Wednesday, January 30, 2008


     Another election season is upon us. The way it works in this country is that the Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler parties (acting as private clubs) select their candidates for various offices. (Does it really matter which is which?) After that, the public is given a nominal vote between the two worthless bags of (ahem) garbage. The system is essentially rigged so that it is not possible to elect someone actually representative of the people.
     Our political system could stand improving, and it should start by removing the special privileges granted to the parties. The rules for getting on the general election ballot should be the same for all potential candidates and the parties should not be able to advance candidates. The plurality voting method, which locks into the two parties by making all other votes "unsafe," also needs to go. People should not fear that not voting for the "best" of the main party candidates might throw the election to the other.
     If I could work my will, we would use a modified instant runoff voting method. Voters would rank the candidates in order of preference. Whoever received the most last place votes would be eliminated. Then whoever had the most last place among the remaining candidates would be removed. This would continue until only one candidate remained and he would take office.
     I also believe that governing bodies should also be subject to regular "votes of confidence." People would vote on whether they thought Congress had done a good job the previous year. If they do not get a 75 percent or higher approval, all of them would be removed and ineligible for office for ten years.

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