Lately I have been thinking that the form of run off election that is used by my local would help solve the problem. Unlike the instant runoff the Mike is promoting. The one we use is simple. First election all the candiate are on the ballot. Second Election the top two voter getters are on the ballot.
The reasons I think this is a good idea.
1) Equal voting for everyone. One vote per election.(unlike instant run off)
2) It allows people more freedom in voting. Now the first time around voter can vote for "who they feel is the best choice" Then they can go with the lesser evil on the second ballot.
The downside is that it may change nothing and it would double the cost of the elections.
But I feel it would change alot. First in many solid states. Voters could and would feel comfortible voting for option. Not spliting the vote and getting the "enemy" in office. I could see the Greens replacing the Dems in Calfornia and the Libertarians replacing the Republicans in Idaho, Nevada, and possibly Utah.
This would help empower the independants because strength in parties come from incumbents. As the voter would then have a major reference on how the party or at least that member of that party is like in office. It would also help gather the 5% needed for matching funds. Giving the indies money to spead their message.
I believe what we could do with this is. Move the first election back to lets say October 15. Then have the run off on the regular voting day.
I was considering posting this on the Instant Runoff Thread, but I think it fits here.