Negative numbers and democracy: an antidote to divisiveness

Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi
8 min readFeb 5, 2021

This short text, in the form of questions and answers, presents in a synthetic way the essence of the proposal of introducing a ‘double electoral vote’, which makes use of both positive numbers (to represent the favorable votes) and negative numbers (to represent the possible votes against, of a defensive nature), in order to protect our failing democracies from the growing political polarization.

Question: Is it possible to improve the functioning of our democracies in the short term?

Answer: Yes, by improving the functioning of the electoral systems they use, so that brightest and more enlightened political forces can more easily access power and help their citizens, and consequently all of humanity, to overcome the numerous “growth crises” that await us.

Question: But how can we improve the democratic voting systems?

Answer: Well, one possibility is to use the representative power of negative numbers, moving from a ‘single vote’ system to a ‘double vote’ system.

Question: Isn’t that a useless complication?

Answer: Now of course, at first glance, this might indeed look like a useless complication. It is not. The double vote is in fact a natural evolution of the more traditional single vote system. But before…