so we edit for redundancy and look for errors, omissions, and innovations.

We search for solutions with the highest hypothetical nonpartisan rating. Something that would solve 80% of the problem with the simplest 20% solution. The Pareto principle, hence a Parrot-opia.

Definition of
Political Parrots

Are you making up your own mind or marching to the beat of a political parrot?

  1. Political Parrots get paid to squawk the same thing over and over again.
  2. They don’t listen if you’re not paying.
  3. They don’t fully understand what they’re saying.
  4. They are charming and sport every color.

We look to filter out the GRIFTERS, Gaslighting, Red-herrings, Idolizing, False-dilemmas, Tunnel-vision, Exclusions, Reductions, and Straw-man arguments. 

We think you can make up your own mind. Where can we agree?

Birds of a Feather

Once the Key Reasons are set, we use the Birds of a Feather AI for loose ties to beliefs, attitudes, values, and ethics. Over 16 million combinations are possible for the 128 roles. The game board starts balanced at zero, with an equal bias for change and the status quo.

We then prescore the puzzle using 56 arch-type roles that most embody each of the 56 loose ties. This yields a general bias for change or status quo and reveals ties.

The editors break the ties and review all 128 roles for specific reasons to overrule the general AI where necessary. These are noted in the Tuesday Tiebreaker article.

Then, we finish the puzzle by applying the most fitting YES or NO reason per role on all four sides of the Political Table: eight Information Walls, sixteen Subcultural Windows, sixteen Bias Columns, and sixteen Influence Rows.


When the scoring is done, a second AI looks for inconsistencies using the SAT9 AI filter (Situational Assessment Tool). This is 256 ‘supreme courts’ where each role is the chief justice in a presumed 5-4 and 4-5 bench. This generates a ± error margin.

The engine for the AI is our One-Page Narrative Tool (OPNT), which we gamified for role-playing at We call our AI, POLI for Political Omnibus Leadership Initiative. Soon, you can use it as your Political Digital Twin and generate a personal public policy advisor report on any PolicyKeys puzzle.

You can read more about PolicyKeys™ in the upcoming book, Politics 4.0: How Gamification, AI, and National Idea Leaderboards Can Help You Depolarize the World. The Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has recognized PolicyKeys™ for digital engagement.


new PolicyKeys™
Where Can We Agree?® puzzle 
drops every 
Monday at 7 a.m. Eastern at

PolicyKeys™ Where Can We Agree? is a real-life role-playing game. Each week, there are sixteen sets of eight ‘rival’ roles. Sit awhile in each of their eight chairs and predict whether a majority of people in those roles would say Yes or No to the week’s question.

The best ideas land on the US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) if a majority of each of the four sides of the political table agree.



63% of Americans Want a Third Party

Winner-Take-All Elections: A Formula for Unfair Elections
Second-Rate Democracy

The Flaws of Ranked Choice
Law & Liberty

Why First-Past-The-Post Voting is Fundamentally Flawed
New Scientist

And the Loser is…Plurality Voting
Hal Science

Science Can Restore America’s Faith in Democracy
Wired Opinion

Should We Choose Ranked Choice Voting
Cato Unbound

Top Five Ways Plurality Voting Fails
Center for Election Science

Campaign civility under preferential and plurality voting
Iowa Public Policy Center

Pros and Cons of Instant Runoff (Ranked Choice) Voting
League of Women Voters

US presidential election: the problem is majority voting, not the Electoral College
The Conversation

Eight Ways Ranked Choice Voting Can Improve Voting and Elections
Campaign Legal Center

The Case For Approval Voting
Springer Link

The Problem

Approval voting: The political reform engineers — and voters — love
Roll Call Opinion

Can STAR and Approval Voting Fix Our Elections?
Divided We Fall

More US locations are experimenting with new voting methods

Could Math Decide the Perfect Electoral System
Scientific American

Ranked Choice Voting
Fair Vote

Score Voting

STAR Voting

Approval Voting
The Center for Election Science

It takes guts to see things from all four sides of the political table.