Voices from the Global Forum: Sam Chang – Taiwan

Voices from the Global Forum: Sam Chang – Taiwan


My name is Sam Chang. I’m president of
the Negative Vote Association, based in Taiwan. What I’ve come here to tell
everyone is that we have a proposal that we think can improve all democracies in
the world. Our proposal is a very simple one. We propose that voters should have
the choice to vote against a candidate or political party coming to elections.
Right now voters only can say “yes” if they like someone. But what if you don’t
like anyone? You probably didn’t go to vote. So our proposal is that every
voter still has only one vote, but you can choose to vote against the person or
the party you despise the most and have that vote counted as minus one. So in
future elections the winner has to be someone who gets higher net positive
votes. It is very important to keep in mind, in this structure every voter still
has only one vote. Because when you still have only one vote the partisan voters
will vote “yes” for their respective party candidates. So the people who are likely
to vote “no” are the nonpartisan, independent-minded, middle electorate. And when you have only one vote, if you choose to vote against, you will vote
against the extremists. So this is how participation can be increased and the influence of extremist populists can be reduced in democracy. And we believe this is important to be applied in every electoral system whether it’s proportional
representation, first-past-the-post or rank choice voting. It can be done and we
believe this should be a fundamental human right. So I hope at this Forum, since we’re talking about direct democracy, we’re talking about participation, I hope
that when we discuss the new Magna Charta for modern democracy we will
ask this to be included as a fundamental right of citizens. I am very happy to
have this opportunity to come to this forum I will be presenting this idea in more
detail in two workshops today, this afternoon and also tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, I found a very good reaction from people we speak to during
cocktails and so forth. So very glad to have met so many people who are so
interested in reform of democracy. Thank you!

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